Before the COVID-19 pandemic, around 3.4% of the US population worked from home full-time. And approximately 43% were working from home some of the time. However, the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic forced many more companies and employees to shift to a work-from-home environment.
While there aren’t any definitive or comprehensive stats yet, it’s estimated that right now, because of coronavirus safety concerns, around 20% of the workforce is working entirely from their home. Before the pandemic, business analysts speculated that much more of America’s workforce could be remote, but businesses were slow to the punch.
Now, after being forced to rapidly make the switch, business owners and executives are seeing firsthand the potential cost savings and the possibility of a remote workforce. That’s why experts project that around 25-35% of the US workforce will move to a remote model permanently in the coming year.
Making the Transition to Working from Home
If working from home is new, you might be struggling a bit with the new flow. While there are advantages, you’ve likely struggled with an onslaught of new distractions. Working from home requires lots of self-discipline, and often requires you to rethink how you do your work.
It’s natural for your productivity to suffer during the transition. But, there’s no telling how long you’ll be working from home. Plus, if these projections are correct, your home office might become your new permanent office.
So, it’s essential to get serious about boosting your productivity and making your home office work for you. Several home office interior design trends can help you with the task.
Here are six design trends to maximize productivity in your home office.
Trend One: Added Walls to Reduce Distractions
Whether you have children, a spouse, pets, or Netflix, it’s easy to be swept away by distractions. Consider installing new walls or panels to your home office to add privacy and make it more like a cubicle. This can be especially beneficial if you share your home office, or if your home office is part of a common area.
Switchable glass office walls and foldable panels work great for this.
Trend Two: Eliminate the Clutter
Marie Kondo has it right. Clutter can make you crazy. Studies show that a lack of organization leads to less focus and more procrastination. Plus, it increases anxiety, stress, and depression.
Start by eliminating any unnecessary clutter. Then, add plywood shelves and storage to your home office interior design plan, so that everything has a space.
Trend Three: Use Color and Light Science
Consider changing the color and lighting of your office. Studies show that colors can impact mood. Blue is calming and increases focus. Yellow can enhance creativity, but it can also make you anxious. Avoid greys, because they can make you feel apathetic.
Lights play a role in productivity, too. If the lights are too harsh, you can get overstimulated and frustrated. If they’re too dim, you can get sleepy. Find the right lighting and colors to put you right in the productivity zone.
Trend Four: Cut Out the Noise with Acoustic Solutions
Unlike your regular office, there are probably a lot of noises keeping you distracted. While you can pop on headphones and listen to some calming classical music, that isn’t always practical. Instead, look into incorporating some sound-canceling and acoustic solutions.
Bulky furniture, acoustic panels, double-paned windows, and carpeting are all ways to help cut out some of that extra noise.
Trend Five: Add Plants
A recent study showed that when natural elements, like sunlight and plants, were added to the workplace, workers were more organized and had higher levels of job satisfaction. Additionally, the study noted reduced depression and anxiety.
So, be sure to let in a little sunlight, and add some plants to your office. Succulents, cacti, and bonsai trees are all relatively low maintenance options and look great on a white desk.
Trend Six: Create an Exercise Corner
Did you know light exercise can boost productivity by as much as 72%? While you don’t want to do your full work out in the middle of a workday, incorporating an exercise corner into your home office could be just what you need.
You can include things like hand weights, a yoga mat, an exercise ball, or resistance bands. Then, anytime you’re feeling a little unfocused, take a trip to your exercise corner and do a light five to ten-minute routine.
Boost Productivity with Your Home Office Interior Design
These are a few ideas to help you boost your productivity while working from the comfort of home. Be patient with yourself during the transition, but also be proactive. Working from home might become a regular part of your workflow, so get ahead of the curve by tackling your productivity hang-ups today using these creative home office interior design trends. If some of these projects seem beyond your DIY abilities, it’s always a good idea to hire a professional builder or contractor.
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.