An efficient home office relies on smart planning and storage. Purposeful design changes can help signal you're in a dedicated working space and not just another room in your home. Take your office to the next level with savvy upgrades that maximize style and function, while also centering you in your work. These simple additions easily transition to home decor, too, if you need to repurpose your office for guests or your work-from-home status is temporary.

Reduce Stress with Plants

Just one small plant at your desk can help alleviate stress and even encourage you to keep your surface clutter-free. If that's not reason enough to make room for a botanical buddy or three, studies also suggest plants improve productivity in an office setting. Decorate your home office with houseplants for fresh texture and color. Even if you don't have a green thumb, today's faux plants provide the convincing look of your favorite varieties without the upkeep.

Opt for Supportive Flooring

You might have considered converter kits that transition your desk from sitting to standing. Or maybe you even have a fully adjustable sit-stand desk. But what about the surface below you? Anti-fatigue floor mats can reduce discomfort and provide support while standing at a desk. A variety of sizes and materials are available so you can find the best choice for your home office. An area rug with a plush rug pad can also provide cushion underfoot. For a more significant upgrade, consider installing cork flooring, an antibacterial surface with cushioned support that's perfect for a standing desk.

Divide a Room to Encourage Focus

Room dividers are an easy way to separate a workspace from a larger room, hide clutter, and present a less distracting background for virtual meetings, all without making permanent or structural changes. Thanks in part to today's work-from-home boom, room dividers are more popular than ever, and there are many options for getting the right look, size, or added features. Consider a folding style that you can easily pack up and store if your home office converts to a living space when the work day ends. For a more permanent solution, freestanding bookshelves or cube storage can divide a room while providing plenty of space for office supplies.

Hang Eye-Catching Art for Inspiration

Adding art to your home office has both personal and professional benefits. A few thoughtfully chosen pieces can result in a quick office update that helps you feel more motivated and productive. Adding visually interesting imagery or decorative objects near your computer and around your desk you work can also provide a place for tired eyes to land, combatting the strain and fatigue that comes from staring at a screen for extended periods.

Improve Lighting with Color-Changing Bulbs

If your workspace wasn't originally designated as an office, you might lack adequate lighting. Ideally, your home office should have natural light as well as task lighting, which provides focused lighting to a particular area, and ambient lighting. When choosing office lighting, consider an adjustable desk lamp with multiple color temperatures. Studies show that warmer light (skewing more yellow) enhances creativity, while cooler light (shades of blue) increases concentration. There's even evidence that lighting can play a role in decision-making. And if your home office isn't permanent, don't worry! Many of these light fixtures are cordless and chargeable so you can take them wherever you like to work.

Utilize Wall Space for Planning

Although a lot is accomplished on computers, it's not the only place we make plans, store files, and find inspiration. Sometimes only a hands-on approach will do. Combine sheet metal and a picture frame to create an inexpensive hanging magnetic board perfect for updating to-do lists, keeping project details at hand, and displaying inspiring imagery.