Whether your office is in your home or in an office building, creating an aesthetic in your office that fosters productivity is crucial to your mood and to the quality of work you produce when you’re there.
More than any other room in your life, your office space should be about balance, so you don’t end up with an office that’s dreary and unstimulating or a space that’s distracting and mentally taxing to work in.
With this in mind, here are 5 tips to create a balanced office space that nurtures your productivity.
Use harmonizing colors.
Numerous studies have shown that colors have a profound effect on our mood, which is why color is so important to the atmosphere of any space.
When deciding the color scheme of your office space, you can’t go wrong with warm neutral colors like beiges, maroons and browns, that nurture an inviting, comfortable ambience without distracting from your work.
Sometimes this color scheme can feel a little dark, especially if the room doesn’t have a lot of natural light, which is why many choose a white and light grey color scheme to brighten things up instead.
However, this scheme can often make the room feel cold and harsh, so it’s a good idea to liven things up with pops of color here and there – a piece of art on your wall, or a forest green rug on the floor, for example.
Avoid colors that grab the eye, such as orange, bright pink or lime green (at least in the area that’s visible from your desk).
Canvas the space behind your office chair.
Though anyone with an eye for design knows that hanging art canvases behind the sofa in the living room is interior design gospel, many don’t apply this rule to the office.
Yet, hanging art in your office – particularly art that has an intellectual leaning – can make the space a more inspirational place to be, lifting your mood as you come into the room so that you’re more prepared mentally to get to work.
The space behind your office chair is perfect as, not only does it make aesthetic sense, it means that while you’re working the art isn’t in your eye line, so you won’t have the drawback of being distracted by it.
Install a few plants in the space.
There’s nothing that can instantly make a space feel more personable, warm and alivethan bringing a bit of nature indoors.
Houseplants come in all shapes, sizes and colors, whether you prefer luscious green palms, tiny accentuating succulents, or red-leaved plant varieties, you’ll be able to find a plant to complement the aesthetic of your office space.
More than being an aesthetic device, studies have shown that having plants in the space where you work can contribute to reduced anxiety, feelings of depression and can even reduce fatigue.
Mental health isn’t the only cognitive benefit that plants provide, as plants oxygenate the spaces they inhabit; rooms with higher oxygen levels have been shown to improve our problem solving capability, our visuospatial cognition and even our memory, which will help you to accomplish work of the highest quality in your office space.
Add a few personal touches.
A few personal mementos will make your office space feel more yours and can help to keep you motivated and inspired – it’s handy to be able to turn and look at a photograph of your family or loved ones and remind yourself why you’re working so hard.
Alternatively, sentimental objects – maybe a seashell you collected on a particularly great holiday, a piece of signed sports memorabilia from your favorite sports team, or a canvas that reminds you of an unforgettable city break – can add to the aesthetic interest of a space, while allowing you to relive a particularly meaningful memory, which can really help out on a bad working day.
While it’s important to ensure your office space isn’t completely devoid of character, it’s just as important to make sure you’re not overloading the space.
A family photograph here, a houseplant there and an artwork or two on your wall isn’t going to distract too much from your productivity – as long as they aren’t all crowded together, directly in your eyeline from where you sit at your desk – but overloading the space with stuffwill detract, rather than add to the comfort of your home office.
In contrast, you’re likely to become drained more quickly as you fend off the distractions, and become more stressed if you have less space. After all, a cluttered space makes for a cluttered mind.
This goes beyond the elements of design. Many people use their offices as overflow storage, or leave files and papers unorganized all over the place, but this is the number one thing that you should avoid when cultivating your office space. By giving yourself the gift of space, you create space in your mind for your creativity to flow.