When you work from home, it’s important to have a separate area for your office, but that doesn’t mean it has to be an island that separates you from the world. It doesn’t have to look like a cubicle, either. In fact, you’ll be more productive if it doesn’t.
If you’re bored with your home office décor, or you want to make it cozy or inspiring, here are 2 ways to rev it up:
- Personalize your workspace
Personalizing your workspace without overdoing it is the key. You want a healthy balance of creativity, fun, and professionalism to stay productive. Here are some ideas:
- Put a few pictures of your friends, family, and pets on your wall. Don’t overdo it. Choose a few photos that make you smile and have them printed on 3D canvas to maintain a professional feel.
- Post motivational quotes on your walls. Instead of printing out Word documents and using a pushpin to hang them, have your quotes professionally printed and framed. Your quotes will be more effective and you’ll maintain a professional vibe in your space.
- Add some humor to your desk. If your desk is big enough, provided it won’t be a distraction, get a chia pet. Pinterest has hundreds of examples you can browse to find your perfect match.
- Hang a digital photo album on the wall with motivational quotes. The movement from a digital photo album is distracting, so place it on a wall that isn’t in your direct line of sight. You can always glance over when you need some fuel!
- Put a grounding mat underneath your desk. Working on the computer, you’re surrounded by electromagnetic frequencies that disrupt your body and mind. Get a conductive foot mat to place your bare feet on. Shoes are useful outdoors, but grounding while you work will make you feel like you’ve been walking on the beach!
- Paint your office intentionally with specific colors
Color has been known to affect human behavior for quite a while. It’s not just woo-woo, either. Science has proven for decades that color affects human behavior. That’s why marketers spend good money consulting with designers who know how to use color psychology to influence buying decisions. Color psychology is used in logos, interior design, product design, advertisements, and even restaurant seating and décor.
Originally published in 1982, the New York Times reported the color bubblegum pink – also known as passive pink – has the power to calm.
The article reports that when children in detention at the San Bernardino County Probation Department in California become violent, “they are put in an 8-foot by 4-foot cell with one distinctive feature – it is bubble gum pink. The children tend to relax, stop yelling and banging and often fall asleep within 10 minutes.”
Since then, thousands of hospitals and correctional facilities across the U.S. have painted at least one room pink.
You don’t need to paint your office pink, though it’s worth learning about the psychology of color to find out what color will support your goals.
Paint your office according to your intentions
A Life of Productivity published an interview with color psychologist Angela Wright titled: The exact color to paint your office to become the most productive.
In the 80s and 90s, Wright discovered three important things:
- A person’s personality affects their interpretation of color
- The intensity of the color – not the color itself – affects behavior by creating a soothing or stimulating effect
- Objective color harmony exists
Saturated versions of any color are more stimulating than less saturated versions. The article linked above provides a visual example of this difference.
What color should you paint your office?
Angela Wright recommends painting your office blue if you use your mind all day. She says, “If you have a blue office, you need to put a bit of orange in there to introduce a bit of balance, a bit of emotion, so that you’re not a cold bureaucrat.” This color combination is perfect for writers, researchers, accountants, and marketers.
If you’re a designer, yellow will stimulate your creativity and help you maintain optimism, while red is optimal for physical activity.
Choose a color based on what part of your life you’d like to affect while working. Only you can know what color combination will make you the most productive.