If you’re like the majority of the world’s workforce, then you’re probably working from home and still finding ways to boost your level of motivation and productivity while at your makeshift home office. And that’s a good thing—but this 2021, consider prioritizing your mental health, too.
Studies found that people responded positively to the sudden shift to remote work—employees were more productive, finished their tasks on time, and then some. But all of this fruitfulness and productivity happened at the expense of their emotions, interpersonal relationships, and sense of security about the future of their careers.
There’s nothing wrong with excelling and thriving at work, but your mental health and emotional wellness deserve some care, too. Here are some creative design ideas you can incorporate into your home office to promote mental and emotional well-being.
It may seem strange to recommend a design element that is often reserved for bars and parties, but hears me out: A neon light is fun, sleek, and provides a modern edge to an otherwise traditional office. One neon light can immediately add a cosmopolitan feel to your home office without you having to incorporate too many details into the workspace. If you find that your home office is too dull, consider adding a neon light that says something inspiring—words like “Do what you love,” or even your own name. It’s a quick and simple way to add visual excitement to your workspace and, in turn, provide you some much-needed cheer.
Speaking of motivational quotes, it may seem corny to some. Still, experts say that human beings are wired for aspiration, and the power of inspirational language can help propel us to become better. Old sayings, oft-quoted motivational words exist for a reason; they are passed down from one generation to the next because they inspire multitudes of people to be better than they are.
This is why it may be significantly beneficial for you to surround yourself with words that mean a lot to you. Commission a calligrapher to write down your favorite motivational quote and hire a printing service to create framed prints for your office. Not only will the words remind you that better days are ahead, but well-designed typography can also improve your home office’s aesthetic too.
If inspirational quotes are too much, you can also have some artwork printed for your office walls. Researchers found that viewing art can help provide a moment of relief from symptoms of depression and anxiety. Of course, art alone cannot completely heal our mental health struggles, but there is still so much benefit to surrounding ourselves with art that we love and means so much.
The psychology of color suggests that different colors affect our mood in surprising and immediate ways. Some examples include blue providing a sense of serenity and calm, green reminding us of nature and refreshing us, and yellow exuding joy, playfulness, and creativity. Pay around with your walls’ colors to see what shades and hues can lift your mood just by being around it.
Remember the office? Many interior design experts suggested having a “re-charging station” of sorts where people can sit, have coffee, and chat with their co-workers. If it was a good idea to have this space in the workplace, it’s also beneficial to have it in your home office, no matter how small your space is. Consider investing in a nice couch or statement chair whose sole purpose is to give you space to rest and stop thinking about work. It’s your “no-work” zone, where you’re not allowed to answer work emails or calls. Your office chair will not cut it; you need to find a space where you can get your mind off work, even just for a few minutes, throughout the day.
Pets, plants, and natural light
And lastly, consider taking care of pets and plants. Experts say that pets are a great source of companionship and comfort, while seeing greenery regularly can provide a sense of healing, restoration, and serenity. While you’re at it, keep the drapes open and let the light in as well. Being exposed to natural light improves your sleep hygiene, which means it can help improve your mental well-being as well.
There are plenty of elements in our home office that can make or break our emotional and mental well-being. The devil’s in the details, so make sure to inundate your home workspace with things you love and make you happy. Your mental and emotional health is worth the re-decorating.