Top Tips To Elevate Your Work From Home Space For Greater Productivity
Depending on your opinion of working from home, it can either be a dream come true or a nightmare. It can feel isolating at times, but the lack of commute and being able to work in a space where you feel comfortable can be a big advantage.
One of the most common complaints that home-workers mention is frustration. It might be that you struggle to concentrate, don’t have a dedicated workspace or simply find that it doesn’t work for you. Even if you find working from home more difficult, there are ways to make the work week less taxing. Here are a few ways that you can improve your work-from-home experience.
Have a dedicated workspace
You might not have the luxury of space to dedicate an entire room for your office, but finding small ways to carve out a dedicated workspace can help you to improve your focus.
Of course, the ideal solution is to have your own room to work in, but if this isn’t possible, think about other spaces that could become a space to work. If your home has an open staircase, then put a desk under here – make sure you have plenty of storage, good lighting and some personal touches to improve your environment.
If you live in a small apartment, then consider re-shuffling the furniture in your lounge to add a desk, work from the dining table or add a fold-up desk to a wall in the hallway.
Emulate the office environment
If you find working at home challenging, then one of the simplest ways to improve your experience is to consider what it is about working in an office that helps you to be productive.
It might be that your colleagues are checking in with you throughout the day, in which case consider suggesting an office group chat, but it’s likely that it’s because the office decor is geared towards productivity.
If you’re redecorating a space, then consider adding touches like wood-effect vinyl flooring and painting the walls white to bring more light into the space, which will help you feel more alert. Add plants to refresh the air to help you feel less lethargic, find a good quality desk and give yourself storage space for any paperwork.
It’s not realistic to be able to recreate an office in your own home entirely, but bringing as many elements as possible from the office into your space will help you to feel more focused.
Build in flexibility
One of the biggest reasons that you might struggle to work from home is that there are so many distractions and no one around to keep you on task.
Whether it’s the latest episode of the TV show that you’re obsessed with or wanting to get the washing done, just knowing that there are other options to fill your time makes it more difficult to concentrate.
The ideal solution would be to remove all of these distractions, but it’s not realistically possible if you’re working from your family home.
Instead, try to work in ways to allow your mind to wander without affecting productivity. If you have the space, then set up a dedicated workplace, even if it is the kitchen table. Once your primary workspace is set up, allow yourself to take breaks in other parts of the home. Having a separate area for relaxation and pauses helps your mind to refresh and enables you to get back on task.
Take a five-minute activity break whenever you start to feel lethargic and distracted. Rather than going on your phone, do something that involves physically moving your body. It could be that you finally tackle the washing pile, you get outside for some fresh air or simply walk around your home. Whatever you choose to do, getting some exercise will wake you up and make you feel more able to work when you sit back down.
Create a routine
Believe it or not, getting up, having a shower and running out the door with a piece of toast in hand gets you ready to work. You have a routine in place that you know leads to a full work day – being at home takes this away from you.
Instead of your morning commute, find a routine that gets you ready to work when you’re at home. Get washed and dressed in the morning like you’re going out, even if you’re not. Watch the news, go for a walk, have breakfast – whatever you need to do to feel more prepared for a work day, but find a routine and stick to it. It sounds silly, but just following the same daily routine will help you be more productive.
Even if you live in a smaller home, carving out some separation between work and rest will help you to feel more productive and less claustrophobic. Never work while sitting on your bed because it sub-consciously blurs the line between work and rest.
Working at the dining table is a good option if you don’t have a dedicated space because it’s not somewhere that you’d usually sit to relax. Working from the sofa is a grey area and usually is not ideal, but if you only have a few options, try it and see how you feel.
Ultimately, working from home is all about trial and error. It’s a learning curve, and you won’t get it right on day one. Instead, focus on what helps you to be productive at work, bring those elements into your home and go from there.