Give Your Remote Office Space a Boost!
Your office location is important no matter where you are working from. Chances are, if you aren’t enjoying your space, you won’t want to work in it. This lowers your drive to get things done and can seriously affect your mood. Here are some things to consider when choosing or updating your remote office space.
Light is an element that alter your work levels drastically. When lights are dim while you are working, it throws your body out of whack. It knows that it is supposed to be awake and alert, but the lack of light signals to your brain that it is supposed to rest. This internal conflict of alert vs. resting state results in lower productivity because not only are the lights low (nap time, anyone?) but your body is focused on staying awake in an abnormal surrounding instead of focusing on the tasks at hand. This battling confusion can also affect your attitude, causing unexpected mood swings. Yikes!
You can avoid this situation in several ways. If you’re working remotely, you may be able to work outside. Find a quiet park, outdoor café, or patio table to work at, even just for an hour or two. If you must be indoors, choose an office space with windows to provide plenty of natural light. In offices that do not have windows, make sure there are plenty of light sources to keep your office bright and your spirits up.
Color can have subconscious effects on your mood as well. Colors evoke different moods and thought processes. This site is a great resource for learning and understanding color theory and how it can relate to your office. Angela Wright is a psychologist/color theorist with over 30 years experience on how color affects us, so you can trust her advice found in that post. What it essentially comes down to is that your office palette will influence how you work and how others in your area feel. If your work involves creativity and energy, bright and saturated colors are ideal. If your work requires calm and focus, cool and muted tones better suit your work. A great point this article makes is that colors are rarely alone, so feel free to mix up your palette to incorporate different moods into your daily routine. A muted yellow, for example, could subtly promote a more creative outlook into a more serious and rigid work day.
Office customization is another way to improve your work space. Think about your workflow, then set up your desk and accompanying work space to fit that. How much work is done on a computer versus paper? How much shelving and/or storage do you need? Is there enough space for all of your work necessities? Figure out what is most essential to your work day, and make sure your office is accommodating to that and excites you. Being in a place that excites you translates to an enthusiasm for what you are doing in the space, in this case, your work. Consider unique (but still practical) furniture arrangements to create a walkway that strays from the mundane. Your furniture doesn’t have to all be against a wall! Make your space a dynamic environment with art, desk trinkets, or pictures. If possible, enhance your space with audio, whether it be music, your favorite podcast, or nature sounds.
Another way to customize your space is with plants. There are a ton of reasons to bring nature indoors such as improved mental clarity, higher air quality, and increased creativity. This all leads to higher productivity, and getting more done is always our end-goal. Plants are also easily customizable, from plant type, color, smell, and size. This allows you to easily (or not!) move your indoor plants around to best suit your mood.
Your end result should inspire you and reflect who you are professionally and personally. With these factors in mind, you can conquer the working world in your ideal working environment!