The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way in which we work drastically. With businesses across the world requiring their employees to work from home, the necessity of the ‘office’ moving forward has often been repeatedly brought into question. After all, aside from helping keep everyone self, working from home has many benefits – including increased positivity, and the ability to curate a better work-life balance. It could also help employees save money by cutting out lengthy commutes. Many businesses will continue to allow their employees to work from home or come in the office a lot less.
As a result, it is important that you curate the perfect home office that will allow you to hit peak productivity when working from home. Here are some top tips to get you started!
1. Choose the right space for your office.
If you don’t have a spare room that you intend to use as an office, it’s important that you choose your office space carefully. If possible, avoid working from your bedroom. This is due to the fact that your brain could begin to associate the space with workplace stress and anxiety – making it harder for you to fall asleep at night.
2. Ask your company for financial support.
In order to get your home office up and running, you may have to purchase certain items of furniture or equipment, such as desks, office chairs, and computer monitors. As this is expensive, it is important that you get in touch with your employer to see if they will be able to provide you with the equipment or provide you with some financial support to make the process a little kinder to your bank account.
3. Choose a comfy chair.
Office chairs can be quite expensive – especially as they are in high demand at the moment. However, it is important that you treat them as a necessary investment, as comfort while working is incredibly important. Furthermore, a poor-quality chair could lead to back and muscle problems further down the line – so it is worth spending a little more money on a product that you know is high-quality.
4. Utilize natural light.
Working from home could also mean spending more time indoors than you’d like. As a result, it’s important that you find a way to bring as much light (and sunshine) into your home as you can. Where possible, position your desk nearby a window so that you are surrounded by an abundance of natural light. This can help lift your mood and has even been known to help increase workplace focus and productivity.
5. Add a few personal touches.
Adding a few personal touches to your desk can help create a space that feels warm and inviting, which can help you feel more relaxed and motivated at work. As a result, don’t be afraid to add a few little finishing touches to your desk/office space to make it truly your own. This could include personal items such as family photographs. Alternatively, you could also provide yourself with a much-needed boost of inspiration by hanging up some framed motivational quotes, such as your favorite educational universe quotes.
6. Keep it clean.
If you want your productivity to thrive when working from home, it’s important that you keep your workplace clean and organized. As a result, you should ensure that you declutter the space regularly, disposing of anything you no longer need or use. For example, while it’s easy for papers and files to build up over time, filing them away or storing them digitally can help you maximize your space.
7. Keep away from distractions.
Working from home means that your family or housemates suddenly become your work colleagues. However, if you truly want to focus, it’s important that you create a space that is truly your own so that you won’t feel tempted to chat with them. In fact, you should ensure the space is completely distraction-free. For example, if you can hear the TV from where you are working, it may be time to turn it off (or invest in some quality headphones).
8. Have a good video call set up.
Working from home doesn’t mean that you can avoid your colleagues or superiors entirely (unfortunately). In fact, it means that you’ll likely be participating in video calls or zoom meetings at least a few times a week. As a result, it’s important that you have all of the tools you need at your disposal. For example, you should ensure that you have a quality webcam and a microphone, to ensure that you can be heard and seen clearly. If possible, you should try to sit against a plain background to avoid any distractions.
9. Make the most of your space.
If you live in an apartment or are dealing with limited space, ensure that you install plenty of smart storage options into your office. This can help you stay organized, as you will always know where your papers, files, or folders are kept. Consider options such as shelving, or under-desk storage to truly make the most of limited space. Alternatively, you could also consider purchasing a folding desk that can be stored away when not in use (i.e. during the weekends).
10. Stay connected.
Working from home also means that you need to put more trust in your wifi than ever before. After all, if you can’t connect to the internet, your job will likely be made a lot harder. Furthermore, poor wifi could interrupt important calls or meetings, meaning you could be left out of the loop. As a result, it may be worth investing in higher-quality wifi to ensure that you can always remain connected.
In short, there are various steps you can take to curate the perfect office environment, but the most important is simply ensuring that it is a space that works for you. Working from home allows you to step away from the traditional office environment and culture – so, if you work better while listening to music, why not add some speakers to your setup? The more creative your space, the more your productivity will thrive!