Zen Home Office: Peaceful Productivity

how to create a zen home office

Creating a zen home office is about designing a space that nurtures your soul, inspires creativity and sets the stage for success. It's about finding ways to bring peace to your workspace and making it a place you want to be. It can be challenging to balance your professional and personal life under the same roof, but there are some easy steps you can take to add a sense of calm and focus to your home office.

Characteristics Values
Colour Blues and greens are soothing, while yellows and oranges are stimulating. Avoid pastels and dark colours.
Plants Live plants add colour and beauty, bring moisture, help clean indoor air, and reduce stress.
Music Depending on the tune, music can be mentally stimulating, calming or rejuvenating.
Light Natural lighting boosts health, happiness and productivity. Swap fluorescent lights for something soft and calming.
Clutter Keep surfaces clear, particularly your desk.
Organisation Create a simple folder system on your computer.
Distractions Disable distractions, including social media and email notifications, except for two to three designated times daily.
Comfort Make physical comfort a priority. Choose a chair that supports your spine's natural curves and adjust it so that your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Noise Reduce distracting noises.
Scents Aromatherapy can boost energy and instill a sense of calm.


Declutter and organise

Clutter leads to chaos, so if you want to establish a Zen home office, you need to create a calm and clutter-free environment.

Start by organising your desk. The first step is to get rid of things you don't need or don't use. Your desk should only contain the things you need on a consistent basis to do your job. Everything else can find a new home or be thrown away.

If you have a lot of papers, go through them and decide whether to take action, toss, file, or delegate. Repeat this process at the end of each workday so that you don't have to touch the same sheet of paper more than once. Create an inbox for incoming documents, notes, and phone messages, and empty it out once a day.

Clear your desk of knick-knacks, post-its, and framed photographs (you can keep one favourite). The only items on your desk should be those you need to perform your current tasks. If you have items you no longer need, from office equipment to jewellery, you can sell them to make a bit of cash and create extra space.

Make sure everything has a place. When each item in your home office has its own dedicated spot, you cut down on clutter and avoid the stress of looking for a place to put things away. If you know exactly where your stapler belongs, for instance, you're much more likely to just put it back when you're done.

Keep as many surfaces clear as possible, particularly your desk. Ensure your most-used items are easily accessible and keep rarely used items tucked away and out of sight. Use wire organisers, tubing, or cord winders to tame that tangle of cords and wires.

Regularly purge any items that don't belong in your office. If you have overhead shelving, use it to store away items you don't always need at your fingertips. Use file folders, binders, or desk trays to keep your items properly classified. Make friends with a label maker to create a sense of ownership and help you recognise anything you've misplaced.

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Add plants

Zen design encourages the inclusion of natural elements, and plants are an excellent way to bring the outdoors into your home office. They add colour and beauty to a room, improve health, and brighten your mood. Plants are also known to purify the air, removing contaminants and increasing oxygen levels.

When selecting plants for your zen home office, consider the amount of light the space receives. If your office doesn't get much natural light, opt for plants that don't need abundant sunshine to thrive, such as succulents, snake plants, and lucky bamboo. You can also choose from a variety of artificial plants that require no maintenance and still add a touch of nature to your space.

Incorporate a few live plants of different heights and textures to create a calming and visually appealing atmosphere. Place them on your desk, shelves, or in corners of the room. Not only will they improve the aesthetics of your office, but they will also enhance your overall well-being.

In addition to their practical benefits, plants can also hold personal significance. For example, you could include a plant given to you as a gift from a loved one or one that reminds you of a special memory.


Pick the right colours

Colour is an important factor to consider when creating a zen home office. The colours you choose can impact the room's feel, which in turn influences your mood and productivity. If you want to create a calm and soothing space, opt for neutral tones, muted colours, and blues, greens, beiges, and greys. Earthy hues are a great choice for creating a zen atmosphere and can be used for your walls, furniture, and artwork.

It's best to avoid aggressive reds, oranges, and yellows, as these colours may invoke feelings of stress or heightened emotion. Instead, consider using these colours as small pops of intense colour, such as an accent wall or a statement chair. Blues and greens are known to improve efficiency and focus, so consider painting the wall behind your desk a deep blue or green, or combining the two colours by using teal or aqua.

If you're looking for a colour that inspires creativity, green is a great option. However, it may be overwhelming in a small office space. In that case, you can add pops of green through accent pieces or a lush green chair in the corner for brainstorming sessions.

Whites and neutrals are also popular choices for a zen home office as they are subdued and tend to reduce visual distractions. Ultimately, your home office is your personal space, and you should paint or decorate it in colours that please you and convey how you want to feel while you work.

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Reduce noise

Reducing noise is an important part of creating a peaceful and productive work environment. Here are some tips to minimise noise distractions and create a zen home office:

Soundproof Your Office Space

One of the most effective ways to reduce noise is to soundproof your home office. Identify the source of the noise and determine whether you need to target sound absorption inside the office or sound reduction from outside.

For inside noise, adding soft and plush materials can help to absorb sound. This includes area rugs, upholstered or plush furniture, wall art, acoustic panels, and even blankets. These soft surfaces will help to dampen and absorb sound waves, preventing them from echoing and creating a reverberating effect.

To reduce outside noise, focus on sealing any gaps or openings. You can do this by:

  • Installing a solid-core door instead of a hollow-core door.
  • Filling in gaps under doors with door sweeps or door seals.
  • Sealing holes in walls, especially around outlets or ducts, with all-purpose caulk.
  • Installing window inserts or replacing old windows with double or triple-paned windows to block outside noise.
  • Using soundproof curtains, which can also serve as room dividers.

Minimise Distractions and Create a Calm Environment

In addition to soundproofing, you can reduce noise distractions by creating an environment that promotes calm and focus:

  • Use a "Do Not Disturb" sign to set boundaries and let others know you should not be disturbed when working.
  • Invest in a white noise machine to help mask distracting noises and create a soothing background sound.
  • Use noise-cancelling headphones to filter out unwanted noise, especially during online meetings or calls.
  • If possible, relocate your workspace to a quieter room or area in your home, away from busy areas or common distractions.

By combining soundproofing techniques and creating a calm environment, you can effectively reduce noise distractions and create a zen-like atmosphere in your home office.


Create a view

Creating a Zen home office involves making your workspace a place of calm and comfort. One of the most important aspects of this is giving yourself a refreshing view.

Positioning your desk near a window is a great way to create a soothing view. Looking outside provides a change of scenery and natural lighting, helping you feel less confined. If your office doesn't have a window, you can hang a beautiful painting, picture, or other work of art that inspires a sense of calm and wellbeing.

Plants are another way to enhance your view and create a connection to nature. They add a sense of growth and improve the energy of your space. Certain varieties, such as succulents, snake plants, and lucky bamboo, are resilient and don't require abundant sunlight. They also improve indoor air quality and boost productivity and concentration.

To further enhance your view, consider the colours in your office space. Blues and greens are soothing, while neutrals like white, grey, beige, and cream create a subdued atmosphere that reduces visual distractions. Avoid aggressive reds, oranges, and yellows, which may invoke feelings of stress or heightened emotion.

By focusing on the view in your home office, you can create a calming and inspiring environment that promotes productivity and a sense of well-being.

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Frequently asked questions

Start by decluttering your space and organising your desk. Only keep the things you need on your desk and store the rest elsewhere.

Blues and greens are soothing colours that improve efficiency and focus. You can also use pops of vibrant blue, green and lavender to keep the space calm but stimulating. Avoid pastels and dark colours.

To block out distracting noise, you can swap your hollow-core door for a solid one, seal the bottom of your door, install acoustic panels on the walls, seal any gaps around ducts, windows and outlets, add rugs and wall hangings, and reinforce your windows.

Position your desk near a window so you can benefit from natural lighting and scenery. If you don't have a window, use a lamp with a dimmer to adjust the lighting throughout the day.

Bring in some plants to improve your indoor air quality and boost your productivity and concentration. You can also add inspirational images of your loved ones or a vision board to keep you motivated.

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