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How to Make Your Home Office Feel Less Blah: 4 Tips for Creating an Inspiring Space

My home office is a small study directly off of my bedroom. When I traveled a lot, I used to love coming home to my cozy, intimate office. It was set up exactly the way I like it, beautiful desk, great view, even scented candles.

But after 15 plus months of sitting here, I’ve felt it become less special. The stacks of papers and protein bar wrappers, plus the long hours in the same seat, have made me less content in my once loved space.

Perhaps you’re experiencing similar boredom, discomfort with your own WFH set up. We all know that a good chair and good desk do wonders. Yet, there are other, often-forgotten elements of a WFH setup that hugely contribute to our mood, energy, and overall productivity.

Whether you’re transitioning to a hybrid model, committing to fully remote work, or if it’s all still a big question mark, here are four tips to bring the gusto back to your space:

  1. Raise your screen. If you haven’t already, ensure your monitor is at or slightly below your eye level. Many WFH setups have the screen too low. If your screen is too low, your eyes will be partially closed for most of the day. And is it any wonder you’re feeling sleepy? (Plus, it’s also hugely unflattering)

If you are working on a laptop, you’ll need a laptop stand to get it at the right height, or invest in a second monitor that is closer to your eye level.

  1. Breathe in the fresh air. Regular dust, allergens, even excess moisture have a dramatic impact on how we feel. If you can open a window, do it. If that’s not an option, make sure you’re managing the quality of air in your space.

Consider an air purifier. You can also add a small air purifying plant to your space, like a “Money Tree.” This plant naturally purifies the air and as the name suggests, it’s said to symbolize prosperity. Who couldn’t use more of that in an office?!

  1. Keep it neat. Yeah, yeah, I know, everyone says a messy desk is a sign of creativity. And that’s fine….when said desk is in a company conference room. The challenge when you’re working from home is that messy desk is likely visible when you’re trying to disconnect; It’s a constant reminder of unresolved work chaos.

If you can shut the door to your office, fine, but if your office is your bedroom (like mine) or in your living room, consider a quick end-of-day tidy up. You’ll likely feel more relaxed in the evening and approach the next morning with more confidence.

  1. Adjust your lighting. Just because your office environment had harsh fluorescent lighting doesn’t mean your home office has to suffer the same fate. You can actually boost your mood by adjusting the color temperature of your light bulbs (sounds crazy, bear with me).

Light temperature is measured in kelvins. The lower the kelvins, the ‘warmer’ the light; The higher the kelvins, the cooler the light. Commercial office lighting typically has a color temperature of 4000k or above. For a home office, I suggest taking that down a bit. The lightbulbs in my office are 3000k bulbs, a bit ‘warmer’ than traditional office lighting.

If you’re experiencing afternoon fatigue or headaches, try adjusting the color temperature in your office.

Whether you plan on working in this space for the next 3 week or the next 3 years, taking the time to optimize your setup and create an environment that makes your feel great is time well spent.