Make your workspace work for you
When you’re working from home, a little extra thought needs to go into making your physical workspace somewhere you can actually be productive.
The first step is ensuring your home workspace is – or feels – separate from where you relax. This helps you focus when you’re on the clock and unwind once the day is done. The ideal WFH set up would be having a spare room that acts as your home office, away from where you relax at night. Of course, this isn’t possible for many of us.
The next best thing is demarcating your ‘work’ space and your ‘home’ space. There are a few ways to do this.
- Maintain regular hours. By sticking to a work schedule each day you’ll know when to start each day and when to stop – making it easier to maintain a work-life balance.
- Keep a routine. Similarly, a workday routine can be an effective way of getting in the groove each day. It can be as simple as making your bed, putting on your ‘work’ clothes and grabbing a coffee before sitting down at your desk. However you do it, a routine signals to your brain that it’s time for work
- Trick your brain with lighting. An interior designer-endorsed tip is to use lighting to demarcate your day. During work hours, turn on a lamp with a ‘cool’ light bulb – cool lighting makes us more alert. Then to help yourself unwind at the end of the day, ensure the bulbs in your lounge and bedroom are ‘warm’ – warm lighting promotes a sense of relaxation.
- Reset your space. This hack – which draws from the wisdom of both Marie Kondo and the book Atomic Habits – is about cultivating small habits that return a room to being a space of joy. So if you’re working in your lounge room, at the end of the day you could ‘reset’ the room by putting your laptop and notepads away and out of sight until tomorrow. That helps you mentally return the room to being a place of relaxation.
- Banish clutter. To minimize distractions and promote a sense of calm, keep the room you work in as clutter-free as possible. Organizing enthusiast Clutterbug has some great tips for how to ‘take back’ your home from mess.