We’re witnessing a revolution of workspaces. We’re seeing the end of cubicles and formal desks. And we’re totally noticing the number of people building their careers right at the comfort of their home. Workplaces are being designed to promote interaction, engagement, and flexibility. Modern homes are also tweaking interior designs to encourage productivity and creativity. Living in a condo, which is preferred by millennials and young professionals, has a huge advantage given the location. Among the benefits of condo living is that it allows you to move and be more flexible, encouraging productivity. Its comforts and conveniences also make it easier for dwellers to focus on what truly matters: family, work, and personal growth.
But if your condo design somehow slows you down, makes you want to do nothing but crash on the couch, then it is time to do some tweaking. See how you can incorporate creative condo design ideas in your own space to inspire your brain and your body to be more productive.
Make room for a productivity corner
You don’t have to replicate your work desk in the office if you don’t want the idea of taking office assignments with you. Don’t think that a regular table and chair stuffed in a sad corner is the only way to have a semblance of a “home office.”
Make room in your small condo design for a productivity corner. In terms of location, choose one that is quiet and has minimal traffic flow. You may also position your desk where you can stare at a view instead of just a blank, boring wall. If your condo doesn’t have a window, a nice portrait or painting would do.
Invest in a comfortable and ergonomically-correct chair that complements the overall look of your condo. Choose homey accessories instead of the normal office trays and folders. Organize your stuff and surround yourself with the things that you love.
In fact, you don’t exactly need a desk. It could be a pair of chaise lounge and a side table. It could be a hammock. Know what you need and what works for you.
Boost productivity with color
Forget “office beige,” your brain needs something more stimulating. Surrounding yourself with the right color is one of the ways to boost productivity levels.
Researchers from the University of Texas found that white, beige, and bland gray normally used in the office to induce feelings of sadness especially among female employees. On the other hand, colors of nature such as green and blue improve efficiency and focus and tend to make people happier. A mellow shade of yellow is known to boost optimism, energy, and freshness. It is the color of innovation perfect for artists, writers, and developers. If you need something intense, go for red, which is the color of passion.
Find the perfect lighting
Think about how you design your office or work station: you probably took too much time with the pictures, action figures, and peg board for post-its but did not bother with the lighting.
A Bloomberg article reported how studies suggest that exposure to blue light (like the ones cellphones and screens emit) can “improve alertness, attentiveness, and even your mood.” Researchers also found that blue light in a dark room allowed subjects to complete cognitive tasks faster. So if you want to train your brain to respond quickly and be alert, installing blue light in a room can help. However, if you’re on the more creative side, dim lights are found to “trigger a risky, explorative processing style.”
Open up for natural light
Speaking of lighting, never underestimate the power of natural light. One study revealed that natural light helped improve test results and enhanced productivity, energy, and creativity.
Position your desk near windows and openings. Clean them regularly so you can maximize light intake. If natural light is not possible, go for light that bounces off a wall or ceiling for a more soothing and calming effect.
Choose the right temperature and scent
The temperature of a place affects brain chemistry and productivity. Studies suggest you avoid lowering temperature as warmer rooms seem to make people more productive. At home, adjust your cooler accordingly so that you’re comfortable. You can also just choose to open your windows and let natural air flow through.
Complement your condo’s interior design with a scent that tricks your mind to be productive and creative. Pine increases alertness, cinnamon improves focus, peppermint lifts your mood, and citrus wakes you up and lifts your spirits. At home, you can also use candles and essential oils.
Be inspired with greens
One of the benefits of condo living is having access to common spaces that focus on nature such as landscapes, gardens, and other resort-type facilities. Lush greens do not only make you feel refreshed, they also trick your brain to be more productive.
A 2014 study conducted by psychologists found that houseplants improve productivity and performance. If you think a condo garden is too much for you, start with one or two potted plants. Put them in a location where you can always see them. You can also start your own mini-vertical garden in your balcony and then position your desk where you can have a view of it. Some of the best garden plants in the Philippines do not require much care and attention, perfect for busy condo dwellers.
Apart from a refreshing view and a productivity boost, houseplants also help filter the air.
Avoid clutter and distraction
It’s not very easy to stay focused and productive at home because the entire place can be distracting. The least you can do is to keep things in order, clean your environment, and avoid clutter. Level up your organization skills with storage hacks and commit to cleaning your workspace at least 10 minutes a day.
The power of cuteness
This one is a real winner. A study conducted by the Hiroshima University in Japan found that staring at cute baby animals improve concentration and productivity. In the research, participants who looked at photos of cute animals increased concentration by 44%. Definitive or not, the study suggests that now you can have the perfect excuse for looking at cute dogs and pandas to brighten up your mood.
Your environment has a lot to do with your performance and productivity. Don’t let the layout or design of your home slow you down. Make some minor changes now and see how these impact your habits in a major way.