Working from home was already a trend on the rise before the pandemic of 2020. Around 42% of the U.S. labor force is now working from home – a number that will likely continue to rise.
But working from home can be incredibly difficult. And for many of us, the challenge lies in the environment. Optimizing your home workspace can work wonders for your focus, drive, and performance.
Here are a few ways to create a productive workspace at-home:
Create a Dedicated Space
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a home office, but this doesn’t mean you can’t have a dedicated workspace. We’ve all seen guest beds and kitchens in the background on Zoom calls – and this is 100% okay.
Getting into the habit of lounging in bed or on the couch can have long term consequences. Your brain will start to blend “where I rest” with “where I work,” which can lead to a lack of focus while working and an inability to rest when resting.
Carve out space in the corner of an existing room if possible. All you need is a desk and a chair. If things are tight in your home, take up residence at the kitchen table. This isn’t a dedicated space per se, but placing a lamp and a few trinkets can quickly turn it into your workspace. The act of returning there each day is enough to tell your brain, “this is where I do work.”
If you live in a moderate climate, consider setting up space outdoors on a deck or patio. National Outdoor Furniture has great pieces for any business.
Do work in this dedicated space, and when away from it, relax. Instead of burying your head in your phone on these breaks, go for walks, read, meditate, or spend time journaling. The separation and time away will improve your mood and mental health.
Decorate for Inspiration
No one wants to work in a dull space. We need some motivation to keep us going. Once you’ve chosen space to work, decorate it with things that motivate and inspire you.
Consider adding greenery, succulent plants, or flowers to brighten the space. If you’re a book lover, add some classics that inspire you to the area. If you’re a fan of inspirational quotes, buy a few prints from Etsy or print them yourself. You can also decorate your home office wall with paintings, personalized stickers, framed family photos, and wallpapers to make it a great place to work in. It is vital to note that color is essential when decorating your home office for inspiration. Indeed, you can perform your best work if your home office’s color gets your productivity motor humming. Color psychology says yellow and beige greens are the most stress-reducing shades, making them perfect for a home office environment. These colors are also an excellent neutral background for displaying artwork. Dark blue, soft pink, and orange are other home office colors worth considering to lift your mood. Working from home will lead to tough days. Make sure your environment doesn’t add to the monotony.
Switch Things Up
When working from home does start to get old and monotonous, don’t be afraid to switch things up. You don’t have a boss or office manager who needs to approve moving your desk – probably just a significant other or pet.
Moving things around can be a great way to snap out of a rut and boost productivity. It doesn’t have to be drastic, either. Moving your desk a few feet, buying some new office furniture, or planting a new succulent can be enough to turn things around.
Prioritize your work-from-home environment to stay motivated, productive, and focused.