Add Some Wood to Your Home Office to Boost Concentration and Job Satisfaction

Add Some Wood to Your Home Office to Boost Concentration and Job Satisfaction
Photo: Tr1sha, Shutterstock

It’s been almost a year since people with office jobs were instructed to work from home until the pandemic passed. First of all, we should start by saying that to even have the ability to do so is a huge privilege: So many essential workers have continued to commute and face the public every day and don’t have the option to stay home.

But those who do may be struggling to focus on their work during the day with so many other things going on. Or maybe, someone who once enjoyed their job now finds it boring and tedious — especially since the best parts of the day involved sneaking in chats with co-workers. Anyway, one thing that might help make your home office seem a little less-horrible is to add some touches of wood. Here’s what to know.

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How to incorporate wood into your home office

If you weren’t one of the lucky ones who was able to escape the city or suburbs and relocate to some quaint cabin in the woods during the pandemic, you’ve probably at least thought about it (and been jealous of those who could. Unless you already live in a cabin in the woods). But what if you could bring some of the woods…to you. That was the basic premise behind a 2018 survey out of Australia, that took a look at the effects of having wood in an office.

Keeping in mind that this isn’t any type of scientific study, the survey results did point to the fact that people said they had more pleasant, satisfying work experiences when they were able to see “natural-looking wooden items” from their workstations, including things like desks, tables, doors, beams and paneling:

“Satisfaction with both working life and the physical workplace increases steadily with the proportion of natural-looking wooden surfaces. People in workplaces with less than 20% natural-looking wooden surfaces are far less satisfied with both their working life and physical workplace compared to those with a high proportion of wood.”

On top of that, survey participants who worked in places with more exposed wood indicated higher rates of their personal productivity, ability to concentrate, and overall mood.

So will adding some elements involving wood to your home office make your workday more pleasant? You’ll have to be the judge of that.

As Lloyd Alter at Treehugger writes regarding the survey: “The idea that changing your desktop and your doorframe to a wood finish could make that much difference is surprising.”

Though, at the same time, Alter points out: “this survey demonstrates that people like wood and think they perform better in it, demonstrating that the benefits of building with wood do go beyond simply the savings in carbon.”

So if you’re deciding between office accessories made from wood (or something that is supposed to look like wood), these survey findings might be something to consider.

If you’d like to start fitting out your home office, check out Kmart’s new online furniture range as a start. We also have more tips on decking out your office here.

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

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