Hitting a wall during the workday is a normal part of the creative process. That moment when the spark of inspiration dims, and suddenly you feel at a loss for productivity or creativity. You know you’re not getting your best work done, but you are hesitant to step away because of how much there is to do. Although we’ve yet to discover the cure for writer’s block, it turns out that there are a few ways to mitigate its symptoms. The first step is always showing up. Where to? As it turns out, spending your workday in a beautifully-designed workspace can transform the way you work.
When it comes to finding a place to relax and recharge, a little planning goes a long way. Whether you can find a quiet corner in your home, a serene spot outside in a park or garden, or even a comfortable chair in your office, taking a break can do wonders for your state of mind.
It’s a simple enough idea: each space should serve its fundamental purpose. Your bedroom should feel relaxing, your art studio should invoke your most creative self, and your kitchen should exude warmth. But when it comes to the execution of these concepts, the answers can feel elusive.
Fortunately, the design team at NeueHouse brings refined taste and expertise to each detail of every house, creating spaces designed to inspire and replenish creative flow. Our workspaces are thoughtfully designed to create an optimal environment for creativity, collaboration, and focus. So whether your workday is stacked with video calls, troubleshooting code, or pitching and presenting your latest work to clients the space where you get it done can make all the difference.
Design Elements That Invoke Creativity and Productivity in a Workspace
Consider The Office (the US version, for the moment). You’ve got your fluorescent lighting, your cubicles, the bland walls, the dull carpeting. For those of us who have ever worked in one of these spaces, our fondest memories typically involve the people we worked with (the Jims, the Pams, the Michael Scott of it all). But the spaces themselves were far from inspiring. As remote and hybrid working become the norm, With remote work becoming the norm, people are creating workspaces that contain more than outlets and extra pens. We’re seeking spaces that allow us to thrive.
It won’t come as a surprise that our surroundings have a massive impact on our moods, productivity, creativity, and happiness. Our design team takes every detail into account when designing NeueHouse interiors. And while some of their furniture sources are kept top secret (even from us at NeueJournal), what we can share are a few elements to consider when setting up your own work from home spaces:
- Color: Studies have shown that certain colors used in the design of your office can have a positive effect on mood and cognitive performance. For instance, green is known to promote feelings of calm and focus, while blue can help reduce stress levels.
- Lighting: Being in close proximity to natural light has been linked to increased productivity and creativity. Some studies even suggest that transitioning from cool lighting to warm lighting as the day progresses can make the space feel more dynamic. Cool lighting is ideal for group activity: brainstorms, strategy sessions, and collaboration. Warm lighting is better suited for solo work that requires focus, relaxation, and a calm flow state.
- Plants: Not only do plants bring a touch of nature to your space, but they also help purify the air and improve concentration levels. Natural elements in the workspace are also effective for boosting creativity.
- Comfortable Furniture: If you are going to be seated for most of your day, find yourself a comfortable and supportive chair. Investing in ergonomic furniture designed to support your body will help you feel more relaxed and focused while working. And remember to take regular breaks!
- Inspiring Artwork: Surrounding yourself with artwork can help spark new ideas and keep you motivated and engaged throughout the day. Choose pieces that reflect your personal taste and style to make your space feel like your own.
- Flexible storage: It’s been said that a cluttered desk is a sign of genius. Still, optimizing storage helps you stay organized and productive, whether you’re working in a big space or a smaller one. Versatility is your friend—opt for shelves or cabinets that can be adjusted as your needs change.
- Open space: Offering an open area in your workspace helps facilitate collaboration and communication between coworkers. Try to keep the area clutter-free to encourage creative thinking.
- Acoustics & Sound: Creating a comfortable noise level is essential for any workspace. There are many ways to take this into consideration from the layout and purpose of the space to incorporating sound-absorbing materials such as plants, textiles, or even acoustic panels.
Whether you are coworking at one of our Houses, at your company’s HQ, or your home office, reflect on these elements to see what most inspires you at work and use them to be more intentional with your own workspace.
Why Taking Breaks is Important
We’ve all heard it before, but the importance (and effectiveness) of taking breaks is neither myth nor cliché. And yet, for a number of reasons, most people still aren’t taking adequate breaks.
But taking breaks is for everyone, and even if the territory feels unfamiliar, you can start small. Rest your eyes from staring at screens (or even paper). Pour yourself a glass of water, grab a snack, stand up for a stretch, or get your body moving by taking a lap around the room. You can even try something as basic as taking a few minutes to reset and breathe. The world and the demands of work and your inbox can move at an incredibly fast pace. Breaks can feel counterintuitive. But even if all you have time for is to stand up and stretch before your next video call, allow yourself that time and space. (Pets are a very helpful incentive—if you have a dog, take them for a mini walk, or a quick recess at the dog park!)
Consider the space where you work. When that space feels inspiring and thoughtfully designed, your downtime can be as productive and rejuvenating as your desk time. If you don’t have the means, time, motivation, or pleasant weather to take a break outside, you can still find respite inside.
If you work from home and are looking for a minimal effort upgrade, try adding a few plants around your desk, maybe some artwork, or adjust your desk to give you proper alignment to a window.
Taking regular breaks in a space that feels good will help you stay refreshed and focused throughout the day. And when you feel good, you’re more likely to be productive and creative. So next time you need a break, take a walk around your office or workspace and see what changes you can make to turn it into a place that supports your well-being.
How to Create a Creative Workspace & Break Space
It’s important to take breaks throughout the day to recharge and renew. But, it’s not just about taking a break from work. It’s about creating a space that is beautiful and calming – a space where you can truly relax.
Whether you’re working solo or with your team, when you’re at the House, you’re set for design, inspiration, and good company—if we do say so. But when you’re working from home or the road, here are some design tips you can take with you:
- Choose a calming color scheme. Soft, muted colors are best for creating a serene atmosphere.
- Incorporate nature. Bring in fresh flowers or plants, or hang artwork that features nature scenes.
- Create a cozy seating area. This is your space to unwind, so make sure it’s comfortable! Use plush pillows and throws to create an inviting spot to relax.
- Add some personal touches. Make the space your own with photos, artwork, and other mementos that make you happy.
- Keep it tidy. A cluttered space will only add to your stress levels. Keep the area clean and organized so you can fully relax when you take a break there.
Making the Most of Your Breaks
Do you have a specific action (or place) in mind when you consider taking a break? If not, we’ve put together a list for you to consider. Even if you are one for routine, find it in you to mix it up and try a different style of break every once in a while. Adding variety to the type of breaks you take can be as creativity refreshing as the breaks themselves.
Here are some tips for taking your next break:
- Get up and move around: Taking a walk to pick up your lunch or going on a quick bike ride to stretch your legs can do wonders for your energy levels.
- Take a break from electronics: Unplugging from your devices and resting your eyes is not only a good idea for a break but important for resting your eyes.
- Connect with loved ones: Spending time with loved ones can help reduce stress and promote positive emotions. Call someone, go for a walk together, or if your loved one is a pet, consider giving them your undivided attention for some much-needed head scratches.
- Make time for yourself: Dedicating some time each day to do something you enjoy, such as reading, listening to music, or working out can help you feel refreshed and renewed.
- Engage in mindful activities: Mindful activities, such as meditation and yoga, can help you reduce stress and gain perspective on life.
- Prioritize your mental health: Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. Make sure you’re setting aside time to do activities that make you feel good and bring joy to your life.
- Get creative: Whether it’s writing, painting, or crafting, find a creative outlet to express yourself and take a break from the day-to-day grind.
- Sleep: Getting enough sleep is essential for your physical and mental health. Make sure you’re getting an adequate amount of restful sleep each night.
- Eat: Get a snack or a meal. Be healthy or indulge as you see fit (whatever refreshes you most). If you choose to indulge, consider being healthy next time. Even deciding on what kind of snack is a great way to let your mind rest from work.
Taking breaks in a beautifully designed space is an effective way to recharge, refresh, and renew. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax after work or somewhere to spend your lunch break each day, finding the right space is essential.. As a platform for creativity and a community-oriented workspace, each NeueHouse is designed to be perfect place to work, collaborate, connect, and of course, take breaks.