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Inside Business | 2 min read

Home Office Hacks From Psychologists

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Grow Magazine

Without a doubt, working from home has its advantages. No commute to the office, unless you count the seconds from the kitchen to your desk, and pyjamas soon become legitimate work attire. School drop-offs become more manageable and you can work to your own schedule. However, it does require huge motivation, you spend a lot of time on your own, and the lines between your home and work life can overlap.

Fortunately, the interior design of your home office can help. A chic and fabulous workspace, furnished to suit your needs and personality can have such a positive effect on your productivity that you’ll find yourself itching to get started each day. 

Colour Me Happy

Forget the bland non-descript colour schemes of regular office interiors. Pick a tone that makes you feel happy or most inspires you. The Oxford Handbook for Aesthetics says evolutionary psychology plays a role, suggesting that greens and blues are preferred due to the natural habitats of our ancestors.

Back in 1979, researcher Alexander Schauss carried out studies on the calming effect a certain shade of pink, later known as Baker-Miller Pink, had on prisoners. This year, Kendall Jenner cited the study to explain why she had her living room painted in the colour. “Baker-Miller Pink is the only color scientifically proven to calm you AND suppress your appetite,” she wrote on her website. 

While pink may not be your first choice – and the scientific acceptance of the study isn’t as concrete as Jenner implies – find a shade that has a positive influence on your mood and productivity. Yellow might lift your spirits, red might energise and blue, relax you completely.

Room With a View

Situating your desk near a window as a good supply of natural light can enhance your mood and productivity. A study carried out at Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois revealed the importance of the exposure of natural light in the workplace. 

Neurologist and sleep specialist at Northwestern Medicine, Dr Phyllis Zee, reports that, “There is increasing evidence that exposure to light during the day – particularly in the morning – is beneficial to your health via its effects on mood, alertness and metabolism.”

Working With Style

You’ll spend many hours in your home office so find a style you love. Chartered psychologist Dr Craig Knight, of Identity Realisation in Exeter UK, has carried out a great deal of research on the impact of office design and management. According to Knight, research suggests that enriching a workspace through design is a good thing. “It makes people feel better,” he says. 

Create a look that reflects your taste and gives you pleasure whether a classic coastal Hamptons finish or the eclectic feel of a Parisian apartment. Personalising the space can also help. Add decorative pieces, family photos, artwork, anything that gives you pleasure and makes the space feel very much your own. 

Keep it Separate

One issue that may arise is the lack of separation from your home life. A report by leading workplace researchers Tammy Allen, Timothy Golden and Kristen Shockley recognises the blurring of work and family roles. If you’re not lucky enough to have a door, then a clearly defined space with a distinct and contrasting style could help to set the boundaries of your workplace, for you and your family, indicating you are now at the office as opposed to being at home.

 

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