The coronavirus pandemic has forced more people than ever before to work from home. For some that might be a dream come true, but not everyone adjusts well to working remotely.
People who work regularly from home might already have an established workspace, but many people during this crisis have had to improvise. Some might not have the extra space in their house to even create an office. That can add stress to an already difficult situation.
Creating a designated office space for yourself might seem like a luxury, but it’s a necessity if you want to stay sane and productive during these troubled times. Taking time to adjust your workspace can make you more efficient and even help improve your work/life balance while working at home.
Here are a few tips to make a difference.
Take Time to Clean
Your environment affects you in countless ways. Some are obvious, and some are a little more subtle. Don’t underestimate how much a clean and tidy office space can improve your workflow and even your attitude.
Clean your work area regularly and take time out of your work schedule to keep things neat and organized. You might want to consider using air fresheners, diffusers, or scented candles as well! The pleasant smells will help keep you calm, and the neat space will allow you to give all your focus to the task at hand.
Keep It Separate
If at all possible, keep your office space separate from your living space. Your office should be the place you do work and nothing else. On the other hand, your couch and your bed should be just for resting and spending time with your loved ones. By providing this kind of boundary for yourself, you can train your brain to focus more efficiently.
If you don’t have sufficient space in your home to devote an area exclusively to work, consider finding a simple (but clear) way to convert a living space into a workspace during the day and then back to a living space in the evening.
When you start the workday, move the chairs and table into their work positions and switch out the decorations in order to make it clear that this is now a workspace, not the dinner table.
Setting a space and time aside for work is only effective if everyone respects it. One way to make a better home office space is to ask the other people in your house to recognize it as that.
Your loved ones should be able to see by where you are and what you’re doing that you’re working. While you’re in your office space, they should do their best to leave you alone and let you focus – unless it’s an emergency.
Another way to eliminate distractions in your office space is to use a white noise generator or limit the technology you’re allowed to use. If you can work without your phone, set it aside before you enter your office space.
Add Some Life
Your office should be conducive to focusing on work and nothing else. However, that doesn’t mean it has to be sad and boring! Decorate your office space and give it some personality, just like you would a personal office at work.
Consider adding some plants and pictures to your office. Good lighting is important as well. Take advantage of windows and natural light if you can, but otherwise utilize lamps and other indoor lighting to create a well-balanced environment.
Everyone’s office is different, and yours doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. Nor does it need to resemble a traditional office! The goal is to create an ideal environment that allows you to live healthily and work effectively.
However, no matter how perfect your office is, you might still struggle with getting work done at times. It’s okay to take breaks and be gentle with yourself. Connect with your coworkers so you can find ways to collaborate and promote a supportive workplace culture while you’re all working remotely.