Working from home became the temporary norm in early 2020, and as Boris Johnson announced a new lockdown yesterday, it’s going to continue as we enter 2021. Since many of us will be adapting to the hybrid way of working – finding a way to give your ‘work atmosphere’ a more permanent home is essential for our concentration and daily productivity, setting us up for success in the new year. This is where your home office décor comes in.

Of course, finding the balance between your home and home office is vital especially as it is to be more permanent in the new year. With this said, there are some small essential items you can use to help bring the office vibe to you without intruding on your cosy home aesthetic. Here, we discuss the remote working essentials you need in 2021.

1. White LED lights

Natural daylight is thought to be the best way to help promote mental wellbeing and boost concentration. However, not all homes have the means to draw in a lot of natural light. There are some small home adjustments you can make to help improve your workspace lighting, though.

Lighting can do more than create a cosy ambience in our homes to help us relax. In fact, one study reveals that particular types of lighting help promote better concentration and learning ability. It’s found that cool light is better for concentration because it mimics sunlight, whereas yellow light creates a more relaxed atmosphere.

One substitute for natural lighting is white LED lights. White or blue is thought to help reduce drowsiness and keep you more alert throughout the day. But that’s not to say that you should go and replace all yellow lights in your home for bright white ones. Instead, task lighting is proven to be beneficial. Whether it be desk lamps, table lamps, or wall-mounted lights, white LED task lights are small yet effective at helping you concentrate on your daily work tasks.

2. Choose your desk wisely

Gone are the days where a pop up camping table ‘will do for now’, it’s time to find a more robust solution. At the same time, no one wants to feel like they’re at work all the time, so finding a desk that fits nice and subtly in your room rather than at the centre of it is essential. You could do this by purchasing a corner desk that fits the shape of your room. That way, after the workday is done, your desk is almost unnoticeable. Out of sight, out of mind.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with colour for your desk too. Because colour can influence our mood. You could purchase a vibrant yellow desk, or one that is splashed with paint for a more creatively inspiring solution. Also, if you have a picture that is bursting with colour or a cushion that is an impressively bright shade, surround yourself with these objects.

3. Plants and productivity 

Other than adding a splash of greenery and life to the concrete jungle that is an office space, studies find that your productivity can increase by 15 per cent when you add plants as décor. Plants are also proven to help decrease levels of anxiety, improve attentiveness, and heighten concentration.

There are many creative ways you can add plants to your office spaces. Whether it’s a cactus or aloe vera plant you place on your desk, an ivy vine plant to contrast against a plain wall, or a bouquet of flowers you replace weekly, adding plants to your office spaces can benefit your daily mood and motivation at work.

4. Files, folders, and all things vertically organisational

It’s easier, while working at home, to let our workspaces become messy and unorganised if there’s no-one around to see it. However, organisation can do more than make your papers easier to find – it can also help reduce work-related stress too. Boosting our mental wellbeing in 2021 is key to thriving at work so think – tidy desk, tidy mind.

Since no one wants to fill up their homes with boxes full of work equipment, make the most of your vertical spaces. Whether you utilise a wall-hanging pin board, a tall cabinet, or a few shelves, vertically organising the space dedicated to an office in your home will help keep things organised and stress-free.

5. Comfortable, ergonomic chairs

Although it’s easy to fall into the habit of substituting a desk chair for the sofa, make it your January goal to get an office-appropriate choice of seating. Plain old office chairs are renowned for not providing the best support for both comfortability and the correct sitting position, so opting for an ergonomic chair is a must.

An ergonomic chair is one that has been designed to support and improve your body’s posture whilst sitting down. Health professionals often raise the issue of how prolonged sitting can have serious impacts on our spines, so correcting your posture with an ergonomic office chair at home is vital. 

No matter how big or little the changes you make to your home office are, any difference could have a drastic impact on your productivity and motivation in 2021. Although many of us have returned to the office on some days of the week, maintaining that work frame of mind whilst working remotely is essential.