With social distancing and stay-at-home notices making the rounds, you might be looking at working from home for some time. While this is initially enticing, working from home is not as easy as it seems. Productivity, for one, is hard to maintain in a place full of comforts and easy distractions. As the home is not usually associated with work, it’s important to set up a home office that is productive and separate from the rest of the house. Here are five things you can do to achieve that.
Tip: Don’t be too perfectionist before you get productive. If you overthink your office set-up too much, you’re never going to get any work done!
- Have a dedicated space
Before you start buying chairs and updating your desk, you need to pick a room, or at the very least an area of the home, to dedicate to your work. Having a singular office space is proven to increase productivity and focus, while switching up your surroundings ends up being distracting. If you do not live alone, inform your family or housemates that your new office area is off-limits for anything other than work. To pick the ideal work space, choose a quiet room with plenty of natural light and good ventilation as dark, stuffy rooms decrease concentration and energy levels.
- Keep it tidy
When you first set up your home office, ask yourself what you really need and give your items dedicated storage nooks. Be it notebooks or snacks, your work will flow more seamlessly in a well-organised and tidy space. Hide cables and wires to avoid a feeling of clutter on your desk. Make sure to declutter and clean your new office once a week and to keep up your storage organisation for a clear overview of what you have nearby, using labels if needed. After all, you don’t want to end up rummaging for the things you need when you have an urgent task at hand.
- Make yourself comfortable
What you want to avoid at all costs is an office that gives you excessive back pain. If your chair is not optimal for your body, you will lose focus due to sore muscles and will take longer breaks to relax while you could be getting on with work. Ergonomic desk chairs are ideal as they push your painful spine into a healthier curve. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good desk either, and invest in one that is the right height for you. If you struggle with severe neck pain, consider getting hold of a laptop riser, bringing your work up to eye-level for more relaxed muscles.
- Pay attention to visibility
To prevent straining your eyes, install good-quality lighting in your office. While natural light is optimal, you might rely on artificial lighting if you work in the dark, so lamps with good brightness are key. Warm light is relaxing and comforting while cold, blue-white lighting tends to sharpen focus, making the latter a better option for your office. Invest in a desk lamp and turn up the brightness of your room’s main light source.
- Make your environment pleasant
While your home office should be a space of focus and productivity, this doesn’t mean that you cannot decorate it for a more pleasant atmosphere. Adding plants, for instance, can increase the quality of your air, sharpening your mind. Candles with fresh, energising scents, such as cotton and citrus fruits, can further increase your focus, particularly early in the morning. You can even take things one step further by giving your home office a complete makeover with a fresh coat of paint, opting for upbeat tones like turquoise and peach. For a bright, airy room without bold colours, keep to the tried-and-tested white walls.