Life is changing at a rapid pace, many of us are making the transition from commuting to work to working from home and need to learn how to set up a home office. The process may seem easy – set up a desk, put your computer on it, invest in high-speed internet and away you go.
That may be true for some people, but what if your work relies heavily on your creative flow? If that’s true for you then you will need to set up a home office to spark creativity.
How to spark creativity in your home office
Tip #1: Bring nature in
It’s no secret that nature sparks creativity, but not everyone has the luxury of an office window overlooking a garden. My home office is a tiny windowless alcove in between the spare bedroom and the guest bathroom. It’s not ideal, but I’ve managed to make a comfortable little nest filled with greenery and art that allows my creative juices to flow.
When setting up your home office, think carefully about where and how you could add elements of nature. Is there room for a potted plant? If you have limited natural light, you could try a plant like a monstera or a philodendron. All varieties of pothos work well in low light conditions, and you can train their long tendrils to grow up a plant stake to add a sense of drama.
If space is limited, perhaps an air plant attached to your computer screen would work. Air plants need no soil, take up hardly any room and are super easy to keep alive. And they look quirky and fun.
Of course, if plants are not your thing, you can use fresh cut flowers to help you create a welcoming home office environment. Having greenery around you will calm your senses, reduce your stress and invite creativity.
Tip #2: Keep it clutter-free
I don’t want to feed into any cliches here, but the old adage about cluttered desk = cluttered mind is correct. Creativity needs space and room to flow. But how do you set up a home office that isn’t cluttered if you only have a tiny corner of the room?
You make storage your friend.
Make a list of all the things you will need to set up your home office. Once you have a comprehensive list, spend some time searching online for smart and creative storage solutions that will fit into your tiny home office space. I love hunting through Pinterest for intelligent home office and storage ideas.
Design your home office so that everything you need is stored out of the way but still in easy reach. Do your best to put everything back in its place after you’ve used it, or at the very least, at the end of the day. This will keep your workspace clutter-free and allow those creative sparks to fly.
Tip #3: Add light and sound
We all have different preferences when it comes to how bright a room should be. I love to fill my office with as much light as possible when I’m working, but you may find your creativity flows more smoothly when your room is gently lit. Whatever your preference, choose your lighting well. A dark and dinghy home office will not feel inviting.
If, like me, you need bright light, ensure you choose light bulbs that are cool white. Those of you who prefer a gently lit home office space should opt for warm white bulbs. And don’t just rely on your overhead light, create atmosphere with floor lamps and desk lamps.
One thing every home office should have is peace and quiet. While it is possible to spark creativity amid noise, quiet space will help you get into a flow state more easily. If you set up your home office in the lounge or another shared area, try putting a flag on your desk. When the flag is up, it serves as a ‘do not disturb’ sign to the people around you.
Tip #4: Add familiar things
Your home office must allow you to feel comfortable. Surrounding yourself with familiar things will allow you to relax and open yourself to creative thoughts. No-one likes a stark space, so make your home office comfortable and inviting by placing a few of your favourite things around you.
Tip #5: Move around
Sitting at a desk all day creates stiff bodies and uninspired minds. When you set up your home office to spark creativity, make sure you also create a break out space. Because my home office is so small, I’ve set up the sofa bed in the spare room as a space to sit and read or do any work-related tasks that don’t require a computer screen. This gives both my body and my brain a break from sitting in the same position for too long.
I also schedule an outdoor walk with my dog in the middle of the day. It acts like my reset button. There is a danger when working from home that regular working hours get ignored, and we skip lunch breaks and even knock-off times. By scheduling a break to go outside in the middle of the day, you’ll stimulate new thoughts and blow out the cobwebs. Even if you’re locked in quarantine, you can stick your head out of the nearest window and breath the air and feel the sun on your skin.
Have fun while you set up your home office
We live in challenging times, but working from home can be an enjoyable experience if you set up a home office that allows you to tap into your creativity. Make the most of what is a positive aspect of our current situation. Isn’t working from home the dream for so many people?
Enjoy these tips on how to set up a home office to spark creativity and use them to create a working space that reflects you and allows you to do your best work.