Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, most of us have been encouraged to work remotely – for some it has been a relatively easy transition and for others it has been significantly more challenging.
Working effectively from home requires creating an office space that promotes efficiency and productivity in a non-traditional work environment. But how can you set up a comfortable and functional working space at home?
Consider the tips below to increase your productivity and efficiency while working from home.
To minimise distractions, choose a spot where you’re able to work productively, and keep that space distinct from other parts of your home so you can unplug when you’re done. While it can be tempting to choose to work from your bed or your couch, try your best to avoid this. Instead, choose a spot that creates the right mindset and mentally prepares you for being productive.
Ultimately, different occupations and people will have different requirements from a home office, so do what is best suited to you.
One of the most important aspects of working from home is the station at which you work. Sitting for extended periods of time can have negative consequences for our health. However, often sitting cannot be avoided, therefore it is important to set-up your station to maximise comfort and efficiency. Start by investing in a quality chair, preferably an adjustable one with good back, thigh and arm support. Additionally, consider a standing desk or alternatively a standing desk converter – this will improve productivity, concentration and relieve muscle tension.
Ultimately, the items you choose should be ergonomically designed to promote your health and well-being while using them. Through correct posture at your workstation there is a reduced likelihood of suffering from static muscle loads and early fatigue. This is why ergonomics is considered to be so important - view Australia's ergonomic standards here.
Finally, and very importantly remember to take breaks regularly, even if its just for 5 minutes. Doing so will re-energise you and prepare you to tackle the rest of your to-do list when you return to your desk.
Organising your workstation can help reduce the frustration of having to search for items that should be readily available, it keeps pending work in order and prevents the chaos of disorganised piles. Taking the time to organise your space not only improves workflow but also forces you to think through the different aspects of your operation, and how to approach them efficiently and systematically – with clear, structured space and a clear mind, it is easier to maintain focus.
To reduce clutter on your desk, consider using multiple storage compartments e.g. desk organisers, filing cabinets, file racks, boxes etc.
When establishing your home workspace, consider sitting near natural light – believe it or not, exposure to sunlight can impact your physical and mental well-being and in turn, boost engagement and enhance productivity. It’s a great idea to set your desk up next to a window which lets the sunlight in, it will reduce stress and curb anxiety.
Make your workspace somewhere you want to spend time! Avoid making it feel like an office cubicle. Creating a space that is comfortable and reflective of who you are won’t just make it feel more inviting, it’ll also improve productivity.
It’s been scientifically proven that certain colours have a particular influence on memory, concentration, learning, attention span and motivation. Therefore, if you intend to use colours in your decoration, opt for colours that evoke positive emotions. For example, yellow or purple can help you focus, while blue boosts creativity. Orange favours great communication and pink has a positive impact on stress. Avoid dark, dull colours — they can make you feel less energetic.
Consider surrounding yourself with artwork and/or meaningful photos of loved ones. Plants are also a great idea! Not only does green promote soothing feelings but plants also bring a sense of tranquillity, reduce noise and filter the air.
Now that you have created your perfect workspace, its important to have the right mindset! To ensure you are mentally prepared for being productive despite not working from your usual workplace, be mindful of the following:
When combined, all of these little things will help you work to the best of your ability.