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Top 10 Ways to Freshen Up Your Home Office and Keep Your New Year Momentum Rolling

Posted by Jennifer Colwell on

I'm going to date myself for a hot minute, and I don't mean that kind of date…lol. I remember growing up when the very few people I knew who had an office in their home were lawyers or executives of large companies. They lived in big houses and were "very important people." Fast forward 30+ years, and almost everyone has a home office or two! Remote work was already on the rise pre-COVID, and the rest of the story is that hardly anyone has "gone back" to their corporate office 100% of the time. We have a hybrid environment, meaning two offices to maintain. And unfortunately, I don't know about yours, but my home office doesn't come with a nightly cleaning service! Nonetheless, I spend a ton of time there, and I recognize it's important to enjoy working in my space no matter where I am.

Work From Home Office Space

So first, let's recognize that the "temporary working from home" situation that started nearly three years ago is beyond temporary. If you are still working in a "temporary" home office, it's time to give it a little love!

Design and Color

Aesthetics play into productivity more than you may think. A well-designed home office can reduce distractions and increase focus, making you more efficient and effective in completing tasks. Studies have shown that certain colors can impact mood and cognitive function, which can, in turn, affect productivity. For example, blue is often associated with feelings of calm and concentration. Green is thought to promote feelings of balance and tranquility, and yellow is believed to stimulate the mind and increase creativity.

Color for Productivity

However, it's important to note that the impact of color on productivity can vary depending on personal preferences and the specific task at hand. Additionally, color is not the only factor that determines productivity in an office; factors such as lighting, ergonomics, and layout are also important.

Lighting

Lighting is huge for a home office. Some of you may have a fabulous home office with tons of natural light that feels like an extension of your home where you want to spend time. Others of you may have gotten shoved into a spare bedroom or walk-in closet during COVID after you realized you would eventually need to eat at your kitchen table again. There is likely poor lighting and somewhat of a feeling of jail when you're "at work." Let me tell you, there are better situations than this.

It can lead to resentment of your job, COVID, and how you or your family or friends have suffered. This can be a very negative perpetuating effect on your entire life. All because you're working out of the basement. I'm not kidding! Listen, we all know we spend more time "at work" than with our family members, so you genuinely have got to love where you live and work, and you are blessed if it's all the same place! If you can't improve the natural lighting in a space, consider updating the lightbulbs to a higher lumen or adding a desk lamp.

Wall and Paint Color

Also related to lighting, which may be the most significant factor, is the wall color. Are you in a dark room or a light room? Even if it's light-colored paint, you may be surprised when you hold white next to it and see how dark it is. I'm not saying to paint your space white. Still, even 50% lighter of the same wall color in the room will be almost indiscernible to a guest, but it will make the room feel so much fresher and larger.

Furniture

What color is your furniture? Is it big and heavy or light and airy? Or are you still working from the temporary card table you set up three years ago? Just things to consider here! How's your chair? Oh my gosh, let's talk chairs for a hot minute. These can be deal breakers. The average office chair is around $1000. It goes up, down, and around, has extra back support, the arms move up ad down, etc. Do you have the same quality chair in your home office?

Ergonomics

Additionally, a comfortable and ergonomic setup can help reduce physical discomfort and fatigue, leading to increased productivity and motivation. Corporate America spends millions of dollars annually ensuring that desks, keyboards, chairs, phones, and monitors are ergonomically correct in "the office." Still, only a few have addressed these issues in a home office environment. It still matters. Ergonomics are real.

Choosing the Correct Desk Setup

I started noticing wrist pain a couple of months after working from home. I quickly realized it was my half-hazard makeshift stand-up desk causing the issues. While my stand-up desk off the edge of the house bar may have benefited my health at some level, my wrists begged to differ. I made some minor tweaks in height adjustment, added a wrist resting pad, and changed out my mouse, and it was like magic - everything was better again. If your back and neck hurt and you don't know why perhaps look at your chair and ergonomics. There is likely room for improvement!

Keeping Your Space Fun!

And then let's talk fun stuff. The little things you look at daily make you happy, such as a fresh notepad, a nice pad, colored post-its, and other fun organizational and decorative items. My former company was terrific and gave everyone a home office stipend that was not anything to sneeze at to help cover their internet and home office expenses that otherwise they would have been used to "shopping for" in the supply room. We're talking paperclip holders, a new mouse pad, new file folders, etc.

Custom Business Card Holder

And my favorite accessory is, of course, a custom Little Envy box that can double as a business card holder and/or pen holder. Add on a monthly or quarterly subscription faux floral decor kits to add the perfect pop of color to your space. Little Envy boxes make a wonderful gift with many years of use ahead.

 

In conclusion, a fresh and organized home office can make all the difference in staying motivated and productive throughout the year. By incorporating a few simple changes such as utilizing natural light, rethinking your color palate, and incorporating personalized decor, you can create a space that inspires and rejuvenates. Additionally, incorporating a designated work schedule and taking breaks to move your body can also boost your energy and focus. Remember, small changes can lead to big results, so don't be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you. 

CEO and Founder Jennifer Lea

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