15 Creative Home Office Ideas For An Inspiring Work Space
If you weren’t already working from home, you probably are now that Coronavirus has shut down all office buildings. And if you are new to working from home, you’re probably at a bit of a loss when it comes to setting up a makeshift home office.
To help with that issue, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite home office tips and ideas into a few lists.
In this article:
- How to Establish a Work-from-Home Routine
- Where to Set Up Your Home Office
- How to Become More Inspired While Working from Home
How to Establish a Work-from-Home Routine
Go Into Work Mode
At the start of your day, go into work mode. That means closing your eyes for a few seconds, taking a deep breath, and forgetting about the issues you might be dealing with in your non-professional life. You may be at home, but you should adopt the office mindset during the day.
Once you are in work mode, you should try to stay in work mode for the rest of the day, barring an emergency.
Stick to Your Daily Rituals
Although you’re at home, you should still pretend you’re going into an office. Wake up at a regular time and get dressed in real clothes. No working in your pajamas.
Doing so will mentally prepare you for work, and it will help you to feel more productive during the day.
Establish Your Space
As tempting as it may be to work in different spaces, you should find somewhere right for you and stick to it. You’ll begin to associate that space with work, and over time the area will make you more productive.
Make a Schedule
There are a lot of distractions at home, from sleeping in your bed to talking with family. Those things are not for the workday unless you want to do them during breaks. Other than that, you should make a schedule and stick to it.
For example, you might decide that from this time to this time, you will work on a specific task. And from this time to this time you will have a meeting. Until the time you finish work for the day, every minute should be scheduled.
Come Out of Work Mode
Just as you need to go into work mode at the start of the day, you need to come out of work mode at the end. An office worker might use their commute home as an opportunity to get out of work mode, but you’ll have to do it by just taking a beat and regrouping.
Where to Set Up your Home Office
A Room With a Door
If at all possible, set up your home office in a room that has an actual door to shut your work off from the rest of your home. Having that physical barrier is an excellent way to signal your brain that you’re at work, not at home.
Not in Your Leisure Space
Whatever you do, DON’T set up your office in your bedroom or another space meant for relaxation or play. Your brain has already subconsciously associated that room with non-work activities, and that will make it harder for you to focus.
You’ll also start to associate your office space with work overtime, which means you won’t be able to relax properly there.
Somewhere With Natural Light
Studies show that natural light is conducive to productivity. Setting up your home office next to a window that provides ample natural light will bolster your work ethic and your overall health.
Being in a well-designed space is also shown to help workflow, especially in jobs that require creative thinking.
Somewhere With the Appropriate Amount of Clutter
You may have heard very neat spaces are suitable for productivity, but that’s not always true. Actually, cluttered spaces are proven to boost performance in creative jobs, whereas tidy spaces boost performance in data-based jobs like bookkeeping.
How to Become More Inspired While Working from Home
Listen to Instrumental Music
For some people, listening to instrumental music while working helps focus the mind and fuels creativity at the same time. It also helps to drown out external noise, which can be a big problem when working at home.
For others, listening to any music while working is distracting. Give it a shot to see if it’s right for you.
Have Somewhere to Take Notes
Since remote workers don’t have workmates to talk to any time, they learn an essential bit of info, and it’s often helpful for us to keep notes. And to encourage yourself to do so, it’s a good idea to have a notepad (or whatever your preferred record taking apparatus is) within eyeshot at all times to keep yourself on track.
Take Regular Breaks
Remote workers should establish a habit of getting up and walking around now and then. A walk in nature is ideal, but a walk around the block will do as well.
Taking a 17 minute break every 52 minutes has been shown to be the optimal break schedule for remote workers. Give it a try!
It’s okay to substitute another activity like chores or a phone call to a friend for the walk if you want, but don’t do anything like watching TV or playing video games that will tempt you to elongate your break time.
Turn off Social Media
Shutting off as many distractions as possible during your workday is excellent for productivity. And social media is extremely distracting.
I’m not just talking about Facebook and Instagram. Logging out of email and other messaging apps that might interrupt your workflow is a good idea too.
If you need to check your messages during work, you should schedule times throughout the day to deal with your correspondence.
Save Your Interactions for Last
Many remote workers find they can be most productive when they schedule all of their solo work for the morning and save interpersonal stuff like phone calls and meetings for the afternoon.
One reason for this is because most of us don’t want to deal with people in the morning, and we’d rather jump into our own work. The other reason is that people often find it easier to get into a rhythm when they are not trying to blend different kinds of work together.
I’ve been working primarily from home for many years, and these tips really work for me. Of course, everyone is different, and you might have different tricks that help you be a better remote worker.