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As a result of the government’s decision to enter into lockdown, many of us are now needing to move our desks from the office into our own home.
However, determining exactly how to create our own workspaces in a way that encourages both productivity and motivation is much easier said than done. After all, at-home workspaces should stream creativity while maintaining your focus, but the home’s plethora of distractions can make this fairly difficult.
With this in mind, here are a few top tips to consider when setting up your own home office.
1. Choosing Your Space.
There are a few things you need to consider when deciding where you want to set your home office up. Firstly, you’ll need to think about the size of the area you want to work in and the equipment you have available. Try to avoid cramming yourself into a small corner of a room and look at alternative set-ups which utilise the space you have available.
Whether you have a free-standing desk or makeshift platform, ensure your desk is at an appropriate height for you to work at. If using a laptop, the top of your screen should sit just below eye level to combat any neck or back problems, which is imperative for ensuring you stay comfortable throughout your day.
2. Productivity Lighting.
Paying close attention to your home office’s lighting is essential for ensuring a productive day at work.
Natural light has been proven to have positive effects on your wellbeing, especially while at work, so try to set your home office up in a room with a window. If, however, you don’t have any rooms with windows, consider buying a lamp that replicates daylight patterns as the day goes on.
Working in a room for long periods with only artificial lighting can contribute to feelings of tiredness, stress and cause conditions like eye strain. Therefore, having the right lighting throughout the day can help reduce headaches and keep you focused on your work.
To help with this, having the appropriate blinds installed can make a big difference in controlling the atmosphere set by the lighting. Since natural light varies throughout the day, being able to control how light or dark a room is can be imperative to maintaining a good workflow.
3. Mimicking The Office Environment.
As we’ve mentioned already, your home workspace setup will largely be determined by the equipment you need. Before you get going, gather your office essentials and try your best to recreate the office environment you’re used to. Place your desktop or laptop at the appropriate height and select a chair that ensures good posture throughout the day.
Also, give yourself some space to decorate your desk with plants, photos or various other gadgets. Small potted plants not only help replicate the feeling of being outdoors but also clean the air of toxic pollutants, while pictures of loved ones can help distance your work life from your personal life during office hours.
Having this sense of separation, albeit psychologically rather than physically, can mimic the feeling of working back in your real office, helping you focus on what you need to get done.
4. Avoiding Distractions.
Avoiding distractions is arguably one of the biggest difficulties when it comes to working remotely, especially if you have children or pets. If possible, try to set up your workspace in a room with a closable door to offer a sense of peace, and enlist other members of your household to share the responsibility of keeping your family entertained while you’re ‘at work’.
Similarly, with the number of gadgets often found around the home, it’s important these aren’t removing your focus from the tasks at hand. Whether you use a mobile phone or tablet alongside your laptop, silence your notifications during working hours for all non-work related apps or alerts.
Finally, while it may be healthy to have natural light in your workspace, this can also present its own distractions. If you have the option, choose to face your desk side-on or away from the window to prevent the outside world grabbing your attention. Allocate yourself rest periods throughout the day to enjoy the views but avoid positioning yourself in front of a busy – potentially distracting – backdrop.
By setting up your workspace combining the ideas listed above, you will not only make a huge difference in how you work but also how you feel during the workday. Where possible, try to maintain as much of a routine as you can and utilise research-proven productivity theories to optimise your working efforts.
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