If you’re used to going into the office every day, dusting off your desk to work from home can be a tough transition. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prepare your home workspace so it is both pleasant and productive. Here’s a look at four ways to make the most of whatever space your’re working with.
- Designate an area specifically for work. Carving out that space for work can help you stay focused and establish a routine. If you don’t have an existing home office, you can turn a spare bedroom or basement into a dedicated office area. Consider converting your kitchen island or dining room table to your office space.
- Establish boundaries and privacy. It’s important to have a distraction-free space. If you’re home with roommates, children or a spouse, you might set “office hours,” when they know it’s important to minimize interactions with you. Setting boundaries can also help you settle into a daily routine. If your desk doubles as the dinner table, try setting up and removing your work equipment at the same time every morning and evening.
- Remove distractions and clutter. If your home office is also a storage area, or your kitchen table is covered in your teenager’s homework, it’s time to clear up the space to maximize its potential for productivity. Remove unwanted or unnecessary items from the area. Use headphones to block out sound distractions. Consider gates to keep pets at bay until it’s time to log off.
- Finally, spruce up your workspace. Since you’ll be spending a lot of time in your workspace, it’s important to consider comfort in addition to productivity. Consider placing photos of family, friends and pets on your desk or a potted plant. If possible, position your work area near a window. Natural light and views of nature will not only boost your mood, but they’re also known to boost productivity. If you’re unable to make your workspace as tidy and nice as you’d like, sit with your back to the wall during video calls. Some video communications tools offer customizable backgrounds. This is a great option—your coworkers can enjoy a breezy beach scene rather than your sink full of dirty dishes.
By creating a comfortable dedicated space for your work and establishing a regular routine with clear boundaries, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.