Home offices have become a major selling point for houses, and they are currently the #1 requested feature for buyers. Even if your home doesn’t have a dedicated office space, there’s plenty you can do to make a space feel more like a home office. Whether you’ve got specific room, or are converting a corner of your living room to a “pocket office,” here are our _ tips on organizing your home office.
Having natural light in your home office can’t go overstated. Yes, there are plenty of lights that can mimic natural light. But nothing beats having a view of trees, your backyard, or garden. In fact, The Harvard Business Review reports that 78% of employees say access to natural light and views improves their wellbeing and 70% report improved work performance.
Bottom line, if you want to be more productive (and happier) while working at home, make sure there’s a window nearby.
Nothing distracts a person more quickly than having a cluttered work environment. You don’t need to live a spartan life, or remove all joy from your home office. Do have a plan and purpose for everything that’s visible when sitting at your desk.
If that pile of papers next to your monitor is drawing your attention, get a simple inbox to hold documents while you work on other projects. Décor brings personality into your home office, but keep it contained to a shelf or cabinet.
While you’re working on focusing your space, keep this old adage in mind, “A place for everything. Everything in its place.”
Which brings us to…
Desks and office chairs are usually the top concern when building out a home office. Storage is next.
There are plenty of storage systems and clever hacks to make the most of your space. Take full advantage of them. You don’t have to fill every nook and cranny, but having enough space to keep your desk clear will also keep your mind clear.
It’s also time to get rid of that cable spaghetti. Cable management leans into having a more focused space. When you walk in your office, you’ll feel more calm because the space – visually – has less going on with it. Not only will this help your home office become more organized, but pets, kids, and robot vacuum cleaners won’t get caught in them!
Add Some Green
There are loads of studies out there showing the benefits of having live plants in your office. (This goes for your non-home office, too) They reduce stress and anxiety, increase productivity, improve air quality, and even help regulate humidity.
Even if you don’t have a green thumb, there are plenty of low-care houseplants. I just water mine a couple times every week, and they couldn’t be happier.
This has less to do with your physical space, and more a mental game. Home offices blur the lines between personal life and your work life. Distraction is inevitable. However, giving yourself physical boundaries, or a physical change, can help keep them separate.
If you have a separate home office, close the doors, or have as little personal time in the space as possible. This establishes the room as a working space, and reduces the chances your mind will wander to those dishes that need to be put away.
If your office is part of a larger room (like your living room or bedroom), dedicate that area only to work. Don’t sit in your office chair if you want to read a book or watch TV. This part can become difficult if you use your desk for personal reasons like playing games, video calls, or looking up your next vacation. Before you use your work area for personal reasons (or vice versa), make a small change that tells your brain you’re in work-mode or personal-mode. Put away that stack of work papers before you hop on that family video call, or pull out your favorite pen and notepad when it’s time to work. Small changes can make a big difference when trying to set those boundaries.
An Organized, Focused Home Office Space
Having a space for focused work isn’t simply a passing necessity or fad, it’s here to stay. Home offices have become one of the most sought-after features for home buyers. These tips will help organize your home office and make working from home a little easier.