There are two kinds of workaholic – The overworked employee, and the entrepreneur. No matter which category you fall under, chances are one part of your house is going to double up as a designated – usually messy – work area. It can be as small as a shelf space or takes up an entire room. Your partner may not necessarily agree with you, but you can’t help but find some joy in the necessity of work. You are the workaholic, and proud of it!
Productivity is our primary concern in this article. Below are the four primary factors to consider when designing a home-office.
Choice of illumination has a significant impact on the brain’s ability to process information. An optimal lighting depends on the type of work you are doing but ideally requires a balance of both indirect and direct light sources. Fluorescents are great for illuminating the whole room, but halogen bulbs are better for detail work. You also have to take into account glare from the computer screen and where your shadow is casted.
Colours can profoundly impact productivity, for better and for worse. Hues of red or orange can help to spark creativity but too much of red may instead invoke high levels of stress. Consider a reddish palette in areas where you spend time thinking, like the balcony or the bathroom. Yellow is great for raising self-esteem, bringing cheer and triggering innovation. It is best used in areas of the home where you will be letting you mind run free. Blue is generally known for its calming effect. Perhaps the bedroom would be a good place to take your mind off work right to prepare you for a good night’s rest? As for the work place itself, I suggest a colour that’s neutral to the eyes. Plants and greens in the work area have been proven to increase productivity.
The joy of working from home is that you are not subjected to work from the confines of a cubicle. You have a choice of working for a large desk, on a beanbag or even in bed keying away on the laptop with a tray table. Think about the best place in your home to designate as work space. Not only should you think about how much space you need, but whether or not the space has access to WIFI connection and power supply, and away from noise.
Chill Out Corner
The downside of a home-office is that it’s hard to draw distinction between work and home. No matter how understanding (or tolerant) your partner may be, a certain level of work-life balance needs to happen before you get burnt out. Your home needs to have a place where you can disconnect. This place needs to have a stark contrast with the rest of your work areas. Maybe have a mini wine chiller where you can reward yourself with a glass or two or three after you’re done with work.
If the Workaholic is not quite you, check out the rest of our Personality Series to find something a little closer to home.