Get the right set up
Ok, so you’re working from home. Whether it’s for the day or permanently. How tempting on a scale of 1-10 is it to stay under the duvet or curl up on the sofa and reach for your laptop. Whilst you’ll still be able to get stuff done, it’s unlikely that you’ll be as productive.
The first thing to get right when working from home is to find the best set-up for you. This may be the dining table with a comfortable chair, or, ideally a dedicated desk. Here you can have everything set up ergonomically, helping to avoid ‘tech neck’ from hunching over.
It’s also your dedicated workspace, meaning when you’re in that environment, it’s time to get in the zone. Likewise, when you’re ready to switch off, you can shut down and come away from the work area. Finding a clear distinction between your ‘work’ and ‘living’ space at home is key.
Get ready for the day ahead
When working in an office, most people have a set routine of getting showered, dressed, eating breakfast and heading off on their commute. At home, as you well know, this is different. Even if your commute is a simple walk down the stairs, it’s still important to get ready for your day.
Whilst your ‘working from home attire’ may be a little more comfortable than office dress, it’s still important to get ready for your day ahead. Having a set morning routine will set you up for the day and ensure your mind is in work mode – not ‘just rolled out of bed’ mode!
Treat yourself to a coffee
When working from home, it’s easy to let the hours roll on without any clear break. In offices, people move around for lunch, chat to colleagues and take breaks. Whereas at home, if you’re focused on a project, it’s easy to let the hours pass by without having a mini rest bite.
It’s so important to give your mind time to rest, even just for a few minutes every hour or so. You’ll be able to concentrate better and will feel more energised when you come back to those all-important tasks.
So, invest in something that will help ensure you take a break. This could be a nice coffee machine, a meditation mat, a work-out app for doing a quick 20-minute class during your day or anything else that will help get you away from the desk.
Lay the law down with distractions
You may, however, be in the other camp where the thought of working through, undisturbed, is a far cry from your situation! Distractions at home can be difficult. The dishwasher needs emptying, a wash load needs to be put on and before you know it the kids are home and you’re cooking dinner!
If this is you, then it’s important to lay the law down when it comes to working. Having your own set space where you can close a door away from the rest of the house is ideal. Try to avoid household jobs as much as you can until you switch off from work.
The rest of your family should also be aware of your working hours and know not to disturb you (as much as possible) then.
Declutter your space
When at home, it’s easy to let things build up. Bills, paperwork and notes can all amass pretty easily making your workspace chaotic. This really hampers productivity as there’s so much distraction.
To avoid this, invest in storage solutions and shred anything you don’t need to keep. It’s all about being paperless nowadays so try to part with any hard copies of things that you have a digital back-up of.
Line up a playlist or podcast
Working from home can be lonely at times. Even if you’re happy in your own space, the lack of noise and chatter from other colleagues can make things seem a little quiet.
So, get your music, radio or podcasts lined up for the day. Whether you’re into classical music for minimal distraction (also scientifically proven to make you more productive) or hardcore rock to wake you up – get the tunes ready to go.
If you’re not as into your music, why not try getting into a new podcast. There are so many new ones popping up each from true-crime series to comedy favourites. You could even teach yourself something new by listening to a daily Ted Talk. Here’s a great round-up of podcasts to listen to whilst working.
It’s easy, when working from home, to let the hours roll into one with no need to go out. When you’re staring at the same four walls all day, it can actually hamper productivity. So, mix things up by getting out. Even if it’s just for a brisk walk around the neighbourhood, this will refresh your mind and make you more productive when you return.
Try out local coffee shops and libraries too to get a change of scenery. Away from any distractions, you may find that you’re actually more productive.
This is key to maintaining a good work-life balance when working from home. It’s so easy to work into the evenings or over weekends but this actually has a detrimental effect. Whilst you may think you’re being super productive, without a clear break there’s a risk of burning out.
So, work out when you are most productive and set the rest of your day around then. Be sure to have a clear clocking off time and you’ll feel far more refreshed when you come to start again the following morning.
If you’re thinking of setting up or changing your workspace at home, take a look at our range of https://www.madewithoak.co.uk/room/officeoffice furniture here.