Whether you have realized your dream of working from home or found yourself caught up in a quarantine or shelter in place directive, setting up a workspace in your home, can be a challenge. Regardless of how your new workspace came to be, it is important to create a space that maximizes productivity through process and physical conditions.
Tips for Creating a Productive Home Work Environment
- Clear the clutter -a cluttered desk is a cluttered mind. Make sure everything has a place and begin and end each day with a clean workspace.
- Place something in your workspace that brings you joy -this could be an object, a painting, or a plant. Choose something that might bring back a memory, spark creativity, or just serve to bring a sense of calm.
- Let light in -choose a space with ample light and whenever possible opt for natural light.
- Establish physical boundaries -a room with a door works best if possible. This will establish a physical boundary if other individuals are home and provide privacy for phone calls and remote meetings.
- Keep a dedicated workspace -don’t leave work items all over the house. This will avoid misplacement and accidental use by another person in your home.
- Check in with your senses -hearing, smell, sight, touch, and taste. Eliminate distracting noises, consider soothing background music or white noise. Is your office space appealing to your sense of smell, sight, and touch; Is your chair comfortable? Ensure you take a break to enjoy your café (kitchen); take the time to make a healthy lunch and enjoy it in another part of the house. This will give you the mental break to re-engage.
- Ask yourself, do I have the right tools to do my job? – if the tools provided are not working for you, change them up and explore other options. What worked for an occasional Friday working from home, may not work now that your workspace is at home full-time.
- Engage with others – check in with others, visually whenever possible. You still need to build and maintain work relationships. Consider scheduling a virtual lunch or coffee break.
- Establish your working hours and stick to them – this is important for both you and the other people in your house. This will cause less interruptions in the long run, if others know your work hours and can rely on you to keep them. It is also good for us in general to take time away to focus on other things and reenergize ourselves; whether this be a game with your child, some exercise, or reading a book, it is important to take time out.
What in your work environment would you change to increase productivity?
Tonda Tan, Business Proces Consultant/Coach at Competitve Solutions, Inc.