Many women who come to see me dream of running their own business from a beautiful office that’s bright, airy and spacious with a calm, zen-like atmosphere. Unfortunately, the reality is that – for now anyway – they’ve got to work from an office that doubles up as a guest bedroom/kitchen table/general dumping ground.
Your working environment can affect your motivation and productivity, so even if you can’t work from your dream office (yet), it’s still important to make your space an inspiring place to work in.
Here are a few tips to help improve your home office…
Eye strain isn’t going to help when you’re trying to work so make sure you have plenty of light. Avoid harsh overhead lighting, though, as this can make you feel irritable (well, it does me!). Desk lamps do a great job – and if you like a pop of colour you can buy a brightly-coloured one to cheer things up.
Say it with flowers
There’s just something so uplifting about having flowers on your desk – the colour, the scent, I just love them. Also, the benefits of having fresh plants indoors to the air that you breathe will help keep you focussed. If you can’t afford fresh flowers every week, opt for something like an orchid – just don’t forget to water it!
A cluttered office can make you feel stressed and overwhelmed. When you’ve got a desk creaking with paperwork and drawers bulging with box files, it’s easy to feel like work is getting on top of you. Have a blitz on your office, tidying things away into colourful files or vintage boxes – whatever fits in with your style and decor. Clear some space and you’ll clear your headspace, too!
Dip into colour
Who said office walls have to be white? According to colour research, as well as energy management, colours can have a great effect on our general wellbeing:
Blue affects the mind and communication, from light blue inducing a calming effect and stronger, deeper blues helping to boost communication, especially verbal, so a great colour to have around your telephone or laptop if you undertake video calls.
Red affects the body and in particular feelings of security, stability and power, so a great colour to wear to important meetings where you need to feel confident and in control of yourself and/or the content you’re delivering. However, it can also increase appetite, which is why certain fast-food chains use it in their branding, so unless you want to be constantly snacking at your desk, perhaps keep this to small injections of colour around your work environment!
Green is a great balancer and pale shades in particular can bring a sense of harmony, so you will often these being used in therapy rooms.
Yellow is the colour for self-esteem and to induce feelings of happiness so is perfect for surrounding yourself with, from fresh blooms to post-it notes stuck to your screen containing those positive affirmations!
If you’re unsure at first about which colours to use or how, experiment by using small items such as cushions, desk accessories, flowers or pictures to inject highlights of the colours around you. You could event paint one wall and see how it makes you feel before embarking on the rest!
Don’t forget the fun factor
I have a client who has a Bagpuss, the cartoon pink-and-white striped cat she remembers from her childhood, on her office desk. ‘It just makes me smile when I see it,’ she says. ‘When I’m feeling stressed it reminds me not to take things too seriously, and that everything will turn out OK in the end.’
An office doesn’t have to be all box files and staplers. Add in some personal touches like one of your child’s paintings or family photos to make your space feel warm and welcoming. This is also a good way to remind you that there’s life outside work and to maintain a good work-life balance.
I hope these tips have been helpful. I can’t promise you a dream office, but if you have aspirations to change your life, set up a business, become your own boss or any other dream to empower your life, just drop me an email. I offer a free telephone consultation so we can see if we’d be a good fit to work together to achieve your goals. I’m at email@example.com
Great article Katie! I really need to give my office a Makeover. Its very dull!
Thanks Mikaela, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the article and would love to hear how you plan to jazz your office up! I had a bunch of daffodils for a few weeks around Easter :o)