No matter if you are working from home permanently, or if you're doing it temporarily during COVID-19, you might be fighting a lack of motivation. It's hard to stay focused and maximize productivity when you have no one else to keep you accountable but yourself. On the other hand, there are some definite perks to working from home. Lounging around in pajamas, and not having to endure crowded commutes are definitely two of them.
To get the best out of both worlds, we've gathered some tips on how to organize your home office to boost your work motivation.
Create a dedicated office space
Even if you don't work in a cubicle, traditional workspaces have a clear physical area telling you where to perform your work. Since you're combing living space and workspace, the boundaries at home might not be as obvious, so you will need to create some. Are you able to put something desk-like in a closet? Can you move your bed to fit a small desk into the corner of a room?
A dedicated workspace of any sort will help your mental boundaries, but also make other areas of your home more enjoyable since they're not "contaminated" by work associations. If you can't dedicate an area to be your office, you should at least pick a spot in your home, which you always use when working from home.
Bring joy to your workspace.
It's a common misconception that you're more productive when you're working in a lean space with neutral colors and other distractions. Studies show, however, that working at an office with brighter colors, plants, art, and additional sensorial stimulation, increases productivity by 32%.
Focus on bringing things into your home office that gives you joy, a painting, a colorful coffee mug, plant babies, or activate smell and sound by playing music and having essential oils on occasion.
Image source: Ella Jardim on Unsplash.
Determine what equipment you need
Nothing is more annoying than not having the tools you need to stay productive. If you're working from home temporarily, ask your employer if they can get you a monitor, keyboard, mouse, or whatever you need within reason, to do your job efficiently.
If you always work from home, you should consider investing in a printer, a good chair, and a desk. When it comes to scanners and fax, you can use apps instead of adding another clumsy machine into your home.
- Scanner Pro is an excellent scanner app you can download on your phone, and it will take care of your basic scanner needs fast and straightforward.
- Fax.plus has some excellent solutions which allow you to send a fax from your Gmail, phone, etc.
Get the ergonomy right
When you're working from home, you're likely sitting on a less-ergonomic chair watching a screen on a "desk," a.k.a. a dining table. It's challenging to get the right posture in that situation, which can lead to tension in certain parts of your body, including headaches.
Ideally, your hands should be on your keyboard, with your forearms flat and elbows bent at a right angle. Your back should be supported, and your feet should be resting on the ground, with your knees bent 90 degrees. The position of the screen will be a determining factor, so try to be a few inches from the top of the screen if you look straight ahead. To achieve this, you might need to get creative by using boxes, books, pillows, etc. to create this optimal posture. Make sure you invest this time in yourself before you get started - it's time well spent.
Image source: Bench Accounting on Unsplash.
Don't underestimate the power of natural daylight.
This tip is admittedly restricted by the house or apartment you're in, but if possible, try to set up "office" where the sun can shine in. Light stimulates hormones, which directly impact your mood, stress levels, and even immune system.
If you don't have access to natural light, you can also add lamps to counter the blue light from the screen. Artificial light is better than no light, and if you have the opportunity - go out on one or two walks during the day to catch some natural sunshine. You can still stay productive by scheduling a phone call during the outing.
Out of sight, out of mind
When you're working from home, it might be difficult to know when the day starts and ends. Also, people working from home tend to take fewer breaks and even fewer sick days. If you don't have a dedicated room, which you can close the door to at the end of the day, you should try to create other physical boundaries.
Tuck away computers, papers, drawings, etc. when you're official workday is over. You can use a cute basket or storage box to hide them until the next day. If you're in a permanent work-from-home situation, consider investing in an attractive storage cabinet where you can hide your work equipment, without it being an eyesore for that particular room.
An IKEA Besta cabinet, customized with Norse doors, panels, legs, and knobs.
We hope these tips will help you with your motivation working from home. Also, don't forget all the wonderful perks about not having to go into an office. Focus on the things you get to do, and not on the things you don't get to do.
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