How To Give Your Home Office A Makeover

Whether you work from home or are back in the office, getting a little bored with your current setup is normal. You see the same bare walls or mainstream artwork every day, and rather than boost your productivity, it makes you feel uninspired. Since working from home has become a more standardized norm, it's important to ensure you're productive and comfortable throughout the work week. Dexterous Organizing recommends rethinking the home office in a way that makes it more than a place you sit down to write some bills.

You need to turn it into a productive space where you can focus with minor distractions. Thankfully, there are a ton of ways you can give your home office a makeover without breaking your budget. For the most part, it simply requires a change of scenery or some new decor to look at. But the first thing you want to do is clear away the stuff you don't need by doing a major declutter of your workspace. This will help you see what else you can do to spice things up so you can do your best work in an efficient environment.

Declutter your space

One of the first things you should do if you want to give your home office a refresh is to declutter the space. You may not realize how much clutter ends up in your office, and if you don't actively work to clear it away, your productivity will suffer. According to Order Your Life, a clear workspace gives you fewer distractions, better focus, improved productivity, and peace of mind. Not to mention that if you share an office with someone, keeping it clutter-free shows respect.

You can declutter your office in one fell swoop or do it in chunks, five minutes at a time. Either way, the first thing you want to do is clear out every drawer, cabinet, and supply shelf. Then pile like items together and see what you have. This helps you take inventory of what you have too much of, what you need more of, and what you don't need at all. Make it a regular occurrence to declutter your office every few months. This way, you stay on top of clutter and keep a consistently clean workspace.

Add some pops of color

Adding a few pops of color to your workspace can improve your focus and productivity. This is because certain colors tap into a part of your brain that increases your ability to do solid work. Think about your favorite color and why you love it so much. Does it make you happy? Does it look good on you? These are influential factors to consider when picking colors for your office. Author and productivity expert Chris Bailey comments on this phenomenon by writing that colors affect different aspects of our personalities. He goes on to say that combining colors can impact more than one part of our brains, like our emotions and mind.

If you've been looking for a way to bring more color into your workspace, you're not without options. One way to refresh your office is by adding a fresh coat of paint. If possible, try a different color than the previous one. Buy some swatches and test out different shades. If you're looking for a calming color, greens are your best bet. Reds increase productivity, and yellow is ideal for creative thinking. If you can't paint the walls, bring those colors in using decorations. Plants, for example, or artwork that displays these colors are great alternatives to paint.

Move your desk around

Sometimes all you need to do to give your office a makeover is to shift things around. And we're not just talking about the decor. We mean moving your actual furniture. The main thing you should focus on moving is your desk. Once you have your desk in place, it'll be easier to set the rest up. Get experimental and try it in another corner or near a window. You can even put it in the middle of the room. You'll be surprised how a simple change of scenery can amplify your productivity.

Desk placement in offices is a major factor in the design, as stated by Plank & Pillow. You want to consider a few things when finding the best spot for your desk. You'll want to think about the view itself. Are you easily distracted? Then you may not want to put it facing a window you can look out of. Turn it so you still get natural light but aren't distracted by outside traffic. Desk size is another factor; you want to ensure you have plenty of room to get around it. Your goal when experimenting with desk placement is to try different sections. You never know what setup will ignite your creativity and improve your workflow.

Refresh your decor

Giving your home office a makeover doesn't always have to include moving furniture around. You can simply refresh it by switching your current decor for new things. If you've had the same decorations in your office for a while now, it may bore you looking at them. That's why bringing in new stuff might just be enough to reignite your productivity by giving you something new and exciting to draw inspiration from. And you don't need to go out and buy new things. See what you have in your home and swap them out.

You should style your home office in a way that suits your needs. The decor you choose is no different. You don't need to crowd your walls with artwork. Two of them, side by side, can be enough to spark creativity. Extra Office suggests focusing on what kind of mood you want to evoke with your art, picking colors that can elicit certain emotions (whether that's productivity, calm, or ambition,) and scaling the dimensions with the furniture in the room. You can also bring personal touches like kids' artwork, handmade ceramics, and more.

Upgrade or change your lighting

The type of lighting you use in your office can significantly impact your productivity. Harsh lighting can drain your energy faster, while soft lighting can make you feel sleepy. You need to find a delicate balance that works for you. Thankfully, natural light is one of the best kinds of lighting for productivity. If possible, try to get as much of that as you can. But if you're unable to, you'll want to experiment with different bulbs to see what keeps you productive the most.

According to Home Office Lovin', you want to choose lighting that serves the purpose you need it to do. For example, some might work better with soft lighting, while others need brighter bulbs to work their best. Essentially, you have four types of bulbs to choose from. You can pick halogen bulbs, LEDs, fluorescent, or incandescent. You'll then need to decide on bulb color and whether you prefer dimmers. Finding the best lighting for your office will require trial and error, but once you find that ideal balance, you'll be able to increase your productivity and see what you're working on.

Switch out your desk chair

We mentioned earlier that one way to refresh your home office is to move your desk around. If you like your desk where it is, but still need to give the space a little makeover, upgrading or replacing your chair might be a good idea. This is especially important to consider if you find your back sore after sitting for long periods of time. Chances are you know what ergonomic chairs are. You also probably know that there are many different styles to choose from, and that can make finding a new desk chair overwhelming.

When looking for an ergonomic chair, Spine-health recommends focusing on lumbar support, backrest, armrests, and amount of padding. Each of us has different preferences when it comes to elongated sitting comfort, so testing out several options is your best bet to find one that suits your needs. By simply switching out your current desk chair for a new one, you may find yourself more comfortable, which is a key ingredient to being more productive.

Organize your office supplies

If you want to give your home office a true makeover, you must focus on organization. Organization is vital for a solid work environment, so getting your supplies in order is important. The good news is office organization can be quite simple yet effective. What you want to focus on is keeping daily essentials within reach. Everything else can be stored away. You can use drawer organizers for small supplies like pens, paper clips, and sticky notes. 

Dexterous Organizing claims that two major benefits of being organized are a decrease in stress and an increase in productivity. If you're aiming to refresh your office to affect your productivity, getting organized is essential and should be one of the first things you do. To keep things tidy, you can transfer clutter to a rolling cart you can hide in a closet, add floating shelves with storage bins or filing boxes, and build a bulletin board to capture those random but needed papers you don't quite know where to put.

Bring in natural elements

Earlier, we talked about how color sparks different parts of the brain, and now we're going to tell you about another feature that can affect your office's mood. And that's incorporating natural elements into the furniture or decor you choose. Plants, wood-based desks, and bamboo baskets give your office an outdoorsy vibe. They help you feel like you're not cooped up inside all day long. They also increase your natural workflow and spark creativity.

Plants, in general, do more than just boost productivity. According to GoGet, plants increase the air quality of a room by removing carbon dioxide and releasing pure oxygen. This can benefit your office greatly during the weeks when you keep your windows closed, like the winter or summer months. And they're perfect for office buildings where you're unable to open the windows. If plants aren't your thing but want to bring in more natural elements, consider buying furniture made from actual wood or using bamboo in your decor. Even a slight touch of nature in your office can transform it.

Set the mood with aromatherapy

Let's look at another quick and effective refresh you can do to an office. Aromatherapy is a great alternative for increasing productivity and sparking creative thinking. Scents, like colors, affect different parts of our brains. According to Entrepreneur, smell is the strongest sense, so adding aromatherapy to your office is practically a straightforward decision. The most common way to bring scent into your office is to light a candle. But if you work in an office building, you may not be allowed to do so. That's where essential oils come into play.

Setting up a small diffuser on your desk and adding a few drops of your favorite scent can make all the difference. The best part is you can adjust the aromas daily or weekly. Want to feel like you're outside while cooped up inside? Pine-scented candles or oils can give you that outdoorsy feel. You can burn or diffuse seasonal scents or use one dedicated scent that boosts your productivity. Feel free to experiment until you find the few scents that work best for you.

Improve your filing system

We mentioned how an organized office is essential for keeping your workflow running smoothly. That's why one thing you'll want to focus on when giving your office a makeover is improving your filing system. No one enjoys dealing with paperwork, but it must be done, so why not have an easy method? This refresh requires you to see if the way you file paperwork is currently working. If it's not, there are many ways you can adjust to make it simpler and more efficient.

One of the best ways to improve your filing system is to use labels if you aren't already. Labeling is one of the central aspects of organizing, and as Dexterous Organizing writes, there is a science to it. Your goal when labeling something is to ensure it's easy for you to find months from now as it is in the present. That's why, while you can get experimental with labels to make them more fun, it's still important to keep their titles basic. You can also rename files if need be, so don't think you're stuck with the name you give it forever. 

Add personal touches to your space

Too often, we think our offices need to be these sterile, lifeless environments because it's the only way we'll get work done. But the truth is we need stimuli to keep our creative brains working and our productivity up. You can do this by adding personal flare to your office decor outside of general, mainstream artwork. Don't be afraid to add personal touches to your office, whether at home or in a building. These minor items can greatly improve your workflow.

The good news is personalizing your space doesn't mean you're unprofessional. According to Simple Home Simple Life, it's about finding a balance between personal and professional. You can do this by adding a few photos of your family or artwork made by your kids. If you're creative and dabble in crafts or pottery, bring in some of your stuff. These handmade and memorable pieces not only show off your personality but can also boost your productivity when you're feeling sluggish. Sometimes a gentle reminder of the beautiful things we can create spark us to do more.

Embrace negative and open space

Earlier we talked about decluttering your workspace and how it's the first thing you should focus on when giving your office a makeover. It's important to consider that when decluttering, you don't have to replace what you're getting rid of with new stuff. In fact, embracing negative and open space in your office can increase productivity just as well as if you brought in new decor or furniture. That's why it's important to consider what you really need to do your best work when planning out your new setup.

KonMari recommends finding a balance between productivity and joy. She suggests removing all unrelated work items from your desk. This eliminates distractions and keeps only the essentials within reach. You are most productive when all you need to focus on is the work in front of you, so learning to embrace negative space is helpful. Your home office doesn't need to be filled with stuff. But it also doesn't need to be bare and boring. You need to find that perfect balance, and when you do, your productivity will spike, and work will feel easier than ever.