By Denise Childs
The trend of working from home is growing, whether it be part-time working for someone else or running your own home-based business. Working from home can almost be a pleasure if your work environment doesn’t cause you stress. A home office which is disorganised and cluttered, or has dated décor, can be demotivating, thereby limiting productivity.
If this is the case, what are some ways to reduce that stress by not only increasing the efficiency of your office, but by making your surroundings more attractive so that you want to work there?
Firstly, try to ensure you have a designated room or area for your home office. If you don’t have the luxury of your own room and you have to share, make it clear that this is your work station. Try to keep personal items from infiltrating your work space.
Be comfortable in your home office. Ensure you have a good quality and supportive chair, a desk at the right height and adequate lighting. Ensure ample storage and shelving space to help keep any clutter off your desk so you can focus on the job at hand.
Try to eliminate those piles of clutter. Not knowing what is in a pile and suspecting you may have overlooked something causes stress. Set up a system so you have a place to put each piece of paper as it enters the office and schedule a time to deal with it at a later date. Establish a good filing system and label well. Remember, filing is about the quick and easy retrieval of information.
Everything should have a place, this saves frustration and time in looking for an item. Label shelves, drawers and cupboards if this helps to return items to their home so you can quickly and easily find them again.
Beautify your work space so working from home is pleasant. If possible, position your desk in front of a window. This will give you a great vantage point to see the view and also to inspire and refresh you. If it also happens to be where you can see deliveries or visitors arriving, even better.
Make the area your own and personalise it. Hang some artwork on the wall. Whether it be framed prints, your vision boards or even your children’s prized artwork, make sure it is something that inspires you and helps maintain focus during a busy work day. Add some colour through smart window dressings or apply a fresh coat of paint. Think about adding an indoor plant. This will not only improve air quality but being around plants improves concentration. Studies show that tasks performed while under the calming influence of nature are performed better and with greater accuracy, yielding greater productivity.
Stress invades our lives constantly, at work and at home, but perhaps taking these small steps to reduce that stress can make working from home more pleasurable.
Denise Childs, a professional organiser, and Tania Bell, an interior decorator, have joined forces to create Home Office Makeover Experts. They are on a mission to make offices all over Melbourne efficient and beautiful, and make working from home a pleasure!
Jen is currently on honeymoon in Tokyo, Venice and the UK, and has opened up the blog to a series of fabulous guest posters to share their interiors-related expertise in her absence. She hopes you’ll enjoy them and look out for the odd honeymoon post from overseas! The new Mrs Francis (who will still be known as Bishop for work purposes) will be back at her desk on 11 November.