Whether you have been working remotely for a while or the Coronavirus pandemic has forced you to set up office in your own four walls, working from home gives us the opportunity to tailor our space to our exact needs. As well as the added benefit of saving hours of commuting time and being able to work in your PJs on those inevitable ‘lazy days’, you can also design your home office exactly how you want it!
However, while it is exciting to fill your desk with as many pot plants as it can fit or to make a collage of your favourite Instagram snaps, you’ll also want to ensure your home office equipment is up to scratch. From a solid and fast broadband connection to an ergonomic and comfortable set-up, your home office should encourage focus and productivity. Here, we share our top tips to increase motivation and bring out your best efforts!
Establish An Ambience
Calm tones on your home office walls – such as blues and greys – are great for concentration, but bursts of brightness inspire creativity. Add a statement wall in a bold shade, or use Artfinder.com to discover and support independent artists from all over the world.
You can continue the colour themes through cushions and throws on your chair, right down to the floor coverings: a thick pile rug does wonders for chilly feet on winter mornings!
Finally, don’t forget a houseplant or two… not only do they bring life to a home office, but they also improve air quality by removing toxins found in plastics and household cleaners. Rubber plants, English Ivy, Chrysanthemums, Spider Plants and Aloe Vera are some of the best to share your oxygen with.
If you’ve created a home office that is worth hauling yourself out of bed for but your Internet isn’t up to speed, then you won’t be achieving much. There is nothing more frustrating and demotivating than waiting for those pages to load while you’re hot-spotting of your mobile phone! Here are a few tips to ensure you’re getting the best connection:
- Check your broadband speed using a free online speed test. If it’s slower than expected, contact your ISP. There may be a technical issue, or they might be able to offer you an upgrade.
- A signal booster is an inexpensive way to significantly enhance your Wi-Fi speed in areas where the signal is weak.
- Using a network cable connected directly to your router can offer a quicker and more stable connection than Wi-Fi. If your router is too far away, a powerline adapter kit is an easy way to create a wired network by using your electrical circuit.
- Who else uses your Wi-Fi connection? If multiple people in your home are downloading or streaming via the same source, it might result in a slower connection while you’re trying to get stuff done. Can you stagger who uses it during working hours?
- If all else fails, a second line and your own dedicated broadband service could give you uninterrupted Wi-Fi. If you’d rather not get another phone line, try 4G or 5G mobile broadband if your signal is strong enough. Both Vodafone and Three do unlimited mobile broadband packages at a fixed monthly cost.
For some, stationery is purely functional. For others – ourselves included – it’s a thing of beauty. If you’re missing your usual trip to the office stationary cupboard, then check out these stylish House of Hackney notebooks or the quirky pens and accessories from Present & Correct that will add to your home office flair!
Smart storage is another key element for an efficient home office. Fit interesting-looking shelves to keep books and files tidy, and seek out a stylish desk organiser so everything you need is easily to hand.
Having a theme to your objects can bring the overall look together. Wooden sets invite warmth into a room, or you could try shades that contrast with your walls for added vibrancy.
Tech That Does The Trick
Aesthetics and Internet connection sorted, you’ll also need efficient tech. To enhance your home office experience, choose intelligent accessories that help you get the job done.
- If you’re a fan of a less static set-up, a wireless mouse and keyboard combo is perfect for versatility. Logitech has some great options, offering ergonomic wrist and palm rests that let you work for longer without pain. Or you could seek out something colourful that complements your décor!
- A big screen saves you from sore eyes: Dell’s flicker-free and anti-glare monitors come with Comfort View, which minimises blue light.
- Installing a smart speaker gives you voice control over music, news and information so you don’t have to interrupt your keyboard finger-flow. Check out the Sonos One: it fits neatly on small desks, has excellent sound quality and comes with Alexa and Google Assistant.
If you use a tablet while you’re working, then a stand is a must – the more flexible the better. The Lamicall Gooseneck holder attaches to desks or shelves and can be angled in any direction.
Need more home office inspiration? Then check out our gallery of cool and creative work spaces!