If you’re like most people, it’s probably been about five months since your employer informed you that you will be temporarily working from home. Thanks to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), gathering at the water cooler or sharing common areas with plenty of people at work isn’t advisable.
And if you’re also like most people, you’ve probably underestimated how just how long “temporary” is so you’ve been working on your bed, on your couch, or at the dining table. But the pandemic doesn’t seem to be letting up soon and it’s time to accept that you will probably be working from home, at least part-time, in the foreseeable future.
So, it’s time to stop procrastinating and start getting serious about setting up your home office or work station. And not just any work station, but a productive one. Here’s what you can do:
Choose the quietest spot
Some people like and even need some background noise to work, while others are easily bothered by the soft whir of the air vent. Whichever category you fall under, it’s better to set up your workspace in the quietest room or corner in your house. The lack of barking dogs or squealing children will come in handy when you have to make conference calls or attend virtual meetings. If you need white noise, you can simply look for some online and have it play while you’re working.
Make sure your workspace is separate
If the quietest part of your home isn’t in a secluded, empty room and instead shares space with a common area, such as your kitchen or dining, make sure your home office space is distinct from the space where you do your day-to-day living. The lines between work and home are already blurred, so it’s better to have physical separation so you can stay more organized. This also helps you completely log off from work when you leave your workspace behind.
Use the right colors
Did you know that certain colors inspire certain emotions and brain activity? For example, the color red is stimulating, so it gets your blood pumping while blue soothes and helps calm the mind. Green, meanwhile, inspires balance, while orange brings feelings of enthusiasm. So, whether you’re getting the help of residential painting services or you’re DIY-ing it, carefully consider the color you’ll paint your workspace.
Declutter your desk
Apart from noisy distractions, clutter is one of the biggest enemies of productivity. When pens are scattered haphazardly and stacks of paper remain unorganized on your desk, the view doesn’t really inspire productivity, does it? So clear your space and only leave the essentials to give you space to work as well as think clearly.
Bring the outside in
We’re not saying bring your whole garden in or create an indoor jungle, but a few pots of plants can liven your workspace up. You can put a couple of pots of succulents, a vase of dried plants, or beautifully arranged stems of fresh flowers beside your computer. You can also take this a step further by making sure your desk faces the window so you have a view of nature outdoors.
It can be difficult to stay productive when you’re five steps away from your bed, but setting up a dedicated home office that inspires productivity can help.