Working from home can be great for your mental health and well-being. You get to skip the commute and spend more of your day with the people who you love the most.
However, it’s easy to get distracted when working remotely — especially if you’re working on a kitchen counter, dining room table, or from your own bed.
Creating a home office is a great way to boost your productivity and efficiency. Even a few small changes to your workspace can help you retain your energy and focus throughout the day.
Home Office Spaces
In an ideal world, you’ll be able to convert a spare room into the home office of your dreams. However, you may not have the luxury of having an extra room that can double as a home office.
Instead, consider turning an area within your home into a home office station. Identify a few potential nooks in your home that would be able to fit a desk and some stationary. Assess these spaces based on:
- Foot traffic: does the space get too much foot traffic throughout the day? Will you be distracted by passing family members or roommates?
- Wi-Fi connection: does the area have a strong connection to your router? Can the router be moved to maximize wifi speeds?
- Decor potential: is there space for potted plants and pictures? Will you be bored while working in the space?
- Background: if you video conference regularly, will your background be a problem? Are there people walking in the background and can other attendants see your personal space?
Weigh up the potential spaces and disregard any areas of your home that do not have a stable Wi-Fi connection.
If you do have a spare room for a home office, consider converting the space into a workplace sanctuary. Choose a mindful interior design aesthetic that suits your style and make a few decor changes that help you stay productive throughout the day.
Your home decor is a central part of your identity and is a reflection of your ideals. But great decor isn’t just art — it can serve a practical purpose, too.
Start by choosing decor that improves your mental health. Opt for soft lighting to prevent headaches and consider paintings, pictures, or sculptures that improve your self-efficacy. A motivational or otherwise meaningful quote can go a long way during a busy work week.
Set up a background that reflects your professional personality. You’ll have to video conference regularly while working from home and a great background can help you stand out from your coworkers. Consider hanging some art or choosing an interesting wallpaper design that won’t be a distraction.
Once you have your aesthetic nailed down, it’s time to start making some practical changes to your space to boost your productivity. Even small changes, like re-orienting your desk, can have a positive impact on your efficiency.
Avoid clutter and place all of your work-related paperwork in cabinets or storage. Do not bring your personal life into your workspace, and keep laundry, personal items, and food out of sight. This will help you focus throughout the day as a clean, clutter-free workspace will help you feel calm when your boss throws a spanner in the works.
Control the temperature in your workspace. Being too hot or too cold can derail your productivity and make even trivial tasks seem insurmountable. You can control the temperature in your home by keeping the curtains drawn during the warmer summer months and by landscaping for shade. Strategically plant trees and bushes to cut down on the amount of sunlight that enters your home to stay cool.
Install some speakers in your workplace to carry you through the mid-afternoon slump. Familiar, calming music can improve your productivity and focus and reduce your feelings of anxiety. Switch to a more upbeat channel if you’re starting to feel lethargic, but stick to songs without lyrics to avoid distraction. Consider genres like:
If you’re still struggling to stay on track, consider making some changes to make working from home more comfortable. Upgrade to office chairs and a standing desk or re-situate your monitor for a more ergonomic layout. Ergonomic workspaces can help you stay focused during the workday and will help you avoid repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.
Let your manager know that you want to improve your home office before you make major purchases. You may find that the business has funds set aside to help you buy the desks, monitors, and chairs that you need.
Working from home can do wonders for your well-being. However, you may find that the novelty of the remote office wears off after a few weeks of working from your kitchen counter. Boost your productivity by creating a workstation in an area of your home with a stable Wi-Fi connection and low foot traffic. Ask your employer to pay for home office upgrades, as most businesses are happy to foot the bill for ergonomic keyboards or standing desks.
This article was written by Indiana Lee and originally published on Your Coffee Break.