Working from home is great. Not having to commute to work everyday decreases stress levels, which in turn makes for happier people. The idea of working from home is not everybody’s cup of tea. Sure you get to work in your pajamas and have meetings in bed, and avoid office politics. That being said, it doesn’t make life all rosy and peachy. When you start working from home, your working hours quickly become a blur, and if you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself working overnight to make up for all the time you lost sleeping in and hanging out. I’ve decided to put together a short series of working from home tips that will help you make the best of your situation.
Tip # 1 – Have a designated workspace
The number one tip for working from home is to have a designated work area in your home. Think of it as your very own panic room. You don’t have to dedicate an entire room to your workspace. As a Torontonian, I understand that the lack of space is an issue for many. If it’s a problem for you, buy a desk, and put it in an undisturbed corner. You need to make sure to separate where you live from where you work. When I first started working from home, I’d simply have my laptop on my lap every morning until I decided to get out of bed. I would then move to the couch and work in front of the TV. Don’t repeat my mistakes. Working in bed or in front of the TV leaves you opened to distractions and decreases your productivity. To fix my issue, I bought a desk.
My condo isn’t big, so the only space I have for my desk is the front of my bedroom. Despite the fact that it’s close to my bed, I fight the temptation to crawl back into bed by decorating my desk with things that inspire me; flowers, my favourite books, pictures, among other things. As soon as I created a little area for myself, I became more productive. I can now tell the difference between the time I spend working, and the time I spend hanging out at home. If you can have a home office, even great. Invest time and money (don’t break the bank) to create an oasis where you can get away and get productive.
What a great home office needs
1. A desk. It’s the most crucial piece of the equation. Visit your local IKEA for great deals of spacious and great looking desks. It’s important to choose the desk carefully as it dictates how you will decorate the rest of your workspace.
2. Good seating support. When working from home, chances are your job requires long hours sitting. It’s important you’re getting the seat support your back needs. A good chair helps prevent back pains and more serious back problems. I also helps to be comfortable.
3. Personal touch + inspiration. Your workspace should have personal touches that inspire you to work harder. Whether it’s pictures of your children, a mood board, or souvenirs, you need a visual to keep you going. Having a black and white workspace with no color can dull your day.
4. Good lighting. If you can get natural light, great. If you’re like me and have to set up shop in a window-less bedroom, invest in good lighting. It will keep you going during the darker hours of the day/night.
5. Storage. Clutter is depressing. Keep your workspace tidy by adding shelves above or next to your desk to gain more storage space and reduce desktop clutter.
Stay tuned for tip #2
Feel free to share your tips and tricks for a great home office below.