Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, many of us are practicing social distancing and working from home to slow the spread of the virus. Turning your home into your office can be tricky, as it can be difficult to separate work and your personal life in the same place. This makes creating a space for your home office that is neat, organized, and away from other distractions a necessity.
First, get out of those pajamas!
Each morning, it is best to continue your usual routine as if you were going into the office. Now, you don’t need to throw on a blazer but getting out of your pajamas will help get you in the right head space for work.
Choose your dedicated workspace
Find a dedicated workspace in your home. Try to keep your bedroom as a sacred place for sleeping and relaxing. By separating your bedroom from work, it’ll help make the work-life divide a little clearer. Make sure that you have a sufficient workspace (desk) as well as a decent chair that will give you back support. Investing in a desk that allows you to work sitting or standing is a great, healthy option. It’s important to think about the work that you do as well. Does your work require a lot of computer time? Perhaps implementing wrist support or an ergonomic keyboard would be helpful.
Light the Way to Success
Working in appropriate light improves your mood and doesn’t cause strain on your eyes. If there are windows in your home office, make use of the natural light with sheer curtains that reduce glare but let sufficient light in. Softer light, as opposed to bright light, improves focus and lessens eye strain. It also makes the space more inviting.
Organization is Key
Staying organized is key to staying productive while working from a home office. There can be a lot of distractions when working from home, so keeping this space neat and tidy allows you to stay on track while avoiding getting sidetracked looking for your supplies, documents and files. This is also true when it comes to wires and cables for your equipment. Keeping these organized with zip ties reduces the clutter on your desk. Staying organized not only improves concentration; it also improves efficiency.
Add Warmth to Your Space
Just as you would a traditional office or cubicle, make the space your own by including personal touches. This is an extension of your home, so including plants, personal photos, and incorporating your personality into the space makes it more inviting. Be careful not to clutter the space though, remember you’re looking for a balance between functional and comfortable. Turn on some music or play the TV quietly; sometimes working from home can be too quiet. Music playing in the background can help you focus.
Consider Offsite Storage
If you have a smaller space to work with, consider storing supplies, files, and other items that you won’t access daily in an offsite storage unit. Smaller units provide needed space to help you stay organized and productive. When choosing a storage facility, consider location, security and access hours. Most locations can help you choose the right size unit to suit your specific needs and even offer unit size guides to help you identify the size you need. Many self storage locations now offer online reservations to limit your time in the office and make renting a storage unit more convenient.
Turn off notifications for work-related messaging and sign out when the work day is over; this is especially important if you are signed in on your personal devices. Define what hours you will be working, and stick to it to create a better work-life balance while at home.