Since the COVID-19 pandemic, remote and home working has thrived. More people than ever are working from home and reaping the financial and mental health rewards of having a more flexible lifestyle.
However, working from home comes with challenges. When you’re in an environment that hasn’t been created for work, you’ll face tons of distractions. Whether it’s the neighbour’s dog, the washing machine, or your neighbours, there are bound to be things that steal your attention.
With that in mind, we’ve assembled our top tips for staying productive, even when working from home.
1. Make Movement Easy
Regular exercise can boost brain power and make it easier to concentrate. If you live close to green space, consider taking a walk on your lunch break. The benefits are numerous - not only will you burn calories and yield all the physical benefits of walking, but you’ll also clear your mind with fresh air.
If you don’t have a space nearby where you can walk during breaks, try a standing desk or desk bike. That way, you can keep up your fitness and keep your brain focused without having to leave your desk. Win-win!
It’s famously difficult to concentrate when working in a cluttered environment. When you set up your home office, keep only the essentials on your desk and the shelves around you.
Remove personal items from your home office so you’re not distracted. Even better if you can remove personal devices such as your mobile phone from the home office, so your work won’t be interrupted by calls, texts, or app notifications.
3. Make it Motivational
Whether it’s a separate room, in your bedroom, or simply the kitchen table, make it clear that your home office is to be used for work with some motivational posters. Find your favourite motivational quotes, print them out and stick them around your home office.
That way, whenever you’re stuck for inspiration, you’ll get a fun reminder of why you’re doing what you do! If motivational posters aren’t your thing, you could print out complimentary emails from happy clients or customers to remind you of your past success.
4. Think About Ergonomics
Ergonomics is a science that recommends the correct way to set up your workspace for good health and proper posture. The first place to start is investing in an ergonomic chair, such as this ergonomic chair from Flexispot.
Ergonomic chairs improve your posture during work, so you can avoid troublesome back pain that sometimes occurs as a result of desk work.
Once you’ve set up an ergonomic chair, try an ergonomic keyboard, which positions keys at an angle that’s similar to the natural bend of your arms. This avoids a situation in which you have to place your hands side by side, angling your arms inwards and putting pressure on your wrists.
If you spend a significant portion of your working day on the phone, invest in a set of wireless headphones. Doing so not only frees up your hands to take notes or respond to emails, but also prevents you from having to precariously cradle your phone between your ear and shoulder.
5. Use Lighting to Your Benefit
The more natural lighting you can let into your home office, the more alert, awake, and focused you’ll be. Work in a space near plenty of windows - being able to open the windows in the heat will also help you stay cool while you work!
6. Keep it Colourful
You’re out of the office cubicle and into your home - so there’s no reason your workspace should be bland! Add a splash of colour to your home office by either painting or wallpapering a wall or using bright accessories to keep things vibrant.
If the area around your desk is looking dull, jazz it up with some pictures, plants, and other decorations. Your home office should be a place you enjoy spending time in, so as well as keeping it aesthetically pleasing, indulge in candles or essential oil diffusers to enjoy aromatherapy benefits.
7. Add Background Noise
Many people find that background noise can make it easier to stay focused rather than being a distraction.
Many workers prefer to have their favourite album or the radio in the background, but some prefer to play white noise, which serves to block out other distracting noise such as traffic.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to making the perfect home office to keep you productive, the best way to do it is the way that works for you. If you love working with pop music in the background, make sure you always have speakers on hand.
If you want to double up your work day and gym session, invest in a standing or cycle desk for maximum physical health.