Working from home is quickly becoming the norm for many Americans. Nearly 25 percent of U.S. employees worked out of their homes last year.1 The trouble is the home office can be distracting – you might be tempted to walk the dog, do a load of laundry or run errands instead of focusing on your work.

To limit interruptions, create an environment that helps you concentrate and keeps you motivated.

Pick a spot to call your home office

You don’t have to dedicate an entire room to your office, but try to find a space that isn’t synonymous with relaxation and downtime. For example, avoid working in your bedroom – you don’t want to go to sleep at night thinking about work.2 This will help you maintain a separation between your work and home life. If you don’t have a spare room for a home office, consider setting up shop in a different spot:3

  • The kitchen island, which can be especially convenient if it has storage and built-in power outlets
  • A large closet – just put the desk in and leave the door open when you need to sit down and get your work done

Let there be light

A well-lit workspace is essential, but be careful about light falling directly on your computer screen. It can cause glares and eye strain.4 Opt for natural light when you can. You can also reduce screen glare by:4

  • Angling a desk lamp at paperwork rather than at the computer screen
  • Positioning the monitor so that windows aren’t in front of or behind it

Get ergonomic office furniture

Even if you have a limited budget for office furniture, make sure to invest in a comfortable chair. Ideally, your chair will:4

  • Have adjustable height settings for the chair itself and the armrests
  • Offer lumbar support
  • Move 360 degrees and allow for rocking

If standing while you work is more your speed, consider an adjustable standing desk. You might also want to pick up these ergonomic accessories to reduce repetitive motion strain:4

  • An anti-fatigue mat (if you stand to work)
  • A flexible footrest (if you prefer to sit)
  • A lift for your laptop
  • An adjustable keyboard platform that offers wrist support

Spruce up the space

Indoor plants are an easy way to add life to your workspace. Did you know they can boost your productivity by up to 15 percent? They can also improve your air quality and make you feel more satisfied with your work.5

Find a plant that fits your lifestyle and is easy to care for. Consider a plant that does well without a lot of direct sunlight.5

Choose your colors wisely

Consider your work goals and pick office décor or paint schemes to support those efforts. Research shows that saturated blue colors increase alertness, especially in folks who burn the midnight oil. Scientists believe the color simulates light from a daytime sky and, therefore, can affect our internal clocks.6

On the other hand, red can create excitement and energy, whereas bright colors may help spark creativity.6

Your design choices for a home workspace can have a measurable effect on your energy and focus. Complement these efforts with behavior shifts, too. Instead of wearing your bathrobe to work from home, consider getting dressed like you would for the office.7 It’s a small thing, but it can impact your readiness to take on the day.

Now that you’ve considered the look and feel of your workspace, learn how to protect your business property.