Whether working from home or commuting to the office, most of us spend a good part of our lives at our desks — so why not get creative with our workspace design?
Our surroundings have a significant impact on our mood and productivity (as anyone who has had the displeasure of working in a dark and drab cubicle will tell you). Clean, welcoming work spaces with personalized touches help keep our minds uncluttered and our motivation high. Here we share our tips for designing a workspace that inspires creativity and contentment — and, most importantly, helps you get your work done!
Know that dispiriting feeling that sinks in after working for hours in a windowless room under harsh, fluorescent lights? Lighting is a critical design element, and it’s especially important in a place where you’ll presumably spend most of your daylight hours. For years, research has shown that exposure to natural light during daylight hours has a powerful impact on workplace productivity and overall quality of life. If you’re a telecommuter, or if you have a say in where your office desk is located, consider designing your workspace around a source of natural light. You may find that your mood, mental clarity, and even your sleep patterns improve significantly improve — not to mention the added aesthetic improvement that windows bring to any office space.
For those of us who can’t access daylight there are many ways to manipulate artificial light to our benefit. Choose a good desk lamp with adequate light to reduce eye strain. To give the illusion of daylight, use LED bulbs with color temperatures of 5000k or higher. These emit white to blueish-white colored light, similar to the color of natural sunlight. Some modern desks feature built-in LED lighting to reduce desk clutter, for example our Triplo Freestanding Desk offers built-in back-lit shelves for a soft and natural glow.
If you’re a commuter, you’re all too familiar with the typical gray or neutral color schemes that adorn most modern office spaces. While neutral palettes can bring a clean, minimalist aesthetic to the workplace, it’s good to break the monotony with a dash of color at your personal workstation. Personalize your deskscape with colorfully framed photos, desk accessories, calendars or vibrant desk screens. If you’re crunched for space, you can opt for functional items like colorful stationary in place of tchotchkes — either way, small pops of color will keep you feeling inspired and give your eyes a break from the drudgery of white and greige.
If you’re a telecommuter, take advantage of the broadened creative liberties that working from home affords and bring some color into other areas of the workstation as well, like your desk, chair, or walls. The Home Office is available in dozens of colors and finishes, from natural wood tones to vibrant, primary color lacquers. And as an added bonus, this space-saving desk folds up into a modular cabinet when the day’s work is done, keeping all your papers neatly out of sight.
Like color, texture is key to creating visual interest and breaking the monotony of typical office spaces. Add some trendy macramé wall art above your desk, throw in a leather desk mat, or opt for metallic-toned office supplies (rose gold or silver pen holders, staplers and tape dispensers add a touch of glam!)
Here again, telecommuters have a bit more creative freedom when it comes to their office design. Foster a welcoming vibe in your home office with textured elements like an area rug, throw pillows or blankets. Or choose furniture with integrated metallic or natural wood accents. If you’re remodeling your home office, you can’t do much better than the Libreria — this full-height shelving unit features an integrated writing desk and built-in aluminum accents. It’s a desk, shelving system, and statement décor piece, all in one!
Some say a messy desk is a sign of creativity, but no one can be their most productive when they’re drowning in clutter. When pens, keyboards, and important documents become lost in a sea of old sticky notes, it’s time to Marie Kondo your office. Clear away the mess, and utilize extra storage! When organizing your desk be sure to keep all of your essentials within arm’s reach — you should not have to get up or move your body to access basic tools like your calculator, desk phone, or note pads. Things you use less frequently can be cleared off the primary workspace to make way for, well, working!
And to make sure things stay tidy, find a desk with built-in paper trays and extra drawers; this will keep all your tools close at hand and confined to one central area. The Metis desk is a great option for those who are short on space; this piece packs tons of hidden storage compartments, including two lidded sections, three drawers, and even a wire management system. And with its sleek, solid wood design, you’d never guess that this minimalist desk could hold so much!
Like natural light, botanicals have been shown to improve mood, reduce stress and boost productivity in the workplace. Though we may be primarily indoor creatures, we all have an innate desire to be around nature. That’s why decorating your home office or desk with a bit of green can make you feel happier and more psychologically engaged. Plus, they’re just nice to look at — so what’s not to love?
Sitting in an uncomfortable office chair for hours on end can put a terrible strain on your back and neck. One of the best ways to instantly upgrade any work space is to find a comfortable, ergonomic, and stylish office chair. Get a desk chair that keeps your body properly aligned — when seated, your knees and elbows should rest at 90 degree angles; your lower back and forearms should be supported; and you should be able to adjust the height as needed.
We love the Deep Office Chair for its lower back and arm support and its mid-century-inspired look. Its soft leather seat and wool-upholstered backing come in a variety of color combinations, and its base is available in sleek aluminum or natural wood finishes. The perfect, comfortable chair to breathe a little life into the workspace!
Inevitably, we feel our best (and do our best work) when we are surrounded by things that we love. After all, design is about filling our space with things that bring us joy and removing things that do not — and while we may only have so much creative license when styling our office, integrating emotionally valuable items into our work areas can keep us inspired and combat mental fatigue.
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