Home Office Heaven*

"You don't gotta go to work, work, work, work..." Anyone else still obsessed with the Fifth Harmony song Work from Home? Maybe it's just me! By contrast, if you regularly shun the office and work from home, you're certainly not alone! In 2016, an estimated 1.5 million people worked from home - a far larger figure than I was expecting when I first started researching for this post! Although, I am confident that pretty much every blogger reading this post will be able to relate to working from home, as most people (myself included) run their entire blogs from the comfort of their bedrooms, and perhaps the occasional coffee shop. So, when the office interior design experts at the Penketh Group invited me to share some home office inspiration, I leapt at the chance! If you want to find out what makes a heavenly home office, just keep scrolling!

 ✏️ Why bother with a home office? 💼

It's super tempting when working or blogging just to snuggle up in bed to get your latest post done, am I right? However, trying to be productive in a space that is most importantly used for sleep can be detrimental. Firstly, being in a relaxing place can keep you from focusing, leading to procrastination! Secondly, working in your relaxation space can prevent you from sleeping and chilling out in the evening, as you start to subconsciously associate that place with thinking and working! So, what's the solution? Not all of us have a spare room to craft into our perfect home office, but there are simple things that you can try! You can still divide your space between work and rest - just having a desk designated for work in the corner of your bedroom can really help focus your mind when you sit down there!

 ✏️ Let's get down to business... 💼

TO DEFEAT THE HUNS! I'm sorry, I couldn't resist! Aaaaanyway, to furnish your office space, you can find blogger-friendly white desks at relatively inexpensive prices on Amazon. Perfect for blog photos as well as productive post writing! Kitting yourself out with an ergonomic chair which supports your back and a footrest to props up your tootsies is another must - although a little bit of yoga can really help soothe any aching muscles, prevention is way better than cure. You may also consider investing in a storage unit or filing cabinet for your paperwork and files. If you want to channel your inner Barbie during your organising process, you can even buy a bright pink filing cabinet! Who said that office supplies had to be boring?! So, now we've sorted the basics, let's get a little more creative!

 ✏️ Make your Space (P)Interesting! 💼

(Get it? I laughed too hard at my own joke!) Just because your home office is a place for productivity doesn't mean that it has to be bland and boring! My lovely blogger friend Ellis, who works from home full-time as an illustrator, says that although her home office is the place where she gets her business head on, she still makes it very personal: "I love having little things like a cushion on my chair with a fluffy blanket draped across the back just in case I get a bit chilly. I also have a moodboard above my computer where I pop other people's business cards, photos, or inspiring artwork, and I have some art on the walls too." Making your home office warm, inviting, and Pinterest-worthy is definitely an essential as it'll mean that you're even more motivated to sit down there and get your shit done! Get some photos printed for free using the FreePrints app to personalise your office, or pay a visit to Ellis's shop to nab yourself a beautiful print!

✏️ Staying Motivated 💼

It's all well and good having a gorgeous home office setup, but keeping up your motivation to work can still be tricky at home, as there are always distractions! Using an app like Toggl which runs in the background of your computer, tracking exactly how much time you're spending on certain programmes (INCLUDING FACEBOOK *cough*) can show you where you're wasting time, so you can work to avoid it. Setting yourself a schedule, or even just having a rough to-do list of what you want to achieve each day can also be really handy. The simple act of getting dressed can work wonders for your motivation too - although sitting in your dressing gown can be tempting, dressing like you mean business can really help you feel professional and power through! Working with the pomodoro technique is another winner in my book: set a timer giving yourself 20 minutes to work, followed by 5 minutes break, and repeat until the task is done! I get things done so much faster with this trick!

✏️ And now for some pure fantasy... 💼

By now we've covered all of the practicalities of designing your dream home office, so it's time for a little bit of daydreaming! Let's talk about the office features that you really want, such as a shirtless Zac Efron lookalike to feed you chocolate when you get peckish, or a desk chair that massages you as you type! That'd be pretty great, eh? While we're at it, I'll ensure that my home office is in fact located on a beautiful desert island with an unlimited supply of cocktails - feel free to join me!

And there we have it - my home office heaven is now complete! A huge thank you goes out to the wonderful Ellis for helping me out so much with this post, her insight as a full time home office aficionado couldn't have been more valuable. I'll hopefully be bringing all of this to life (without the Zac Efron lookalikes, *sob*) in October when I start my PhD, as I like to do most of my writing in my flat! Wish me luck!

Do you have a home office setup? If so, what are your essentials? Please share in the comments!

Until next time,

A x

*This is a collaborative post with the Penketh Group and contains affiliate links