Though many employees have gone back to working in person over the past several months, a significant number of employers have made the switch to hybrid or completely at-home work since the pandemic started. Whether you have a work-from-home setup full-time or split your time between locations, it’s important to create an optimal workspace in order to be productive and enjoy your time at work (and at home).
Let’s explore some of our top tips for setting up a home office that will work for you. Plus, even if you work in an office full-time, you can still use these tips to optimize your space and get the most out of your experience at work.
1. Find a Comfortable and Quiet Location
Your work-from-home setup should be somewhere in the house that is comfortable enough that you’ll enjoy your time there, but not so comfortable that you’ll end up lounging when you should be working! You’ll find in tip five that one of the dangers of working from home is decreased work-life balance, which almost always results in diminished productivity.
Additionally, a quiet area away from common spaces where family members might gather will allow you to focus on the task at hand.
2. Invest in a High-Quality Chair
If you work from home full time, you’re likely spending a significant portion of the day sitting at your desk, and that means that a good quality desk chair is crucial for productivity as well as good health.
After all, it’s incredibly hard to focus or get things done when you feel uncomfortable in your seat, and an unsupportive desk chair could cause health issues ranging from minor aches and pains to serious back and shoulder problems over time.
3. Decorate to Your Liking
Decorating your home in a way that’s cozy and aesthetically pleasing makes it easier to relax and get the rest you need after work. Conversely, decorating your work-from-home set up in a way that you love is key to enjoying your workday and getting the most out of it.
Liven up your work-from-home office setup with some nice paintings or family photos, plants, or even colored lights to make the area more inviting.
4. Don’t Forget Lighting
Adequate lighting is an important aspect of a productive workspace. When choosing a space for your home office set up, make sure the area gets plenty of natural light. If that’s not possible, you should get a high-quality desk lamp. Good lighting will help you focus better and avoid straining your eyes. Moreover, natural light can do wonders for your mood and even boost productivity.
5. Stay Organized
Organization and productivity are very closely related concepts. Whether you work from home or at an office, a disorganized desk can make productivity seem impossible. Often, creating an organized workspace makes your mind feel less cluttered, leading to a more productive workday and improved mental health and mood.
Make sure you keep your desk organized from day to day with tools like file cabinets and shelves so that you can stay focused on the task at hand without being distracted by your surroundings.
6. Set Up a Coffee Station
In a conventional office space, you get to interact with coworkers. In addition to socializing, it’s also a way to take a much-deserved break. But these water cooler talks aren’t possible when you’re at home. How about setting up a coffee station? Place a coffee machine, tea kettle, tea bags, sugar, and snacks to create your very own coffee station. This is an excellent way to encourage yourself to step away from your desk and take a break
7. Take Breaks
When you are working remotely, it’s easy to continue working without breaks. After all, you’re in no rush to go back home. However, working without breaks can make you feel stressed, tired, and even lead to burnout. That’s why it’s crucial to take frequent breaks to revitalize. Moreover, you shouldn’t feel obligated to work beyond your usual hours. Just because you’re home doesn’t mean it’s okay to work extra hours. Try to wrap up your day at your usual time.
8. Go Outside
There is no doubt that working from home promises several benefits. That being said, staying home all day can lead to feelings of loneliness and impact your mental wellbeing. A change of scenery can do wonders for your mental health. If possible, you should eat lunch on your balcony or terrace. You can also head over to a cafe or coworking space to switch things up.
9. Follow a Routine
One of the major benefits of working from home is increased flexibility. Since you don’t have to wake up early and commute to your office, you get a few extra hours to yourself. However, this doesn’t make it okay to stay up late and wake up late. Not having a routine can make it difficult to focus and impact your productivity levels. It would be best to wake up at a reasonable hour every morning. We also suggest following your usual morning routine, which may include taking a shower, getting dressed, and eating breakfast. Following a routine can be extremely helpful in boosting your productivity.
10. Only Use This Space for Work
Whether part-time or full-time work, many people who clock in from home experience difficulty focusing because their work and leisure take place in the same location. This can confuse the brain and lead to decreased productivity during the workday and even difficulty relaxing once work is done.
To avoid these outcomes, make sure you use your work-from-home setup for work only. Do not attempt other activities or morning or night rituals at the same desk or in the same space as where you work. Try your best to complete all other activities一like eating meals and relaxing一elsewhere.
The Bottom Line
Remember that the surrounding environment plays a crucial role in your overall productivity levels. With these tips, you can create a dedicated work from home space and enjoy a boost in productivity.