Having had my own business for several years now I usually split my time between an office in the city and my home office to work. Given current circumstances I’ve had to re-assess my current work space at home to make sure it’s conducive for working from home for the forseeable future. And as the girls are currently home with us, it’s been important to ensure that my work space is set up to maximise productivity in the bursts of time I do get to sit down at my desk and power through my to-do list. Here’s what I’ve done to ensure I’ve got a functional space I actually want to spend time in.
Allocate a designated work area
Last year I took over a spare bedroom in our home to use as an office, before that I was working wherever I could pop my laptop down. I’ve noticed a difference in how it affected my productivity. Now that I’ve got a designated spot to sit it helps get me into work mode. However it wasn’t having an office that did this but the fact I finally had one assigned place I associated with working. So whether it’s your kitchen table or another room, try allocating a particular spot to work from and consider it your office for the next few months.
Look for good lighting
I’ve found good lighting is so important because there’s nothing worse than squinting at a screen because the light is too bright or not bright enough. If you can, try and set up near the best source of natural light in your home. If that’s not possible make sure that you’ve got a good overheard light or lamp to provide adequate illumination.
Get rid of clutter
I did a major decluttering session to help set up my office and it was really useful in ensuring that I had a clean desk space, free of unnecessary junk to work at. I find having too many things around is really distracting and having an area that’s free of clutter helps to get me into the right productive frame of mind.
Have comfortable seating
Having a good chair is crucial. If you’re going to be working for several hours in the one spot find yourself the most comfortable chair, with appropriate support in your home possible. You don’t want to find that you’ve done your back in after sitting in a bad chair for months.
Have the office basics covered to ensure you’re functional
One thing about working in an office is that there’s a steady supply of stationery and equipment to ensure that you can do your job. Try and emulate that as much as possible at home so you’re not scrambling for a notepad when you’re on a call with a client or your screen is just a fraction too low and it’s starting to get massively uncomfortable. Assess your space, see what you need and try to have those supplies around where possible.
Lots of organisational tools
I’ve found it’s so much easier to keep things ordered when I’ve got the appropriate organisational tools handy. Think storage boxes, folders, trays… all these things ensure that I’ve got a spot to put everything and I don’t have things just floating on my desk taking up space.
Dot your space with things you love
This is the fun part! It was important to me that my office had personality. So I’ve decorated with prints that I love, furniture that I find aesthetically pleasing and touches like a vase of flowers or snacks at the ready. This all inspires me to spend time in my work space, but of course it’s different for everyone. Curate your own space according to the things that motivate you and inspire you.