With more and more people opting to work from home, the need for a good home office is more pressing than ever. However, when you first begin putting together your home office, you may realize that creating a space with the right amount of storage and room for concentration is more complicated — and expensive — than you thought.
Creating your perfect home office doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. While luxurious office chairs, sturdy filing cabinets, and productivity-boosting gadgets may seem like the best way to maximize your home working, there are actually plenty of more cost-effective home office hacks you can take advantage of to level up your space.
Remote work is here to stay. There’s never been a better time to start setting up a place to work at home — so here are some ways you can create your perfect home office on a budget.
1. Get creative
You may not have an entire room you can dedicate to home office space. If space is limited, don’t worry; there are still ways you can create a home office that’s attractive and comfortable.
For example, clever use of space might mean investing in inexpensive wall storage for your books and files. Wall shelves are often cheaper than bookshelves or filing cabinets, and they keep everything out of the way so that you have more floor space to work with.
2. Look for deals
Don’t buy new unless you absolutely have to. You can find second-hand furniture online or at your local thrift store, and if you keep an eye on freecycle sites you might even be able to nab some free furniture.
You can also go for second-hand and refurbished technology. It’s a myth that laptops, computers, and printers have to be new to work well — and some refurbished technology is actually more powerful than its brand new counterparts.
3. Add plants
Plants are a simple way to make any space more inviting. What’s more, plants actually make you a better worker: studies have found that just having plants in the same room can boost concentration and productivity by up to 47%.
If you’re strapped for time or just lacking a green thumb, consider choosing a succulent. Popular with millennials, gardening beginners, and people who simply forget to water every day, succulents are low-maintenance plants that brighten up any office space.
4. Add color
A bit of paint on the walls won’t just brighten up your home office; it will also help you concentrate and boost your memory. That is, assuming you choose the right color.
Research shows that the color of our surroundings has a significant effect on our attention spans and memory performance. While green boosts focus and concentration, blue improves productivity. Orange, meanwhile, increases the oxygen supply to the brain, which stimulates mental activity.. You might not have the budget to repaint the entire room but consider an accent wall in green, blue, or orange to really boost your brain power.
5. Choose the right chair
Your home office chair may be the most important piece in the room. After all, you’ll be sitting in it for six to eight hours most days, so it has to be comfortable..
Before you buy your chair, it’s important to consider your own body and its needs. What position do you find most comfortable to sit in? How much padding do you need? Does the material of the chair’s upholstery matter to you? If you discover that you truly have your heart set on a more expensive office chair, see if it’s possible to buy it secondhand.
6. Revamp your lighting
Your choice of lighting makes a big difference in how you work, and it’s incredibly inexpensive to change. Just switch out the light bulbs in any of your fixtures,, and you’ve instantly transformed your space.
Studies show that the color of light in our surroundings has an impact on our mindset and abilities. Cool lighting — which often appears blue or cold white — has been found to make people more productive while working. It does this by reducing fatigue, eye strain, and feelings of sadness. Because blue light lowers melatonin, the hormone responsible for making us feel sleepy, it’s a perfect choice for a space where you want to feel alert and refreshed.
But the most effective lighting of all is actually available for free. Natural light can improve mood, energy, and productivity. Simply open your curtains and let daylight work its magic.
7. Check the temperature
Setting the right temperature is often overlooked by homeowners when creating their home office, but your work can suffer if you’re too warm or too cold.. So what’s the right temperature to maximize your work output?
To some degree, the right temperature is a personal choice, but studies have found that for most people, 69 Fahrenheit is about right for boosting creativity and productivity. You may need to experiment a bit with the thermostat to find your ideal temperature, but pay attention to your environment on your most productive days and try to replicate that.
Creating the perfect home office can be done on a budget if you think creatively and make the most of your space. Put a little thought into planning your workspace, and you’ll see your efforts pay off in boosted productivity, concentration, and results.
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