Having a functional and attractive office can be a huge boost to your productivity. After making do for several years, I’m kicking off the year with a much-needed office makeover. To make sure my space works for me, I’ve been thinking carefully about what makes a hard-working, inspiring office.
Colour has a huge influence on mood, productivity and energy. I’ve decided to go with a strong colour to stimulate creativity–a dark turquoise on all four walls. However, too much colour can be overwhelming. I’m tempering the dramatic walls with lots of white in the furniture and the trim. I’m also adding in some wood tones for that natural element.
Know yourself and pick a colour that works for you. A beautiful warm white can be calming on a stressful day. Most corporate environments are pretty beige. If you work in a place where you can’t repaint, consider art, a throw over the back of your chair or a fabric-covered bulletin board to bring some colour into your workspace.
The spot where you work has a huge influence on how you work. I’m considering setting up a table in the middle of the room rather than a desk against a wall. This will give me space to spread out and ensure that I don’t spend my days staring at the wall behind my computer screen–as much as I love my turquoise walls, that’s not a view I need for 8+ hours at time.
I also love the idea of trying a standing desk. I’m going to take some time and figure out what will work best for me. Remember, there’s no rule that says just because you’re furnishing an office you can only use traditional office furniture.
Offices come with paper, files, technology, bills and more. Without proper storage and organization, these things can quickly become clutter. For me, a cluttered environment creates a cluttered mind which does not lead to productivity.
Make sure you have furniture and systems in place to keep you organized. I’m fortunate to have a large closet in my office. With the addition of a few extra shelves and some bins, it will hold everything from tools to fabric. I also have a large filing cabinet that I’ve been using for years. One drawer holds business papers and another personal and household files. It’s not the prettiest piece of furniture, but it works. On the more attractive front, I’m refinishing a thrifted china cabinet to give me a place to hold books, supplies and equipment.
I’m making space in my office for some of the other things I like to do–my hobbies. When I’m not writing, I enjoy sewing and knitting, so I’m setting up a second work station to house my sewing machine and making space to store my fabric, patterns, knitting needles and yarn.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy–and Julia a dull girl–so make sure you have a spot to do more than just work. But keep the primary function of your office in mind and don’t get distracted by other things you could be doing.
We spend a lot of time in our offices, so making them personal to us is important. It can be as simple as displaying a family photo on your desk or hanging your diploma on the wall.
My whole space is designed just for me. But I’m making it even more personal with art and memorabilia that are important, inspirational and meaningful to me.
By giving these five features some careful thought, I’m on the path to creating a room that inspires and motivates me, an office where I enjoy spending my days and where I enjoy my work.
What are your tips for creating a functional office? How do you stimulate your creativity?