Divine Events head stylist Rebekah Cartwright share her top tips for creating a productive work space at home.
The current situation around the world has had a substantial effect on us all. Beyond the restrictions on travel, events and outings, many of us are now working from home, trying to keep up to our usual pace and productivity while also battling with the feeling of cabin-fever that can come from social distancing and self-isolation.
Our visual environment has a great subconscious psychological effect on our mood, concentration and productivity. Spending an extended period of time within a space that is bland or lifeless can leave us feeling drained, uninspired and lazy. Whereby a space that is too visually noisy or disorderly can leave us feeling edgy and uncomfortable.
In order to perform at our best, it is important we are feeling calm, comfortable and focussed in our surroundings, so we have put together some quick tips to think about when setting up for working from home.
Create a separate work space
As appealing as working from our warm and cosy beds or comfy couches might sound, this is not ideal in maintaining a difference between our work, rest and leisure lives.
Without the physical distinction between coming into our offices for work and then leaving to be in our homes for rest, we are at risk of not being able to distinguish these areas. Thus resulting in lower productivity in our work and a lesser feeling of relaxation and decompression in our personal lives.
For this reason it is important to create a ‘work space’ within your home. Somewhere you can set up to work from throughout the day, leave once you have finished, and then return again the following morning.
Some of us may not have the luxury of having an office space or spare bedroom within our homes, leaving us to set up on the dining table or kitchen bench. If this is the case for you, then before you start your day be sure to clear away any non-work items and pack away your work items at the end of the day.
Comfort is key
No matter how comfortable your dining chairs or kitchen stools may be, they have not been ergonomically designed to sit in for eight hours a day, which could lead to problems from short-term discomfort to long-term physicality issues.
Setting yourself up with a comfortable, stable office chair is one of the first things you will need to do if planning to work from home. Set your space up as you have done at your office desk by ensuring you have enough leg room, your screen is set at eye level and you have enough space within your arms reach for typing, writing notes and stretching.
Too much clutter, visually and physically, will create a tense, trapped feeling. While we are all for accessories and decoration, too much can be overkill. So keep any non-essential items to a minimal in your workspace.
Poor lighting is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to maintaining peace of mind. Beyond the physical affects, this can cause for eye strain and headaches, poor lighting can subconsciously cause us irritability and uneasiness.
Lighting with cooler, blue tones is more likely to cause irritability than warmer, amber-toned lighting. Likewise lighting that is too harsh or placed somewhere that will reflect off or cast shadows on your screen is also going to have a negative effect.
Should any of the above be the case for you in your home work space then consider sitting a table lamp with a warm toned light bulb on your desk to counteract the poor lighting. Or try setting up your desk near a window to allow plenty of natural light in.
Be amongst nature where possible
With the current social distancing guidelines, many of us are feeling cooped up within our homes and the idea of travelling to come to the office is even beginning to sound like a holiday.
Where possible, set your work space up near or in view of an open window or door to lessen the sense of being ‘trapped’ inside. Setting up plants or flowers on or near your home work space can also help instill a sense of nature, as well as have great benefits to the air quality in the room.
Colour, pattern and texture
Neutral colours and tones such as black, white and natural timbers are a great base colour for a workspace. However these can be stark and bland by themselves.
Pairing these with softer, more natural colours such as greens, light blues and terracotta will create a calmer vibe to your space. Whereas, bolder colours such as bright reds, hot pinks and yellows can create a visually shocking effect and should be used with reserve as feature colours only.
Being amongst too much bright, contrasting colour for an extended time can leave you feeling nervy and distracted.
The psychological effects of colour, pattern and texture do vary from person to person pending preferences and taste. So when setting up your work space take time to think about what your favourite colours are and the effect that they have within you.
The expert team of stylists at Divine Events can suggest and discuss ways in which you can create your perfect working from home environment. Get in touch with any further queries you may have regarding at home or event styling.