Create a home office space that not only looks stylish but keeps you happy, calm and ready to tackle the working day…
With around 1.5 million people in the UK now working from home, work spaces have become infinitely more flexible, which means we can be more creative than ever in their decor. Gone are the days of drab, soulless offices lacking in personality, colour and comfort; nowadays growing numbers have the freedom to create an inspiring and productive workspace in their own homes.
It’s not an easy thing to achieve, however. Creating a stylish space that doesn’t compromise on functionality can be tricky, not to mention the fact that home offices are all too often crammed into the smallest room in the house. Yet just a few small changes to your working environment can make a huge difference to both your productivity levels and overall wellbeing.
Create a sense of space
‘Living in the information age, we are constantly surrounded by technology, so it can be very hard to get your creative juices flowing, especially in the room with the most gadgets,’ says Simon Chaplin of Chaplins contemporary furniture.
‘Therefore it is important to create a sense of space, even in the smallest of rooms. A good way of doing this is to utilise glass furniture over traditional materials, such as wood, to help make the room feel more light and airy.’ He adds: ‘Old-fashioned bookcases, which can eat into valuable floor space, can also be replaced by floating shelves and wall units, to help reduce overall clutter. They also work well from a design point of view when creating a focal point of the room.’
A report published last year by Human Spaces concluded that natural light is also key when it comes to boosting workplace productivity and increasing wellbeing and creativity.
Be mindful of colour choices
Renowned colour psychologist Angela Wright believes that colour has a huge influence on people. She says that blue stimulates the mind, yellow inspires creativity and green creates a calming balance; while bright colours stimulate and softer, more muted colours soothe.
‘It’s not just walls that can carry colour effectively in your workspace,’ says Simon Chaplin. ‘Introducing different tones of pastel colours will help to create a calming mood but that doesn’t necessarily mean getting the paintbrush out. For example, the classic Eames office chairs, often seen in black leather, are now available in a wide range of softer colours.’
Plants = productivity
A study published by Dr Craig Knight from Exeter University, and his fellow psychologists, concluded that employees were 15% more productive when their workplaces were filled with just a few houseplants, as people who actively engage with their surroundings are better workers.
‘If you are working in an environment where there’s something to get you psychologically engaged, you are happier and you work better,’ Knight said. While plants were chosen in the study, photographs, changes in light or even smell could be also used to achieve a similar effect, he added.
Get clever with scents
Aromatherapy converts have long believed in the power of scents to transform mood and wellbeing, so it makes sense to try out these principals in your workspace. Go for scented candles, diffusers or room sprays, and choose an appropriate scent for your mood or work goals.
Cinnamon and mint are considered the most effective scents when it comes to improving productivity, while citrus scents such as lemon, lime and orange will keep you energised. If you have a stressful day ahead, you might want to consider lavender and jasmine scents, which have calming properties, while rosemary and lemongrass can help fight headaches and migraines.
main image: thomas-sanderson.co.uk