If the COVID-19 pandemic has you working from home for the first time, you’re likely encountering some issues with productivity. Making the shift to a remote work environment can be a difficult task.
There’s plenty of distractions at home, and holding yourself accountable can be a tough feat. If you add children, dogs, Netflix, or neighborhood noises to the mix, it can seem like it’s impossible to remain focused while working from home.
Thankfully, there are several things you can do to improve your focus and increase your productivity. It all begins by ensuring that your home office is designed with productivity in mind.
Here are a few office design trends to get you started on the right track. With a little ingenuity and forward-thinking, it’s entirely possible to maximize productivity while working remotely.
Trend #1: Embrace Minimalism
Minimalism isn’t just a trendy word for nomadic, tiny house owners and housewives. No, the minimalist movement has taken a foothold in virtually every facet of the design world, including the home office.
There’s a good reason for it, too. Minimalism is all about eliminating clutter and getting rid of the things you don’t need. Doing so allows you to focus on what matters. Think of it this way, if you have to work in your remote office amongst stacks of paper, and busy decoration, you’re liable to get distracted.
Instead, focus on only keeping what you need in your home office. Minimalism also focuses on space-saving techniques. So, in the home office, that could mean built-in desks, sliding pocket doors, or hidden storage solutions.
Ultimately, minimalism allows you to free up your brainwaves so that you can focus on the work at hand and maximize your productivity.
Trend #2: Add in Natural Features
Natural elements are a huge trend in home design this year. Natural features are also making waves in offices and other commercial properties, too. So, it’s not a leap to include them in your home office’s design. Aside from the fact that natural elements are trendy, these features also promote a wide range of benefits.
Adding plants and natural sunlight is scientifically-proven to increase organization and improve job satisfaction. Moreover, exposure to plants and sunlight reduces depression and anxiety levels.
So, add a plant to your desk or the corner of your office. Succulents, cacti, and bonsai trees are a few charming low-maintenance options. If you have a window in your home office, keep it open during the workday.
Trend #3: Enclose Yourself and Reduce Distractions
If your home office is in the living room or is in a guest bedroom, getting focused and staying productive can be even more challenging. You not only have to battle your own attention level, but you have to worry about being interrupted. Since more people are unexpectedly working from home these days, there’s a new trend emerging.
Rather than accepting the living room as a viable working space, people are turning to solutions like screen wall panels or other separation panels. This allows them to create an enclosed space for working. If this is your situation, you should consider jumping on this trend so that you can close yourself off from the distractions around the house.
Trend #4: Go Blue
When it comes to colors for your home office, the only real rule is to choose a color that you love. However, if you really want to activate the productivity, there’s some science to color selection.
The color blue increases focus and promotes relaxation, all the while boosting productivity. You can paint your entire office blue, paint one wall of your office blue, or just decorate the office with blue décor.
The benefits of blue don’t stop there. There’s been a lot of studies done on the best lighting for increasing workflow. Natural sunlight ranks number one, but blue-enriched light bulbs are an excellent second choice. Research suggests that blue-enriched light bulbs increase happiness, improve alertness, and reduce overall eye strain.
(As a side note, blue-enriched light bulbs are not the same as the blue light that emanates from your computer and phone screens. That type of blue light can have the opposite effect. So, be sure to take plenty of screen breaks during your workdays).
Trend #5: Think About Comfort
While working remotely presents many hurdles, there are also a lot of benefits. One of those is that you can control your environment and maximize comfort.
We all have images of ornately decorated “studies,” with large bookshelves, and bullishly large desks permanently etched in our brains as the standard for home office design. However, this aesthetic isn’t practical anymore.
Nowadays, the trend for the home office can be surmised in one word: comfort. Your office should be catered to you. From the chair to the lighting to the color scheme, it’s about designing your office space to cater to your productivity needs.
This makes sense because if you’re uncomfortable, you won’t be able to focus on anything except how uncomfortable you are. When you eliminate that distraction, your productivity soars. This sort of benefit doesn’t exist in traditional office settings, which is why more people are taking advantage of the power to craft their home office designs around their unique needs.
Maximize Your Remote Working Productivity
These five trends are all centered around maximizing your productivity while working remotely. If you design your home office with these trends in mind, you’ll maximize your productivity in no time.
Jordan Swift is a contributor to the Innovative Materials blog. He is a content writer for the construction and home improvement industries with an interest in landscaping, outdoor remodeling, and interior design. Jordan is focused on educating homeowners, contractors, and architects on innovative materials and methods of construction that increase property value, improve sustainability, and create a warm and welcoming ambiance.