After four long months of coronavirus-induced isolation, you might be sick of looking at the same four walls of your home office. Luckily, there are some quick and easy ways to improve your WFH outlook even if you’re on a budget. From the warm glow of fairy lights to fresh new candle scents, here are some handy tips for brightening up your work space.
First, consider the space you’re working in. Is there enough light? If not, can you move somewhere closer to a window or door? Lighting plays a key part in our productivity, and studies have shown that brighter lights can improve focus, memory retention and relaxation. If you’re working in a darker area, you might experience drowsiness and a lack of motivation.
If you can’t move to a new space, you can still up your lighting game with a few key choices.
The Best Lighting For Home Offices
LED strip lighting can be applied to any available surface and provides a multi-coloured glow to your furniture. These lights normally cost between $15 and $25 and should give your home office some bright and funky charm. Setting them to particular colours will also have a long-lasting impact on your mood, from calming blues to rage-inducing reds. Depending on how your day goes, you might need the full spectrum of colours on hand.
If you’re looking for something more magical, you should try out some looping fairy lights. These tiny bulbs contain a whole lot of joy and should make any space seem warmer and more inviting. You can also grab a set in clip form. These strings let you hang up your favourite photos and memories alongside your lights — perfect for remembering more positive times.
Another option for the perfect lighting set-up is candles.
In many office situations, it’s not safe to have real candles around. This is particularly true if you have a paper-based job. For an office-friendly solution, try purchasing a range of different sized flameless LED candles. These give you the calming effects of real candles without having to worry about potential fire hazards. Plus, there’s a range of cheap, good-looking options.
If you’re in a safer environment, you could consider real candles. There’s plenty of air freshening candles, tea lights and therapeutic scents available online that will not only improve your office’s lighting but also improve its overall scent. Smell is just as important as lighting to improve your space, so consider pairing a new candle or LED lighting setup with familiar or exciting aromas.
The Best Decorations For Home Offices
Home offices are meant to be open, inviting spaces. You should want to sit down at your office desk and work productively. To help with this process, consider investing in some natural decorations or objects that suit your favoured aesthetic.
If your current workplace doesn’t allow a whole lot of self expression, now’s your chance to carve out a space that screams ‘you’. Another way to achieve this is to install a pin board or cork board in your office space and fill it with your favourite badges, photos, patches or accessories.
These boards lend a heap of personality to your office and give you a sense of ownership over your space. Like photos, trinkets like badges can also remind you of more positive times and inspire your creativity.
With work from home recommendations continuing, it’s likely you’ll be stuck in the same space for quite a while yet. You might as well make the most of your time and spice up your office in a way that works for you. Experiment with a range of new lighting, decorations and smells to achieve your perfect productivity zone.
As Lifehacker editors we write about stuff we like and think you'll like too. Lifehacker often has affiliate partnerships, so we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.