Working from Home? Top 10 Home Office Renovation Tips

Working from Home? Top 10 Home Office Renovation Tips

  • Dylan Costello
  • 08/30/22

Working from home in Boston, Mass., comes with a range of benefits: a boost in productivity, eliminating time-consuming commutes (save on gas expenses!), a more comfortable environment, more time with loved ones, and more. However, you'll need the proper home office setup to benefit most from the experience. This could be a feature you look for when searching for Back Bay homes for sale and Seaport Boston condos, or it can be as simple as a home office renovation right where you are!

Home office renovations can improve your productivity at home and increase your property's value by as much as 10%. On the other hand, improper home renovations can hurt your productivity and home value. According to Go Banking Rates, these mistakes include bad lighting, disorganization, and using flimsy materials and cheap finishes.

In addition to avoiding these mistakes, here are 10 of our top home office renovation tips we've learned from Boston's best interior designers.

1. Organize your space

Organization is the key to success in any career and home office space. When remodeling a room in your home to use as an office, you'll want to focus on ways to improve organization.

You might consider:

  • Adding shelving
  • Adding cubbies
  • Organizing by bins
  • Installing cabinets on your walls
  • Making use of desktop drawers and more.
One study published in SAGE Journals evaluated the impact of organizational factors on the productivity of employees working from home. The results found that “organizational factors and working culture were important for productivity.”

2. Declutter

Along the same lines as organizing your home office during renovations, you must also declutter. According to Harvard Business Review, your workplace environment substantially impacts how you work. Their research found that clutter can “drain our cognitive resources and reduce our ability to focus.” This is because — whether fully aware of it or not — your mind is more focused on the visual noise around you than your work-at-hand.

Another reason to declutter during renovations is that clutter can affect your mental health. DePaul University College of Science and Health professor Joseph Ferrari says office clutter can lead to emotional stress and exhaustion. Moreover, “Emotional exhaustion and stress can lead to all sorts of negative health outcomes [and] have a negative effect on workplace outcomes like job satisfaction and performance.”

3. Office ergonomics

One of the essential components of renovating your home office is ensuring that the things you interact with in your home office are in-sync with you. This concept is called ergonomics.

An Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division report found that ergonomics can benefit you by increasing productivity and efficiency, decreasing the risk of discomfort or pain, and leading to fewer days away from work to recover.

Office ergonomic renovations worth considering in your home include adjusting your workstation by the computer to fit your body.

  • Keep frequently used items in close reach.
  • Use a stool for foot support.
  • Use a pillow on your chair for lumbar support.
  • Use an adjustable chair.
  • Communicate in conferences and phone calls using reliable headphones to reduce neck strain from tilting your head while working.

4. Reduce distractions

Home office renovations are a growing trend in Back Bay real estate, Beacon Hill homes, and Seaport Boston condos. Boston neighborhoods are rapidly turning into work-from-home spaces that make productivity and motivation possible in the comfort of your home. The most common issue, however, that many remote workers experience is at-home distractions.

This often includes:

  • Watching TV while working
  • Distracting media on phones and nearby tablets
  • Family interruptions
  • Establishing a boundary between personal and professional work
According to one 2022 study on distractions in home-office environments, characteristics such as high noise levels, extreme temperatures, and shared space can impact the productivity of working from home. The report also found that home-workspace elements like natural light, furniture, and noise insulation can affect a worker's mental health — i.e., mood, stress, concentration, quality of sleep, etc. — at home.

5. Contain outside noise levels

Speaking of noise levels, containing outside noise levels is pertinent to working from home successfully. This not only includes the outdoors but the noise level indoors (but outside your home office). Many studies have reported a strong association between performance and noise levels among participants in a work environment.

Expert home advisors say to contain noise levels in your home office with renovations like the following:

  • Seal all holes in your wall
  • Add rugs to your space
  • Install a solid door and door sweep
  • Install acoustic panels in particularly noisy spaces
  • Hang up wall decor to reduce sound transfer
  • Noise-proof your ceiling
  • Use a white noise

6. Choose your paint colors according to your job

Believe it or not, paint color has been linked to various home office benefits. This is why it is essential to consider your personality and work when choosing the right colors.

According to color expert Annie Sloan, the color you choose should first and foremost be something you love, mixed with how you want the space to feel. For instance:

  • Green color schemes induce calm feelings
  • Blues offer tranquility and reduce stress
  • “Contemplative blues” boost deep thinking
  • Bright colors improve focus
The key is to find a combination of colors you enjoy being surrounded by and colors that empower you to get your work done.

7. Lighting matters

Another home office renovation many Boston residents forget to consider is lighting. According to a study conducted in 2019, employees working in environments with poor-quality lighting reported a decrease in efficiency and wellbeing. To ensure your home office is equipped with good lighting, you'll want to:

  • Leverage open windows for natural light
  • Incorporate lamps in your design, particularly on your work desk
  • Install overhead lighting on the ceiling if there isn't one already
  • Use bright white bulbs (4000K to 5000K)
Keep in mind that computer screens shouldn't face natural light directly since this can cause glare and prevent you from getting work done.

8. Bring natural elements indoors

One of the issues many Boston residents run into when working remotely is no longer going outdoors to get to and from work. While this can be great for saving time and money, it can also mean less time outside.

And the truth is, being outside is good for you. Studies show that one way to combat that issue is by adding natural elements to your home office. One study, in particular, reported a decrease in depressing moods and a boost in job satisfaction and organizational commitment when participants exposed themselves to more natural elements.

Some ways to bring natural elements indoors during your home office renovation include:

  • Natural lighting. Whether you add more windows, increase the size of your current windows, or simply open up your curtains more, having natural lighting and sunlight in your home office affects mental health and productivity.

  • Plants and flowers. Aside from being a beautiful addition to your space, plants have also been associated with cleaner indoor air, reduced stress, creativity boosts, and noise control.

  • Face your chair and desk outdoors. Build a space that allows you to face your work desk and chair outdoors. This will reduce glares on your computer screens and give you much-needed contact with the outdoors during work hours. This is essential since most of your day will be spent inside your home.

9. Inspire yourself by personalizing your space

Personalizing your space is one of the most critical elements of a home office renovation if you want to inspire more creativity, productivity, and high-quality work. Most Back Bay homes for sale are equipped with the most efficient home office trends and personalization features.

Some ways you can incorporate personalization into your space during renovations are by:

  • Including photos of family and pets

  • Putting up wall decor and accessories that lift your mood

  • Remind yourself of your career passions by including decor that depicts why you love what you do (i.e., a writer may incorporate writing quotes)

  • Surround yourself with your favorite books
According to one case study on a large company, such personalized features make you feel more comfortable in your space and enthusiastic about working. 

10. Check out Dylan Costello's featured properties for inspiration

Whether you plan on renovating your current home office or searching for a new home that better fits your needs, you should consider the top home renovations for boosting your productivity and success while working from home. It can be a big transition from in-office to remote working, but there are many ways to maximize your workflow and increase your output. They all include building a home office that is unique to you and your career, inspirational, comfortable, and functional.

Check out Dylan Costello's featured properties to find the best Beacon Hills homes for sale or to gather inspiration for your current home office renovations. Either way, you'll see some of the top trends in the industry that other home sellers and buyers are following to boost their motivation while working from home.

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