Hi guys, for Biz Friday today I thought it’s about time we focused on your actual work space! If you’re sitting in your home office now, take a look around. Is it making you happy, inspired, motivated and generally ready to get to work?
The best thing for me about working from home isn’t the commute (downstairs, sorted), or even having the M’s to keep me company, although obviously those are massive perks! I really love the studio space itself, and most importantly it’s made me tons more productive than I ever could have been in an office. I know it sounds a bit diva-ish but I just can’t get inspired or motivated in a dull grey corporate environment. At home I’m happier, I work longer, harder and I don’t count the hours.
It’s not just me either, apparently 87% of us feel more productive working from our own dedicated workspace at home. I’ve worked full-time from my home studio for the past five years, and in that time the business has grown beyond all recognition. I can’t imagine ever going back to an office. Not only that, but I’ve also moved all the team in here too! Most days there are four or five of us working full time from the studio, so the space really needs to work for all of us as well as looking amazing. I think it’s incredibly important to make your space work for you, and I recently teamed up with Samsung to make a home office style guide, a series of tips, advice and inspiration to transform your home offices into zen-like work stations.
Here are my top 10 tips for an office that’ll inspire you to get up and at it! Oh and if you like these be sure to check out my Pinterest board where I’ve pinned some of the most fabulous home offices ever.
1. Curves are cool
First up, ditch ugly tech! Either make it beautiful, or hide it away. The printer lives in the cupboard which drives G mad, but it’s better than the days when it was hidden away two floors above the studio! Of course some tech is beautiful enough to be on display. I’ve been using Samsung’s curved monitor – it’s not only aesthetically more appealing, but the curved screen wraps you up in the world you are working in, making it feel totally immersive. Obviously my job is incredibly visual so I like a big screen for designing products, creating moodboards and going through our latest photography.
2. Show your office as much love as your living room
If you’re working from home there’s no need to recreate a sterile, corporate environment. Decorate your office space like the rest of your home with paintings, flowers, rugs, cosy armchairs etc. My office has to be as cool and inviting as my living room in order to make me feel happy, get inspired and be my most productive.
3. Choose a colour you love
Personalise your home office by painting it a colour that you really love. No surprise that I’ve plumped for inky, dark hues.For me nothing beats dark hues for creating a sophisticated and calming vibe. In fact I’ve gone more extreme in my studio than anywhere else in the house, here it’s all painted out in Hudson Black. But equally you could go bright and cheery, I actually love this red study space. Whatever inspires!
4. Use the power of scent
Every room needs scent to complete it. In my studio I either go for the magical Mad et Len candles, or combine different essential oils for my oil burner. I like how I can mix and match these depending on my mood. For example peppermint is like a double shot of espresso – enlivening and motivating! And rosemary has been credited with promoting clear thinking and even improving memory.
5. Get the lighting right
You guys know I love to have oodles of lamps, and sitting here at my desk there are four! It’s important to always have a desk lamp or two (or three or four) to cut down on eyestrain and headaches. You should also position your screen to avoid glare too.
Comfortable little nooks and multiple zones are super important for home offices. No one likes to be sat at the desk all day, so have a separate space where you can take calls, read through something, or just hang out and take five. No matter how small your space – even if this just a comfy chair in the corner, it does wonders to get away from your desk for a bit!
7. Cut out the clutter
Keep your office space tidy. Shut away the ugly stuff (like the banished printer), and try to keep clutter, cables and wires to a minimum. This is a constant sticking point between me and G, because he is NOT naturally tidy! That’s why we added the fab faux ponyskin cupboards in my studio. I can shut the doors on all his files, mess, printer, scanner etc. Much better!
8. Add some greenery
Plants, foliage and flowers are a must, whether real or faux. I’ve gone the whole hog with our massive tropical-looking botanicals, but even a single bloom will instantly perk you up and add a bit of soul to your space. Promise!
9. Use tactile textures
Textures are super important in all areas of the home, but they’re oft neglected in home offices. Makes no sense to me, as if you’re a home worker this is probably where you’re going to spend most of your time. So create an anti-office effect with tons of inviting textures – I’m talking rugs, fluffy cushions, sheepskins and tactile materials that make you want to settle in for the day.
10. Get motivated
Being self-employed or working from home is tough, no kidding, and sometimes it can be hard to keep on track. Pop up some motivational artwork on your walls to inspire you whenever the going gets tough. I’ve got Superman for my bizspiration. When I’m having one of my many conundrums or 12 hour working days, I glance across at him and remember to never give up!