Due to the recent pandemic, millions of people have recently transitioned to working from home. Most people were not prepared to work remotely, and neither were the homes. Let's face it; most people don't have a dedicated home office or a space ready to become your home office. Maybe you have a spare bedroom, maybe you're claiming a corner of the shared family space. The one challenge we all face together is trying to be productive while building this new at-home workflow.
So how can you create the best work-at-home environment for you, with your workflow needs and your current house configuration? We're here to help with a few guiding tips to help you get productive in your new home workspace.
Designate Your Home Office Space
First things first, designate where your home office will be. Don't just put down your laptop; visually change the space. If you're claiming a spare room, change the decor and clear out the unused items being stored there. If you're staking out a corner of the kitchen or living room, make your office space visually distinct. Use posters, office supplies, desk decor, or even lines of colored tape.
This helps make a mental and physical line between 'at home' and 'working' when you make your daily commute.
Turn Up the Lights
If you're a night owl, it can be beneficial to turn on dark-mode on all your screens and work through the night. However, most people need light to feel awake. Even though you're at home and can relax, turn up the light. Let natural light pour in from the windows and use a clear overhead light when you're working. This helps wake up your brain and keep you in a working mindset instead of the cool twilight of chilling at home.
Make Your Workspace Ergonomic
Do not let yourself work with bad posture. It can be fun, for example, to work from the comfort of your bed for a few hours. But you may notice a crick in your neck, shoulders, or spine afterward. Make yourself a workspace with a chair and table that are comfortable and ergonomic for typing. Your body will thank you in the long-term for this simple and very important choice.
Tidy Office, Tidy Mind
Keep your office area tidy. We know that not everyone is as organized at home as they are at work. That's a simple fact of life. However, the more organized you are in your home-office space, the easier it will be to focus. Visual mess creates a mental buzz that can cause distraction and even depression over time. Clean lines and tidy stacks, on the other hand, can help you feel focused and keep your thoughts organized.
Create a Healthy Daily Routine
Working from home without the commute and the change of venue can start to make anyone feel stir-crazy. You might lose track of your schedule with new complete flexibility and it's easy to start feeling adrift or overwhelmed. The best way to overcome this is to build a solid routine. Go to sleep and wake up at about the same time every day, and your body will adapt to get better sleep during those hours in between. Eat a good breakfast and plan your meals ahead of time to reduce snacking. Set yourself a schedule to keep and each day will feel more in-control and become more productive.
Keep Kids and Roommates Busy
If there are children or less-busy roommates in the house, you may need to make some efforts to keep them distracted. Set children up with a combination of learning activities and play activities, and a list of ways to redirect them when inevitable interruptions happen. For adult distractions, put together a movie list that you can ignore in the background and encourage other household members to take up projects.
Optimize Your Field of View
For our final tip, upgrade what you see while you work. Figure out your field-of-view from your chair and make that the most attractive angle in the house. Give yourself something nice to look at when you look 'into space' to think. Give yourself a nice place to return to when your brain stops thinking about work for a while. And give yourself a tidy, attractive view to help keep you focused.
Making your home into a home office doesn't have to be a challenge. With the right approach, anyone can adapt their workflow to meet the new work-at-home procedures.