Working from home is just one of the many perks that comes from freelancing.
Upwork and Freelancers Union only recently revealed studies that concluded that freelancers are predicted to become the overwhelming majority in the US workforce within a decade, with nearly 50% of millennial workers already freelancing.
This is how the work environment is rapidly evolving in a space you didn’t quite expect: your own home. As industries shift and technology makes it easier to find freelance work, the prospect of creating your own schedule and living on your own time becomes more and more attractive. Your home becomes a space where your ideas come to life.
Envisioning a home office is a concept as personal as it is universal: what do you find yourself most creatively driven by?
What do you hope people see in your work from the space that surrounds you? What does a space need to become somewhere you want to spend time in?
While everyone’s answers to these vary across the board depending on their profession, work ethic, and countless other aspects, the point is that everyone does have an answer.
Regardless, a good home office is productive first and aesthetically pleasing second. If you are wondering how you can create a home office that inspires you but doesn’t interrupt your headspace, you can start by exploring a few different areas.
1) The Sleek World of Minimalism
Look up a photo of the quintessential modern office and you will find a open, clutter-free space that feels as to the point as it does productive.
There are perks to exploring minimalism in your home office space if you often find yourself getting distracted in work settings. The lack of decor feels like an invitation to do some self-reflection, as you are able to focus more on yourself and less so on your surroundings.
Consider what you need into to get into your ideal mindset, and if you find that the answer is not much, find a way to incorporate that freedom into a creatively fueling space.
2) Mood Lighting
The light we work in plays a critical part in how we work and how much we enjoy doing it.
If you are lucky enough to be blessed with natural light, use that to your advantage – revolve the space around the windows and let the sun pour in to get your productivity flowing.
If possible, you should try to stick to table lamps that will place the spotlight on what’s really important: your work. Not only do they make any space feel warm and inviting, it’s an easy way to make the design of the office feel more refined.
3) Plants, plants, plants
It’s known that plants can improve your productivity (by up to 15%), reduce stress and anxieties, and boost your mood.
Consider adding some greenery to your home office through innovative ways, like hanging vines on your windows curtain rod, potting succulents and cactuses along walls, and opening up corners with palm leaves.
Plants open up any space and fill it with feelings of positivity and self-awareness.
4) Stocking up
In order to make the most out of your own time, try exploring ways to keep all the supplies you need without having to worry about running out and grabbing some more right before a call.
Consider what you consume the most out of – Coffee? Tea? Kombucha? – and maybe keeping stock of these makes the most sense for you. We all love a good mid-day snack that will boost some life back into us, and if you dream of having a never-ending supply of low carb homemade guac around, there’s no one to tell you otherwise – it’s your office!
5) Hiding Everything in Storage
Maybe having a structured level of organization is what allows you to thrive in work settings. It’s easier to be productive when things are in top, tidy shape – or out of sight, out of mind?
Offices are prone to collecting “clutter”, especially paper clips, post-it scraps and stacks of files on files. Consider the sort of storage that would allow you to work most efficiently and how much you are willing to invest in it.
Try leaning more towards shelves with storage baskets instead of bookshelves, as they tend to quickly become overstuffed and over-cluttered.
6) Following Ergonomic Rules
Linda Varone, author of The Smarter Home Office, gave Fast Company some insight on one of the most important aspects of a home office. -“The top of your computer screen should be at eye level or a little below”. As you scan down the screen, your eyelids will naturally close a bit and moisten, which reduces eye fatigue,” Varone said. “It sounds obvious, but you should love the chair you’re sitting on. Otherwise you will never sit at your desk.”
Following linear guidelines like this will help increase your productivity and lessen the effects of our day-to-day screen time.
7) Adding Personal Touches
Personal mementos, like framed family photos and childhood trinkets, can be a source of motivation for those of us who harness it through our surroundings.
Keeping happy moments around is guaranteed to make you feel more at ease in your home office, because you have reminders around of what you’re working for.
Try keeping these memories in rotation and switching around the placement so that you avoid losing touch with it.
Keep in mind that if there’s too much stimulation going on within the space, one may find themselves getting distracted, so sometimes it works out better for you to separate the personal from the business – and that’s ok.
8) Creating Cozy Comfort
Every home office should be as comfortable as it is aesthetically pleasing. Find cozy spots to emphasis in your space and broaden their use by converting them into reading nooks and meditation corners. There’s no reason why you can’t have a big couch if you’re open to the idea of lounging in the space at times as well.
As soon as you find what makes you feel comfortable, your office will automatically become a space you look forward to spending time in.