Not all workplaces require your physical presence anymore. It is a digital age, and you can create your entire career without having to leave the house. There are office jobs that even allow you to take work days from home, with your deliverables send via email. While it seems exciting, no more morning commutes, no more rushed lunches, and no more employees distracting you left and right — it has its challenges as well.
You are bringing work home, a place that is embedded with memories of relaxing and entertaining. It does not foster the most focused mindset, and nothing is formed for efficiency; that is up to you. Here are some tips to make your workspace at home:
Section-off your space with furniture
Create boundaries so that you can teach yourself to bring efficiency and focus when you enter the space. Ideally, it would be a separate room you can convert into an office, but you can use other areas like your bedroom or living room. The key is to arrange your furniture in such a way that you, and other people, can see the purpose of a specific part. Keep your chair facing the opposite direction of areas that have a lot of movement. You can set your desk against the wall or facing the window.
Minimize visual and aural distractions
Actively try to stay as focused as possible by removing any sights or sounds that can potentially distract you. You can go the extra mile and generally avoid being in areas that can act as temptation. So, sadly no television, cell phones, or stereos. If you live with children, or in a noisy neighborhood, try to find the most private location available. You can also set up a makeshift soundproofing system with thick blankets if necessary.
Keep all work-related items in one place
When you work, try to stay within your workspace as long as you can. Keep yourself in the physical and mental “zone”. Walking to your kitchen for a glass of water or cup of coffee may lead to washing piled up dishes or cooking your next meal. Looking for reference materials that are scattered around your home can eat up your time. Work-related books, office supplies, and a small tray of refreshments should keep you company while you work. It also generally saves more time for you — no more mad rummaging through old boxes for that textbook from university.
Clean your workspace frequently
Keep your workspace clean and have elements that make it easy to clean your space. Vinyl wood flooring, a non-glass desk, and a garbage bin nearby are all helpful elements. The vinyl floor keeps the dust build up visible, unlike thick carpets. It is also easy to clean when you have any coffee or soda spills. Glass tables, while very stylish, easily get greasy with fingerprints and palm marks.
Use it frequently
No matter how efficient your workspace design is; for it to work, you must make it a habit. It will take some adjusting. You face two hurdles, the first few weeks and months after you have gone past the novelty; it’s smooth sailing from then.
There should be no difference with your progress at work when you keep to a disciplined schedule and neat home office.