Desk of dreams: How to create a smart and stylish at-home workspace

Make working from home a blissful breeze with our top tips for keeping your desk fit for a CEO.

Updated

glasses, orange notebook and cup of coffee on white table

Having a well-organised desk is about a lot more than simply having a pretty place to put your pens (although we’re all for that). Rather, a few simple changes to your workspace can increase your productivity, boost your mood and make your at-home workspace somewhere you actually want to be.

Home office 101: Make a plan

One of our favourite home office setup ideas is to actually draw out your desk layout on a sheet of paper. This will help you figure out what you absolutely need to have (computer, keyboard, mouse etc), what would be nice to have (phone holder, family photo) and what probably shouldn’t be there (spare notebooks, hard drives).

Always leave yourself a little bit of blank space either side. This isn’t just handy for note-taking – a completely full and cluttered desk can quickly leave you feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Clear space, clear mind.

Home office level 2: Make it your own

Having a clean and tidy desk area doesn’t mean your home office needs to be a completely personality-free zone. If you work from home a lot, your desk is where you’ll spend a good chunk of your day, so find little ways of adding things that make you smile. Here are a few easy home office decor ideas:

  • Use washi tape to add a beloved quote to a nearby wall or, better yet, create a cool moodboard by tearing out inspiring pages from your favourite magazines
  • A small house plant not only adds interest and colour, but plenty of studies have shown that having some greenery in a workspace helps reduce stress and sickness (speaking of reducing sickness, keep germs at bay by making sure to keep all your electronics clean)
  • Upgrade those basics. Pick out a pretty notebook, stock your drawer with your favourite pens or treat yourself to a gorgeous hand-made mug
potted plant on the white table

Bonus tip: A quick change of scenery is a great productivity booster. Another great office room idea, if you have the space for it, is to set up an area away from the desk itself where you can read, research or even make calls.

Home office pro: Make it stick

Do you often start the week with a beautifully organised workspace only to end it buried under cold cups of tea, leaky pens and no-longer-relevant post-its? Getting into the habit of keeping your work area clean and tidy definitely pays off in the long run. Set aside five minutes at the end of each day to do the following (you might even want to write these down on one of those post-its…):

  • Get rid of any dirty cups, plates of half-empty food containers
  • Sort your paperwork: File away anything you need to keep, shred and recycle anything you don’t. Believe us when we say: taming desk clutter makes life better (For help mastering a messy desk, check out our in-depth desk-tidying guide.)
  • Give the area a quick tidy; put pens back in their place, turn your notebook to a new page, straighten up any other desk accessories. Tomorrow’s you will be grateful!
notebook, eraser and colored pencils on blue table

Originally published