As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, millions of people around the world are working from home for the first time. Whether you’re working from home part or full-time, there are a few important things you can do to optimize your work from home space and the time dedicated to working.
Bear in mind that these tips are dependent on your personal space and budget. Use what you can and ignore what’s not relevant.
That said, here are the 10 ways to optimize your work from home space and schedule:
1. Create a Designated Work Space
One of the most important steps to take, but also one most dependent on your available space, is to have a designated space just for work. This space can really be anywhere in your home, in any room, in whatever corner. But this spot should be used only for working from home. This way, your mind and body know when you are at “work” and when you are at home.
The physical and mental division between work and home will benefit your motivation and mental health greatly. If you are renting through DelSuites, it’s good to check beforehand if there is a desk/chair for working from home.
2. Be Near a Window
If possible, having your desk near a window has numerous benefits. You’ll be receiving Vitamin D from the sunlight, avoiding the possibility of seasonal depression. Also, the sights and sounds outside the window provide good background noise and just the right amount of distraction when brainstorming or zoning out in thought. Natural sunlight will help as a secondary light source as well.
3. Have Multiple Light Sources
Speaking of a secondary light source, it is great to have multiple light sources around your workspace. Ceiling lights can be too dim or too fluorescent and could be casting shadows on your desk. All of this leads to headaches and strain on your eyes. Having a desk lamp, especially if you’re writing, and being near a window will illuminate your desk. This should lessen the chances of getting headaches from poor lighting and straining eyes.
4. Invest in a Comfortable Chair
Spending the money on an actual office chair will do wonders on your back. Being able to adjust the height of the chair will make sure your feet are comfortably on the ground while your arms are the correct height for typing and writing. The armrests will help support your arms as you work to remove the strain on your shoulders. And the support on your back will keep your back in good shape. Your chair doesn’t have to be an office chair though. Just make sure any chair you use is comfortable, at the correct height, and preferably has armrests.
5. Eliminate Clutter
To keep your mind clear and able to focus on work, a workspace without clutter is best. Unnecessary papers, cords, or other knick-knacks will just distract you and get in your way. Have what you need quickly accessible but if there’s anything around you that you don’t use often (or at all), put it away in a designated storage space. For those things that you do use every once in a while, a cabinet or drawers around your desk can provide easy storage and accessibility.
Even though clutter is bad, there are benefits to having greenery and appealing decor nearby. Easy to care for greenery adds color and oxygen into your workspace. Humans benefit from being near nature of any type, and studies have even shown that plants in a home can stimulate creativity. If you aren’t near a window, choosing a low-light plant or a succulent will help. For those of us with busy schedules, the less maintenance required from the plant, the better.
7. Use Green and Blue Decor
Other forms of decor can be helpful if they aren’t on your desk and are of the right color. Interior designers prefer to use greens and blues while decorating to create an atmosphere that is refreshing, motivating, and even nurturing.
8. Set a Schedule
As much as possible, create a daily routine of work time, break time, and after-work time. Also, if you have a flexible schedule, set your work time at your most productive hours. There’s no reason to wake up very early if you’re just not a morning person. Having this schedule creates boundaries in your life, letting your body and mind know when to focus and be productive and when to relax and forget about work.
9. Leave Your Workspace for Breaks
When you do take your scheduled breaks, step away from your desk and your computer. Doing this will keep the physical and mental boundaries you have created between work life and home life. This will also reduce screen time if you’re looking at a computer during your whole workday. Go to another room and really take that break that you deserve.
10. Dress for Success
This might be the most controversial suggestion so far but this can have a big impact on your productivity. Do not stay in your pajamas when you begin working. You will physically and mentally want to continue snuggling down in bed and will not want to work. Now, it isn’t necessary to put on full office attire but changing into actual clothes before beginning to work lets yourself know your day has started. And you’ll always be ready for an unexpected video meeting!