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Flick through magazines and interior design websites for office inspiration and you’ll find a sea of images all depicting idyllic rooms that are stylish, spacious and minimalist.

Flick back to real life and our office spaces never resemble the idealised imagery we see rattling around in the media. Papers piled high, coffee rings on the desk and a flurry of sticky notes every time the desk fan is turned on.

But the good news is, it doesn’t matter whether you have a tranquil annexe at the bottom of the garden or a cramped, box room study under the stairs. There are lots of things you can do to make your office space more welcoming – and more productive.

And the easier your office is to work in, the more likely you’ll want to spend time in there. Ready to get started? Here are our top tips for a more productive workspace!

 

1. Keep it tidy

If you work from home or are currently studying, then making sure your office space is separate from the household is really important. Keep it like you would a workplace – if dinner plates, toys and remote controls start finding their way into your office, then the lines between work and home time end up being blurred. This can mean too many distractions during the day to be productive and then working late into the night to make up for it. So, make sure you keep regular hours and keep domestic items out of your office.

 

2. Ensure you have the correct lighting

It’s also really valuable to have a space that is warm and welcoming. At the end of each day, organise your desk space so that it’s clean and tidy – ready for you to start afresh in the morning. Get lots of natural light and for when it gets darker, place lamps around the room.

Harsh lights can give you a headache and strain your eyes so make sure your office is somewhere you actually want to spend time. You might even want to use rope lights or fairy lights for that finishing touch.

 

3. Create an environment for concentration

Keep your room warm and if you prefer, have some quiet music playing to help you concentrate. Taking regular breaks will also help your concentration as well as motivate you. Make sure your breaks are away from the screen and help you to zone out. Perhaps you can take a walk around the garden, make a coffee or play some music. Whatever helps you to clear your mind.

 

4. Get the right furniture

It’s really important that your office furniture – be it your chair, desk or shelves – is up to scratch. There’s nothing worse than spending the day trying to work at a cramped desk or on an uncomfortable chair. Take the time getting it right and you’ll have a space where you can be comfortable, productive and focused.

Comfort, organisation and ease of working are all going to contribute to your productivity throughout the day. Having to stop and start because you've lost an important document - or you need to get up after being hunched over - is guaranteed to interrupt your day. It'll also cause you more problems in the long run.

 

5. Office chairs - are you sitting comfortably?

Making sure your office chair is comfortable is really important in helping you be productive at home, as is ensuring your chair is at the right height. Choose an office chair that is adjustable to avoid getting any aches and pains in your neck and your back.

And if you need to move around a lot for your job accessing different books or folders, get a chair with wheels to save you from having to get up and down. It’ll save you both time and energy which could be used on getting through your workload instead.

The Hartleys Adjustable Chair With Wheels will help you get around your office space in no time and is cushioned for extra comfort.

Or if you already have an office chair but would like to add wheels, we have a range of office chair parts to help you upgrade your seating.

Need some support? Add a lumbar support cushion to your chair to help ease your lower back, soften the seat – or both!

 

6. Office desks - what desk should you get?

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The right desk can make your working day run so much more smoothly. Spacious desks can be convenient, but they can also get mistaken for storage and end up looking cluttered. Add a touch of minimalist elegance with the Hartleys 2 Level Glass Desk in black.

The extra space below will help to keep your essentials out of sight while you work including your PC tower and any folders or books you might need.

Looking for drawer space? Why not choose the White Retro Home Office Desk? Great for keeping all your stationery tucked away and is ideal for those who are studying or need a clear space to think.

 

7. Overbed tables – increasing your working spaces

If you do need extra desk space them having something like an overbed table can be really useful. That’s not to say you should be working late into the night of course! But they do provide an extra surface for papers and can be angled and moved around easily to help you see.

Perhaps you need to type something up, maybe you need to keep a close eye on your plan or perhaps even you need to have your laptop up while you work at your PC. And when you’re finished, they can be easily folded away and stored so they don’t take up too much space.

 

8. What height to have your computer screen

When you spend eight or more hours a day at your desk, it’s vital that everything is positioned correctly so that you don’t end up with back or neck problems, as well as things like headaches and strained eyes. You might not notice it so much if you only use your computer occasionally at home, but when you use one for your job, you can really notice the aches and pains creeping in over time.

Make sure your monitor is set at the right height – this means the top of your screens should be slightly below eye level. There shouldn’t be any glare and it should be about arm’s length away from you. If your monitor is too low, you can end up straining your neck. Give your screens a lift with a monitor riser.

Not only will they position your screens at the right height, but they will also provide you with some storage space underneath for stationery, notebooks and pens.

 

9. Stay organised

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Staying organised is one of the ultimate ways for helping to improve your productivity while you work. This includes having your things in order and easily accessible; a plan for your working day and a strategy for your timescales and deadlines. And there are lots of ways you can stay organised in your workplace at home.

Worktop tidies are great for helping you keep all your tools to hand, as well as giving you somewhere to arrange all your stationery – or even keeping your mug of coffee out the way!

And make sure you have lots of storage space in your office too. You can do this with shelving, basket storage or cube furniture. Label your storage and make sure you have room for extras for when you need to buy new books or folders.

 

If you’d like more ideas, browse our website for home office inspiration so you can make the most of your living space.