Due to the pandemic, pretty much everyone I know is now working from home instead of commuting to an office space. The reality of it is, most people will probably not return to working in an office space full time this year, perhaps never.
Most offices closed in March of 2020 and everyone scrambled to set up their “at home” office. The lucky ones were able to utilize a home office space, while others had to become more creative about their new workspace. As we all have also noticed, there are many benefits to working remote. Now, I would like to mesh the ideas and help you create a better work at home environment since we are all settling into this phase.
Designated Work Space
The most important part of a designated workspace is to have a room that is distraction free. For those of you that have a designated room to work in, this could be a home office, a guest room, a rarely used dining room, that’s great! Here are some examples I have seen:
- Adding doors to the room to minimize the noise and distractions.
- Add a room divider to add privacy to your workspace.
- Adding a desk or table to a guest room to create a private workspace.
- Position your desk with your back to the rest of the home so that you can focus on your work without being distracted.
Give your space some of your personal style. Here are some suggestions to make it your own:
- Personal photos can brighten any space!
- Add organizing supplies to make your workspace an efficient one.
- A house plant is a great addition and cleans the air naturally for you!
- Ensure that you have good lighting (both to work with and for when you are on video conference calls)
- Chose things that you enjoy looking at for your space. This could be artwork, vision boards, quotes or anything that inspires you.
- Add a desk lamp to brighten the space and add some interest.
- Remember to find a system for the paperwork you use on a daily basis. A portable file container comes in handy or a small hanging file will do the trick!
- Have all your daily supplies at hand to prevent you from having to search your home and be distracted from your workday.
Now we are coming down to the nitty gritty of it all. Here are some ways to focus and increase productivity:
- Have set work hours. When the day is over, it’s over. Just because you are at home doesn’t mean that you need to be available 24/7.
- At the start of your workday, create a to-do list of what you want to accomplish that day.
- If you have several scheduled meetings daily, make sure to factor time into your workday to allow you to take action on items from those meetings.
- Use a dedicated browser for your work and a separate one for your leisure. This way, you will have less distractions when you are working. For your work browser, bookmark the sites that you will need on a regular basis. It will make life simpler! We all know how easy it is to “go down the rabbit hole”!
- Consider using noise canceling headphones while working. It will certainly help prevent you from other distractions in your home. They are also a great signal to let family members know you are “busy” and not available at that time.
- Take a breather! Carve time into your schedule to have lunch (away from your desk) and to get outside for a walk. No matter how big or small, a mid-day walk will benefit you. You will get to stretch your legs, take a break from your office space and breath some fresh air!
I hope I have inspired you to take some time and think through your current system and revamp it as needed!