● By Mel Sim
Do it right to get more work done in the comfort of your home.
As much as we hate why we are working at home (argh, COVID), there’s also plenty to love about your new “office” arrangement. And it can actually be good for your productivity! A research from Harvard Business Review suggests that by working from home, you actually get more done (that is it you’re working from 9 to 6 and not Netflixing in the middle of work hours).
There are few other reasons why: You’re not surrounded by talkative colleagues, you don’t get endless interruptions from impromptu meetings, and the biggest of them all? NO MORE COMMUTES.
That said, working from home can get a bit draggy – especially if you’re an extrovert who needs to be surrounded by colleagues to get that work buzz. Also, working from the kitchen table can be pretty limiting when others are eating around you while you’re on that important Zoom call.
With this is mind and the fact that some of us might continue working from home even in 2021, here are some ways you can set up your home office to give you some boost in concentration and productivity. Try them out and let us know if they work for you! And hey, you can even use some of these tips when you go back to your actual office!
#1 Let there be light!
The one thing you might miss from your office? That bright fluorescent light that makes everything so bright and clear. At home, you may not have such bright lights (it is a place to relax after all) and that can actually make it hard to concentrate (not to mention, make you feel sleepy after a while).
Try to create your home office in an area where you get a lot of natural light as this instantly improves the work environment. But take into account that direct sunlight can create an overwhelming glare during certain times of the day. The best thing to do is position your workstation north or south.
Using artificial lighting instead? Make sure you are not seated with the light behind you as that will almost certainly cost a glare that your colleagues and clients won’t appreciate during a video call.
#2 Set a comfy zone
We’re not talking about the sofa or your bed because you’re likely to hang out there and be tempted not to get back to work! Instead, if you have space in your home office area, plonk in a bean bag or comfy chair so you can move around a bit to help break up the day and give you a different working spot for when you’re doing the not so heavy-duty stuff like replying emails. Take it as down time in your PJs.
#3 Make it permanent
If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room at home, why not convert that to your home office! It always makes sense to have a dedicated space for work… and the rest of the home for everything else. This way, it feels like you’re “going” to work when you walk into that room and close the door for privacy.
While you’re at it, set it up with a big enough table for your laptop, a sturdy office chair (maybe invest in one because who knows how long you’ll be working from home for!), bulletin boards to keep organised, desk accessories and even a dedicated work mug.
#4 Pin it!
You know how you have that green plant on your office desk or a bunch of photos that makes you smile? You can do the same at home too. Best part is you can go all out because it is your own home after all.
Want a huge poster of that incredible art you saw online? Go on – get it printed and framed! Love motivational quotes? Make postcard prints and plaster them all over the wall and even your desk. The point is to make it personal – and motivating- so that you’re inspired to work.
BONUS: Make it smell nice
Certain essential oils have proven effects that can boost your productivity. Like peppermint, which can give you an energy boost, or rosemary, to help you concentrate better. Get yourself a diffuser or candle.
Photo by Standsome Worklifestyle on Unsplash
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