If you're a busy freelancer and your office space is in need of a bit of TLC, it can have a big impact on your productivity. The last thing you want is to be searching for your mouse under a pile of paperwork, right?
To help you get the new year off to the right start, we spoke to style expert and author Abigail Ahern, to get her advice on how to create an ideal home office. Here are her top tips for transforming your home office, so you can focus on what matters: being creative.
01. Invest in a good monitor
As a creative, having the best monitor to display your work in all its glory is vital. Curved screens, in particular, are not only aesthetically more appealing, they also wrap you up in the world you are working in, making your studio or home office feel totally immersive.
"For me, my day job is obviously incredibly visual, so I like a big screen for designing products, creating mood boards and going through my latest imagery," says Ahern.
02. Create 'zones'
Although a dedicated workspace is helpful, spend too long staring at your screen and you'll start to go a little stir-crazy. A smart way to counteract this feeling is by creating different areas within your home office.
"Comfortable seating and having different zones are super important for home offices," says Ahern. "No one likes to be sat at the desk all day, so have a separate nook where you can take calls, read through something, or just take five minutes."
03. Decorate the walls
You might not need much encouragement to follow this next tip: Get some artwork on the walls. Go for anything that makes you tick or inspires you, but Ahern's advice is to pick something motivational. "Being self-employed or working from home, it can sometimes be hard to keep on track," she explains. "I've got Superman facing me from my desk, so whenever the going gets tough, I can feel inspired to get back to it!"
04. De-clutter your space
It's not exciting, but setting up some proper storage and ensuring your workspace is neat and tidy is key to making sure you stay productive. "Keep your office space tidy: shut away clutter, and try to keep cables and wires to a minimum. In my studio, I added custom built-in cupboards to hide away the printer, scanner and files," says Ahern.
05. Choose a fragrance
It might not be top of your list, but Ahern appeals to her sense of smell for added motivation. "Every room needs a scent to complete it. I burn a combination of essential oils in my studio.
"Fragrances can really influence our mood, so I opt for something invigorating in my work space, for example rosemary is credited with improving memory and promoting clear thinking, or peppermint is like a double shot of espresso – enlivening and motivating."