Setting up a home office does come with lots of advantages, such as less time in traffic to get to and from work, saving money on travel costs, better use of time (since you’re already at work), and generally fewer operating costs.
The main downside to working from home are the distractions; things happening around the house can contribute to a lack of concentration and focus.
Today staying home has become the new norm, so many of us have had to adapt to a home-working environment.
Since home and work have now combined, we must be able to separate work time from home and relaxation time.
On that note, here are some savvy tips to help you create your ideal workspace at home, without having to break the bank:
- Choose a dedicated work area
The first and perhaps the most important thing you’ll need to think about is choosing the right space to install your home office. Don’t use the sofa or your bed as these areas are more likely to lead to distractions. Sofas and beds are for relaxation time like watching tv or taking a nap and not the best options for doing productive work.
If you are likely to be spending a long time working at home every single day, then it may be worth getting a desk so that you can organise your workspace better. Try to create something specific to work, and if possible, in a quiet, reserved spot. Perhaps a corner of a living room or an alcove, maybe a spare bedroom, conservatory, garage or even an unused space under the stairs? All of those are suitable options that many people have managed to turn into something practical and useful.
Natural light tends to enhance productivity, so try to choose a place with plenty of natural light. Adding some greenery will also help to freshen up the air, boosting wellbeing and productivity.
Adequate Wi-Fi is a must these days so make sure that the spot you choose to work in is able to pick up the signal. If not, you can always move the router or add a Wi-Fi range extender.
- Start from scratch
Once you’ve chosen your ideal spot to use as a workspace at home, albeit big or small, it’s always better to start with a blank canvas. Begin by clearing all of the clutter. You can temporarily store those items in a safe and secure storage space. Next take a step back to see what space you have available. This will help to determine what and where you can put your furniture and accessories to create your little work haven.
It may be a good idea to make a list of the things that you need to be able to work from home. For most people, it may only be a case of a desk, chair, laptop and phone but to ramp up the focus and motivation it may be worth making the environment around you more work focussed too.
- Distraction-free zone
The hardest part of creating a home working space is finding a distraction-free area. It’s easy to get distracted, especially those who have kids and pets, but it’s still possible to make a distraction-free zone.
If your kids are old enough to be left unattended during your working hours, make sure your kids know that they can only interrupt you if it’s something urgent.
When it comes to background noise, most people tend to like it, many don’t mind the TV or radio in the background but if it bothers you, turn it off. Do not allow social media to distract you; choose to keep those times for breaks or when working duties are done for the day.
- Functional spaces
Try to create a workspace as functional as possible; this may mean adding extra shelving, drawers and multi-use storage so that the area doesn’t become cluttered.
Also, ensure everything you need is close to hand so that you do not have to keep marching around the house to get this and that as this will inevitably lead to distractions.
- Add your personal touch
Working from home may not be ideal, but there are things that you can do to make it better and more bearable. Add some splashes of colour to the decor, use candles to make it smell nice and look inviting, and perhaps place some family photos on your desk (like you would in your work office) as it will help to lift the mood.
By adding your personal touch to your dedicated work zone you’ll definitely feel more comfortable and happier while you’re working.