There are some people who have quite a workload, whether at the office or away, they have to work constantly and empty shelves by morning, make reports, in general it’s a tight and hectic schedule, and at times the office environment just doesn’t work for them, or its late you have to rush and beat the traffic. The best way to take this load off your chest is by creating a work space in your home.
Where specifically in your house?
Do you see that attic that is filled up with old furniture, or that corner of the garage that is piling up with rusted cans, or that study lined up with books covered in dusts? You just found a place.
Before you set up your ‘home’ office, think of the image you want to portray, you want to feel comfortable and at ease. These feelings are drawn from the office itself – the office structure, layout, decorations and accessories- and not even the person.
For a lawyer it can be order, for a photographer an artistic image. Your ‘home’ work environment makes a statement about who you are, keep it simple, organized and most importantly professional.
Then comes creating the ideal environment, everyone knows the kind of environment they respond to efficiently, that is what brightens them up, what is comfy to them, and what puts them off. Most people do not know this but even the color of your wall painting can affect your mood. Our surroundings play a huge part in our moods and feelings and this has an effect on our output. If your work space is bland, your work and mood will be the same, if it is bright, organized so will your work.
Whether your space is small or spacious, it must be neatly arranged to help you move around with ease, even the direction some of the furniture will face matters a lot, for example placing your table against the wall, and your back to the door, is a bit awkward (and less welcoming) if possible make your desk perpendicular to the door, if this is not possible the 2nd option is to face the door, however it is subject to distractions anytime someone walks by, but the golden principle is not to face the wall or away from the door.
Create functional space; this is putting specific office items in one corner, e.g. machinery to the right corner, stationery on your left hand side of the desk. It makes your work space neat and organized.
No more dull grey paintings. Spice it up, and make it artistic by choosing your best colors. All in all even if you like purple it may not be the best for your office depending on the work you do. Colors have a profound effect on productivity. It means you should choose colors that will boost your work output and stimulate you. Research has it that bright colors have a stimulating effect while low intensity colors give a soothing effect. Color blue affects your mind, yellow affects your emotions, red affects your body and green your balance.
If your work involves a lot of thinking e.g. an accountant pick blue, if you are an advertiser who needs to come up with creative ideas everyday pick yellow, it boosts your spirits and makes you optimistic. If you are doing a lot of physical activities e.g. a fitness instructor, pick red as it a physical stimulating color. If you are in a profession where money exchanges hands day in, day out then pick green, it is calming, reassuring and creates a great sense of balance. Now you know why Safaricom picked Green for their M-PESA outlets.
Then again one color all over can be quite boring too, remember this is about spicing up your office so you can splash other colors also note that colors do not evoke that much of an emotional response until they are incorporated with other colors, so it is up to you to blend well for positive emotions.
Choose furniture that is comfortable and functional. An office desk should have enough space to avoid cramp, messy corners; it should also come with drawers for additional storage space.
It should also be durable, imagine placing your newly repaired desktop on a desk you purchased last week and the next thing you hear is a loud cracking sound and down goes the desk, with everything on it.
Choose the right fabric, different fabrics project different images, and as stated earlier it doesn’t matter how homely your office feels or what career your practicing. The space should have a professional touch. Mahogany and Dark wood will not fail you on this one.
Decorate with artistic things, it doesn’t have to be an extravagant painting you acquired from an Art Gallery in Paris, even our own locally made Masaai paintings are to die for. Step out of the ordinary and frame your child’s adorable family painting on a wall, which will make it even more personal. Artwork simply makes any space beautiful and attractive.
Dale Carnegie “the essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure” need I say more
A Touch of Green
Pick up some greenery to add to your space. You should be careful to note that not all plants are suitable here. Because this is a work area, it means you may have little or no time at all to care for them. Furthermore you will need something that is not only pleasant to the eye, but also possess some work related benefits, e.g. improves mood, boost workplace wellness, improves indoor air quality and stimulates your brain.
You should also choose plants that survive for long without water, (the Gardenia can live for up to 25 years without water!) requires little care and can survive under shade or florescent lighting.
The following lighting conditions are ideal for a home office.
Natural light -Proper lighting makes a huge difference in productivity, energy and mood. Starts by considering natural light, if you have a sunny window consider placing your desk nearby.
Ambient light -Ambient light is a great stress reliever. It fills the area with a soothing glow, for a warmer, more comfortable atmosphere.
Corrective light – Eye strain and migraines are two common ailments that come with working at a computer all day. Corrective lights, placed behind a monitor or screen setup, can help ease the bright glare emanating from that screen.
Task light -this is ideal for late nights and on cloudy days.
Pretty little things (PLT)
Your desk requires some attention to; you can place other small attractive, colorful things like desk clock, desk calendar, business card holder, pencil holder or even an antique, or a framed photo.
No matter how beautiful, well-spaced and tastefully accessorized your work space is, it is not a conducive work environment unless you add one more factor, ORDER. Arrange your desk neatly; label your files clearly, in short everything from your desk to the floor should be spot –on. It makes your work organized.
Pick the files up, get home and lock yourself at that secret corner for a few hours and voila!! The stack is empty before you even realize it. The secret? Not some exaggerated energy drink you see on adverts, but a speck of Orange on your wall and a Green Shrub on the floor.