In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and stay at home orders, more Americans are working remotely than ever before. The shift from working in an office to working at home can be challenging. Home brings distractions such as children, partners, and an increasing allure to hop off of work for a while and over to the couch. However, it is essential to adapt in times of crisis, so we have compiled our top interior design tips for your work-from-home space to improve your overall productivity! In this segment, you will find outlined design tips to maximize natural light, utilize acoustic ceiling panels and sliding pocket doors, and control color while distinguishing your space!
Take Advantage of Natural Light
The first interior design consideration to keep in mind is that our brains thrive in natural light, thus when choosing an office space, a room with windows is ideal. Natural light is scientifically proven to improve one’s health and wellness while leading to an increase in productivity. When searching for the perfect place to set up a home office or desk, seek out spaces with windows and natural light, and position the workstation or desk to be facing that window. Studies have even concluded that increased natural light in workspaces will reduce eyestrain and headaches. Natural light can also make the space feel bigger than it is, and visibility to the outside world will keep the brain engaged throughout the day. Below, we will discuss the benefits of a white solid surface that complements natural light quite well.
Separate your Living Space from your Working Space
A distinct separation between living space and working space will help shift the mind into “work mode”. Not many people are able to work productively in bed, so getting up, changing clothes and sitting in a new space can help shift mindsets to be as productive as possible. If a home does not have additional room for an office, there is an easy way to introduce a physical boundary and create a home office! Sliding pocket doors can be easily installed in a room, and will lead to huge gains in your productivity. The sliding pocket doors will render a separation with a physical barrier between home comfort and work. These doors will allow for privacy and quiet that may be necessary to efficiently work from home. If installing a sliding pocket door is not obtainable, try choosing a space that is away from any communal living spaces to provide a clear separation between home life and work life.
Consider Color and Clutter
There is a vast amount of scientific studies regarding how color affects our brains and overall productivity. Blue colors are proven to positively affect the mind while yellow affects our emotions. White brings us clarity and creativity. A white solid surface desk will bring creative energy and complement natural sunlight. Introducing blue accents can stimulate the brain and bring focus. A white surface is preferable over gray or another neutral color, as it is good to avoid depressing or mundane color schemes in productive spaces.The solid nature of the desk will also encourage you to keep it free of clutter.
Something to think about: Did you know clutter in your workspace is known to symbolize clutter of the mental space?
Monitor the Noise of the Space to Keep a Clear Head
When it comes to working from home, the day to day noises of children, kitchen pots clinking, or trucks driving up and down the street can serve as quite unwanted distractions. Whether a work day consists of writing, making calls, or engaging in virtual meetings, unwanted background noise clutters the brain and hinders productivity. When it comes to reducing noise in a space, there are a few quick design adjustments you can make! A preferred method to reduce unwanted noise is installing acoustic ceiling panels. Acoustic panels have sound absorption properties that will reduce overall noise. Installing these panels on the ceiling will work in tandem with the floor and wall coverings to bring overall noise level down. Another method is to “soften” the surfaces of the room, as sound bounces less easily off of soft surfaces such as carpet and plush furniture. A white noise system is another option that is perhaps the most easily introduced, since you can simply purchase a white noise machine or download an app.
COVID-19 has undoubtedly presented us with sets of new challenges. As we all navigate this new sense of normalcy together, there are interior design steps that can be taken to maximize work from home productivity. By identifying spaces with natural light, creating physical distinctions of space through sliding pocket doors, monitoring noise with acoustic ceiling panels, and utilizing color and a white solid surface, we can make working from home just as productive as the real deal!
Mandy Lee is a contributor to Innovative Construction Materials. She is a blogger and content writer for the building materials industry. Mandy is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that increase property value, maximize energy savings, and turn houses into homes.