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Creating a Home Office That’s Productive and Pleasant

Working from Home

Creating a Home Office That’s Productive and Pleasant

July 22, 2019   Instant Messaging

Today, more and more individuals are taking advantage of the opportunity to work remotely.

And while there’s much to consider before you yourself make the decision to telecommute, once you’ve decided to take the leap, creating an ideal home office – one that’s constructive, comfortable, and free from distractions – is one of the crucial first steps.

So without further ado – here’s how you can create a home office that’s both productive and pleasant.

Designate a Work Space

Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you don’t get to have an office. Quite the contrary! Rather than struggling to focus from the couch or bedroom – spaces which are typically associated with leisure – designate an area of your house or apartment for work.

Dedicating a space for work not only helps put you in the right frame of mind during work hours, but it’ll save you the time and hassle of getting set up each day, and then cleaning up when it’s time for meals, or the workday has finished, for example.

Consider Your Decor

While choosing your decor may seem like a cool perk – and, ok, it kind of is – it’s more than that. Carefully considering your home office environment can impact your attitude toward work.

When setting up your home office, give some thought to the:

  1. Furniture – When it comes to furniture, try to strike a balance between comfort and support. Pieces that are overly inviting or bland and boring could cause back and neck pain or leave you carefree or uninspired. Choose a desk that’s large enough to accommodate your essentials, but not so large that it invites too much clutter.
  2. Colors Schemes – Believe it or not, there’s psychology behind colors. Blue can bring about feelings of calmness and serenity. The same goes for green which, additionally, can improve reading ability. Yellow, on the other hand, can induce warmth and energy, but also anxiety and fatigue. In any instance, choose a color not only that you’re comfortable with, but which reflects your responsibilities and task load.
  3. Lighting – Natural lighting is the best lighting for health and well-being. Position your workspace near a window or in a room that receives plenty of daylight. If that’s not possible, consider changing light fixtures and bulbs to those that are designed for office productivity.
  4. Greenery – Plants benefit you both physically and psychologically. Sprucing up your home office with a bit of greenery not only cleans the air around you, but boosts your mood and improves concentration and memory.

Mimic Prior Work Routines

Mimic Prior Work Routines

Trying to mimic prior work routines – when you worked in an office, for example – helps you maintain the mental association between work and your home office.

  1. Pretend you’re going to the office – Treat your day just as you would if you were going into the physical office. Set your alarm, make coffee, and get dressed. Upon finishing work for the day, make a to-do list for the next day.
  2. Structure your day – At home, you’re your own boss. Your colleagues aren’t asking you to join them for lunch and no one’s telling you when to take a break. As a result, days can become monotonous. To stay on task, pinpoint and utilize your productive times, use calendars and planners, and schedule everything – including your breaks.

Choose Your Playlist Wisely

Music is great for setting the tone of an environment. In fact, it has been proven to improve information processing and increase work output. Being productive at home, though, requires a mindset different from unwinding after work, gathering with friends, or even hanging out at your favorite cafe. So choose your playlist wisely.

Lyrics and complex musical structures have the power to distract. Nature sounds, on the other hand, can boost cognitive function and concentration, while classical music can enhance overall mood and focus.

Interestingly, video game soundtracks – specifically composed to enhance your gaming experience – can help you better fixate on the task at hand.

Trim Social Media Use

Social media is designed for you to check in for short and quick intervals. Checking in repeatedly during the course of a day, however, wrecks your productivity.

Unless you’re a social media marketer, or you’re handling customer success via social media chat tools, take steps to mitigate social media use during work hours:

  • Log out of all your social media accounts
  • Remove social media links from your browser shortcuts
  • During the week, delete or slim down the social media apps on your smartphone – relegating them to weekend use
  • Take meaningful breaks – Instead of checking social media on breaks, take a walk, read relevant articles, or do some yoga

Thwart Chaos

Chaos takes many forms and, just like your social media use, adds up over the course of a day. Before you know it, you’ve spent the entire day organizing your workspace, doing laundry, making lunch, cleaning the house – you know, everything but your actual task list.

In the morning or, better yet, the night before, get all your supplies ready. Have your desk or workspace well-stocked with your essentials. Getting up to search for a document or a paper clip, for example, chip away at your productivity and could lead to other distractions. Moreover, prepare your snacks or lunch before starting work and save household chores for after hours.

Additionally, make sure to set boundaries with any roommates or houseguests – informing them of your workspace, work hours, and the peace and quiet you need during the workday.

Identify Your Toolkit

The tools you need for your home office ultimately depend on your job and responsibilities.

  • Stable internet – Poor internet connectivity could impact how you’re viewed professionally. The better your internet, the less likely you are to experience connectivity issues, email or messaging delays, and dropped voice and video calls.
  • VPN – A VPN allows you to establish a secure connection with a remote network, such as a business network, from anywhere in the world – better protecting you if you’re working from an unprotected public network or transferring sensitive company information.
  • Headphones – Good headphones are necessary for a few reasons. Not only do they help avoid echoes which occasionally occur during voice chats, but they block distracting noise in the case you’ve got roommates or are working from someplace other than your home.
  • Real-time communication and collaborationAn enterprise communication and collaboration solution connects your home office, ensuring you remain in the know, productive, and secure. Real-time messaging and collaboration tools keep discussion consistent and free-flowing while enabling dynamic and meaningful teamwork. Comprehensive administrative features and enterprise-grade security – 256-bit data encryption, peer-to-peer channels, and anti-virus and malware integration – on the other hand, both focus and safeguard communication.
  • Productivity boosters – From project management, task automation, mobile team chat, and even your to-do list, productivity apps help you get more done with less effort, wherever you’re working from.

Don’t Be Afraid to Mix It Up

Don’t Be Afraid to Mix It Up

Remember those days at the office when you dreamed of working from home? Eventually, though, the charm wears off and the home office brings about similar feelings of monotony.

Don’t be afraid to switch up your environment from time to time. Once or twice per week, on Fridays for instance, you could choose a new spot to work from – like a cafe, the library, or one of the popular co-working sites springing up in cities all over.

What’s more, you could choose a different spot for each task on your to-do list and, upon finishing a task, simply walk or bike to the next location; helping you gain not only a fresh perspective, but the added bonus of physical activity.

The Final Word

Working remotely is a major adjustment on many levels. Creating the ideal home office is no exception. With some careful preparation and strategic habits, your home office can suit your job and your personality – ensuring it’s not only a productive place to work, but a pleasant one, too.