Whether you work from your home office full time or only occasionally, the area has to be an inviting place that you associate with getting things done.
While comfort is an important part of making any home office inviting, too much comfort can actually stifle productivity and keep you from crossing things off your to do list. Painting the walls a color that turns out to be too bold for every day can deter you from working in your office.
Comfort and paint colors aren’t the only things you have to keep in mind when planning or rearranging your home office. Here are some common home office mistakes and how you can avoid them to create an office you enjoy when working from.
Common Home Office Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
1. Choosing a bad location – A home office located in a quiet room away from noise is always the best choice, but not always the most practical. Home offices that are set up in high traffic or noisy areas are bad for productivity. How can you avoid choosing a bad location or choose a better spot in your home for your office?
How to avoid it: Consider the reality of your home. If your office must be in an area that is open and accessible to others, can you ask others not to interrupt you? Can you put up a divider to increase the sense of having a private office?
2. No storage – Your home office could be laid out perfectly, with a double purpose for every piece of furniture and atmospheric lighting. But if you don’t have adequate storage, the office is useless to you. Without storage, your papers, documents, and notes get lost. Things pile up. Deadlines are missed. Life is chaos.
How to avoid it: Invest in furniture that can store things in a visually appealing way (or hide it completely). Go for vertical storage, like bookshelves or display towers. Try DIY hanging storage hacks. Get creative to stay organized!
3. Constricting your space – Rarely is a home office a large, spacious area, so anything that makes your office seem smaller and more constricted is a problem. One of the most common home office mistakes is bringing in too much furniture that takes up floor space. Another is choosing dark colors and window treatments that visually shrink the room.
How to avoid it: Go for furniture that stands tall and takes up less space on the floor (vertical storage). Opt for light colors over dark in small areas and make sure there’s plenty of natural light. Leave curtains and blinds open if the sun isn’t too bright to visually open your space.
4. Going with the wrong color scheme – If you didn’t put a lot of thought into the color scheme of your office, you might find yourself regretting your choices and wanting to start over new. It’s a big hassle to paint the office or buy new items in a different color scheme, so once you make a decision, you should be sure that you can live with it for a while.
How to avoid it: Be thorough in your paint and decor selection process. Compare colors you like. Consider their qualities and what they remind you of. If you’re choosing paint colors, try to imagine being surrounded by that color and decide if it’s the right choice for a space you’ll need to spend time in rather often. A good rule of thumb is to go 2 shades lighter than the color you originally choose.
5. Too comfortable – This is one of the easiest home office mistakes to make, but it does have consequences. If your office is too comfortable and cocoon-like, it hardly encourages you to jump in and get work done. In fact, it encourages just the opposite. A nap starts to sound bearable. Desirable, even. Maybe we all need a cozy space like this, but not to use as an office.
How to avoid it: Don’t go overboard and turn your office into a hard, cold work chamber, but try to cut back on some of the comfy extras that will distract you and make you lazy. If there are an excess of pillows on your couch or chair (we’ll let you define excess here), take a few off. Consider a stand up convertible desk. Use wooden chairs to encourage you to stand up and walk around every so often to get your blood flowing again.