Have you been working at home for the last few weeks or months? Is it beginning to get you down? Are you planning to work from home for the foreseeable future, or are you a freelancer who always works from home?
This article is just for you!
Your Space Your Rules
Working from home can be a blessing, but it can also be a bit of a curse. As much as we may love rolling out of bed, getting a big cup of coffee, and wrapping up on the sofa in our pajamas, ready to start work, after a few weeks, it can feel a bit… stale.
This is because there’s no separation between work and play. Your home space has become your workspace, and as a result, you will end up feeling like you are just a worker, that’s it.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though. There are a few things you can do to make your home working space that bit more comfortable and creativity sparking.
Why Creativity Is Important
No matter what job you do, and no matter what your personality is, we all need some kind of creativity in our lives. In fact, creativity is one of the big five personality traits, under the heading of ‘openness.’ Those people who are high in openness are usually much higher in creativity.
Even if you’re not a particularly creative person, being surrounded by art and creativity is good for the soul, which means it’s important that we should foster creativity in whatever form it takes.
Here are seven things to include in your home working environment that will help you speak up some creativity and improve your mindset.
One of the best things you can do to your workspace, whether it’s in a spare room, a closet, or even just a kitchen table, is to add storage.
Add storage in places you wouldn’t have thought about it before. Under tables, above doors, inside hollow walls, under beds. Storage is seriously important to minimize clutter.
‘Tidy house, tidy mind’ is a mantra that is used by striving minimalists the world over, and while we are not suggesting you go full-on minimalist (unless you really want to), there are aspects of minimalism that help to spark creativity and make you feel calmer.
Comfy Seating Areas
Comfy seating is an absolute must if you’re spending a lot of time working from home. Ideally, you should have a proper office chair that conforms to all the health regulations that occupational therapists would prefer you to have, but sometimes that’s not the most comfortable thing to be sitting on long-term.
Think outside the box for this tone. A huge bean bag from SumoLounge, for example, is a great addition to a creative space as it will allow you to get really comfy and let the ideas flow, much more exciting than sitting on a cold hard dining room chair for eight hours a day!
This is a trick inspired by Google’s offices. Now, you might be wondering what on earth a big tech giant knows about creativity, but Google are experts at ensuring their workers have creative spaces to really get their minds working.
From sleep pods to break out rooms, there are whiteboard and pens within easy reach of most people on Google’s bigger campuses, especially those campuses that want new ideas!
If you can’t attach a whiteboard to your wall, even a portable whiteboard will do the trick. Just make sure you have plenty of working pens in multiple colors!
Taking the idea of a whiteboard that little bit further, try installing a pinboard or two! These can be great for keeping notes, for creating vision boards and dream boards, and for keeping track of things like to do lits and scrum boards.
Pinboards come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, even some are even virtual, but the real thing is really recommended as physical touch helps build memories and inspire new ideas.
No creative space is complete without great lighting, but we are not talking about those hideous fluorescent lights in your office black, especially that one that buzzes every 20 minutes that no one has bothered to look at.
No, we mean good clean natural lighting from a nice big window source. Try to make your work area as near to an open natural light source as possible.
Failing that, install daylights bulbs or bulbs that can go from daylight to warm yellow, depending on your mood and requirements.
How many times have you lost that latest greatest idea because you couldn’t find a pen to write it down? When was the last time you wanted to design something and didn’t have the paper to hand to sketch it out?
As much as tablets and laptops are becoming a great replacement for paper, especially the incredible new e-ink tablets made for drawing, there isn’t much that beats the real pen to paper experience of writing or sketching ideas.
With this in mind, make sure you have some form of art supplies nearby at all times in your work environment.
You don’t need to go overboard and have sharpies in every color under the sun and all kinds of graph paper and multi-colored paper post-it’s everywhere, but having a decent selection of standard drawing and writing paper (or, at the very least, notebooks) will allow you to take advantage of the moment the next time a great idea pops into your head!
Even many modern offices understate the value of having some nature and plants scattered around the building, so don’t let that be something you miss off of your working area too!
Many studies have shown a link between time in nature and happiness, and study after study has shown that offices that invest in greenery and real plants (as opposed to those fake plastic ones) consistently have happier and healthier employees.
Go out there and get yourself some evergreens and succulents, and see how often you look at them and smile during your workday!