How Home Office Design Impacts Productivity


A well-designed home office can make you excited to start your day and help you avoid an afternoon slump.

The spaces we inhabit have an impact on our mood and motivation. You probably wouldn’t get much done if you tried to work in a dim, dusty broom closet. 

A well-designed home office can make you excited to start your day and help you avoid an afternoon slump. A poorly designed one can leave you restless, distracted, and needing a chiropractor. 

Here are some tried and true ideas, including some brain hacks, that will keep you productive all day.

What We’ve Learned from Corporate Offices – 

Companies big and small have experimented for years to find the “most productive” office design. In doing so, they inadvertently created the greatest feud since the invention of pineapple pizza: open floor plans vs. private offices.

Corporations were reminded the hard way that everyone works and thrives differently. But their many ideas did teach us a few things that can help everyone. 

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel for our personal offices. Here are some great hacks you should bring home:



Location: Hyde Park, Vermont

Good lighting can make the difference between a productive day or dry eyes and chronic headaches.

Try to set up your office near a window. Natural light is best for the brain. Choose a mix of fluorescent and warm-toned lights to balance your alertness and comfort.

House of Troy offers a blend of sturdy metallic desk lamps and ones with artfully crafted stoneware bases.


Location: Greenburg, Pennsylvania

During COVID-19, many parents quickly learned how terribly drywall acts as a sound barrier. Try to pick a room that’s not next to the kitchen or laundry room. Or invest in some noise-canceling panels. Placing furniture, a bookshelf, or decorative tapestries against one wall can also help dilute noise.

A noise-canceling door can make a huge difference. Soundproofing doors are given a Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating from 20-60. Overly Door Company makes great doors with an average STC rating of 40. That means you’ll barely hear loud noises and yelling through it!


Grey office cubicles are infamous for draining the life out of people. Studies have shown that warm colors motivate and energize the brain. Cool colors are calming.

You may not want to paint your walls hot pink or lime green, but accents of color can still influence your mood. 

Choose warmer woods like cherry for your desk or bookshelf. Pick a throw rug with earth-tone patterns or a cool modern splash. The sky is the limit for décor.

You have the power to choose your state of mind. Every little bit counts when you want to achieve everything on your to-do list. 

Health & Comfort


Countless studies have shown the benefits of nature on mental health. Stress goes down, and well-being goes up. Even adding a single plant to desks has shown to drastically improve productivity. Bring in a houseplant or two (don’t worry, many varieties are hard to kill). 
Try to choose a room in your home that has a window. Running water has also been shown to hugely improve mental health. Consider picking a tabletop water fountain. It doubly serves as décor! 

The Right Chair and Desk​

Location: San Antonio, Texas

Every office worker knows the pain of a stiff neck and back. The human body wasn’t designed to sit all day, let alone crouch over a tiny screen. Thankfully, you can pick any type of furniture in your home office to suit your style. Size, storage options, color, you name it. 

But don’t forget your own comfort! Sit-stand desks have exploded in popularity, like the Think Desk by Juniper. You can make height adjustments through Bluetooth! If you get sore from sitting, raising the desk’s height to stand for a period is easy. For comfortable seating, look for ergonomic chairs that allow you to customize height, back, and neck support. Avoid those afternoon headaches and restless legs! 

Healthy Treats

Keep up your energy with caffeine, healthy snacks, and, most importantly, water. If you don’t want to break the flow of your work by wandering out of your office, consider investing in a mini fridge to keep your snacks and drinks close at hand. Try rewarding yourself with a treat after you complete each large task!

Air Quality

Location: Amarillo, Texas
Air quality is hugely important. We ingest far more pollutants indoors than outdoors. These pollutants can cause headaches, allergic reactions, and worse. Invest in as many green products as possible to reduce the harsh chemicals in your home. Another helpful tip is to change your home’s HVAC air filters regularly. 
Portable air purifiers like those made by Air Oasis can combat seasonal allergies and reduce your chances of sickness. We love this brand because they clearly answer all your questions about how different air filters work. You can also research HEPA and Carbon Air Purifiers by Austin Air Systems. Another tip is to examine how well the room is ventilated and see if you can improve airflow. Place large furniture wisely to avoid blocking vents. 


Outlets & Cord Organizers

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

When you’re designing your office, don’t forget to keep your outlets accessible! Best of all, pick a room that has many of them. Consider getting a cord organizer to keep your devices organized. D-Line makes cable trays that you can attach underneath your desk. It’s the perfect size for a power strip, and you can place it within reach. 

If you have kids, this is also a great option to keep electric or tripping hazards to a minimum without shoving all your cords behind your desk in a tangled mess.

Open or Cozy?

You may not be able to bring your coworkers home, but you can still choose an “open” office plan. Some people think more clearly when they have extra space and an occasional visitor. Try selecting a room with a high ceiling and consider an open doorway design. Or utilize interior design hacks like hanging a large mirror or painting the walls with horizontal stripes to make the room feel larger. 
Alternatively, if you feel more focused when tucked away with just your work, try adding a comfortable lounge in one corner or some thick drapes for added privacy. 

Things You Can’t Do in a Public Office

It’s great being able to work from home. There, you’re (kinda) the boss. Having control over a few extra details can make a good day great. 
Here are some final tips for your home office that you couldn’t implement in a corporate setting. 

Find the Right Temperature

We’ve all had that one boss who seemed determined to turn us into popsicles at work or cranked the heat so high we couldn’t keep our eyes open. At home, you are the ruler of the thermostat (unless you have a partner – then good luck). 
Invest in a fan or space heater to keep your workspace at the ideal temperature. And consider opening the window every once in a while to get some fresh air. 

Enjoy a HiFi Sound System

Some people thrive with a bit of background noise. If that’s you, consider a high-fidelity speaker or headphones to play music or ambient sounds as you work.

Even your corporate training videos will sound better over a nice speaker or comfy headphones than through your computer. Give your ears a break after all those Zoom calls. 

Add Your Favorite Scents

Making the air smell like pumpkin spice or setting (tiny) fires in the office are big no-nos. But not at home! Positive smells can put you in a great frame of mind without setting off someone’s allergies a few cubicles over.
Some scents, like rosemary and peppermint, are reported to improve mental clarity and memory. You can experiment with candles, diffusers, or air fresheners when you need that extra boost. Air Oasis offers discounts if you buy an air filter and essential oil diffuser simultaneously.

Personalize Your Motivational Décor

You can pick any color scheme and decoration style at home. Perhaps you feel motivated every time you look at your signed poster of Taylor Swift. No one’s there to judge! Who likes generic office artwork anyway?
Let your personality shine, and have fun. Working at home can and should feel rewarding.

What else works for you?

What home office products have you discovered that you can’t live without? Share it with us on Facebook or LinkedIn.

About the Author

Caylah Coffeen is a writer and editor sharing her insight on unique home products that help readers make their homes feel more like home. She also mentors fiction authors at her publishing company, Creative Cornerstones, based in Huntsville, Alabama.


Related Articles