Upgrade Your Home Office For Better Productivity And Resale

Dated: May 26 2021

Views: 43

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 When COVID-19 forced companies all over the world to send their employees home to work virtually, remote work had a big moment.  So true, the rush to give employees access to all the tools they’d need to work from home was a bit, well, sudden for many employers.  But after everyone settled in, what quickly became apparent to many office-based teams is that employees could be productive and focused when not in the office—in many cases, even more so.  Employers everywhere began to understand that remote work really works.  Boosting an efficient home office often relies on smart planning and storage.  Purposeful design changes can help signal you're in a dedicated working space and not just another room in your home.  Take your office to the next level with savvy upgrades that maximize style and function, while also centering you in your work for focus. 

Upgrade Your Work Surface 

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One benefit of working from home is that you can choose the look and feel of your work surface.  Say goodbye to coffee rings and ink stains by trading your desktop for,  say colorful Formica laminate, art glass, blackboard or carbon fiber cover. This easy-clean material creates a durable work surface with the luxurious look of stone—without the high price tag or required maintenance.  Plus, you can customize the material to fit your furniture and space.

Divide The Room to Encourage Focus 

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Room dividers are an easy way to separate a workspace from a larger room, hide clutter, and present a less distracting background for virtual meetings, all without making permanent or structural changes.  Thanks in part to today's work-from-home boom, room dividers are more popular than ever, and there are many options for getting the right look, size, or added features.  Consider a folding style that you can easily pack up and store if your home office converts to a living space when the workday ends. For a more permanent solution, freestanding bookshelves or cube storage can divide a room while providing plenty of space for office supplies. 

Add Supportive Flooring 

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When selecting office flooring materials, both form and function should be top-of-mind considerations.  You might have considered converter kits that transition your desk from sitting to standing.  Or maybe you even have a fully adjustable sit-stand desk.  But what about the surface below you? Anti-fatigue floor mats can reduce discomfort and provide support while standing at a desk.  A variety of sizes and materials are available so you can find the best choice for your home office. An area rug with a plush rug pad can also provide cushion underfoot. For a more significant upgrade, consider installing cork flooring, an antibacterial surface with cushioned support that's perfect for a standing desk.  Office area flooring must match your room’s desired aesthetic, absorb excess background noise yet be durable and easy to clean. 

Improve Lighting with Color-Changing LED Bulbs 

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If your workspace wasn't originally designated as an office, you might lack adequate lighting. Ideally, your home office should have natural light as well as task lighting, which provides focused lighting to a particular area, and ambient lighting. When choosing office lighting, consider an adjustable desk lamp with multiple color temperatures.  Studies show that warmer light (skewing more yellow) enhances creativity, while cooler light (shades of blue) increases concentration.  There's even evidence that lighting can play a role in decision-making. And if your home office isn't permanent, don't worry! Many of these light fixtures are cordless and chargeable so you can take them wherever you like to work. Philips Hue with Bluetooth is one of the easiest ways to get started with smart lighting.  Control up to 10 lights in a single room with a Bluetooth-enabled LED bulb and the Hue Bluetooth app. 

Feng Shui Your Office Space 

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Feng shui is an ancient Chinese art that involves creating a space that’s harmonious with the environment.  It literally means “wind” (feng) and “water” (shui). With feng shui, objects in a room are arranged according to the flow of natural energy. The concept also involves using colors, materials, and the layout of the space to create a favorable ambiance.  An office that’s inviting, organized, and aesthetically appealing can make work more enjoyable.  In feng shui, there are five elements that attract energy and need to be balanced.  These include: 

  • Wood - This element channels creativity and growth.  Trees, plants, or green objects can represent wood. 

  • Fire - This is the most powerful element. It creates passion, energy, expansion, boldness, and transformation.  Candles or the color red can bring the fire element into the space. 

  • Water - This element is linked to emotion and inspiration. Water features or blue items can represent this element. 

  • Earth - The earth element signifies stability and strength. Incorporate the earth element with rocks, carpets, old books, or things that are brown or tan in color. 

  • Metal - Metal unites all the elements while offering focus and order. Use objects that are metal or white, silver, or grey in color. 

From incorporating specific colors to placing your furniture in the proper spot, there are many ways to bring feng shui to your office.  A professional consultant can help you organize and decorate your office according to the feng shui principles and elements. 

Reduce Stress with Plants 

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Just one small plant at your desk can help alleviate stress and even encourage you to keep your surface clutter-free.  If that's not reason enough to make room for a botanical buddy or two, studies also suggest plants improve productivity in an office setting.  Decorate your home office with houseplants for fresh texture and color. Even if you don't have a green thumb, today's faux plants provide the convincing look of your favorite varieties without the upkeep.  Plants purify the air around you. Your indoor air quality may not be as good as you think; in fact, experts say indoor air is usually a lot worse than outdoor, even when pollution indexes are high.  Plants in your home convert carbon dioxide into new oxygen and help purify the air (just like outdoor plants do on a larger scale),  Do You know, NASA adds plants to its international space station to control air quality, so there’s a lot to be said for it.  The right plants can neutralize harmful airborne substances in your home (or space station, if you happen to own one) such as benzene and formaldehyde found in common household products.. 

Use Open Wall Space for Planning

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Although a lot is accomplished on computers, it's not the only place we make plans, store files, and find inspiration.  Sometimes only a hands-on approach will do.  Combine sheet metal and a picture frame to create an inexpensive hanging magnetic board perfect for updating to-do lists, keeping project details at hand, and displaying inspiring imagery. 

Provide Colorful Inspirational Or Interactive Art 

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Adding art to your home office has both personal and professional benefits.  A few thoughtfully chosen pieces can result in a quick office update that helps you feel more motivated and productive.  Adding visually interesting imagery or interactive objects near your computer and around your desk can provide a place for tired eyes to land, combatting the strain and fatigue that comes from staring at a screen for extended periods.

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Greg Higgins

I am a partner at Cygnus Real Estate with over 11 years experience in home sales, income properties and property management. I am a licensed broker with a GRI designation. ....

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