In these days of social-distancing, more and more of us are having to work from home. There are both pros and cons to this, but the truth is - it’s not as easy as most people think. Setting up a work space isn’t just a matter of dragging office equipment into a room and plugging it in, you should think beyond the laptop and the keyboard, and consider other factors. How does the space influence your productivity, creativity and mental wellbeing.
The good news? We’ve gathered our top tips to help you create the ultimate ‘Zen’-feeling office space at home:
Designate a work space
We won’t judge if you want to work in your PJs without having put a brush through your hair, but – as tempting as it might sound – do not work from your bed!
Separating your work space from your ‘living’ and ‘sleeping’ spaces is crucial; if you don’t, it will become really difficult to leave work at work. Although not many people have a totally ‘spare room’ available, designating a small area in your bedroom or living area for work can make all the difference in the world.
You should also be looking to minimise distractions. If possible, pick a space that is far away from the kitchen and appliances – this will reduce unnecessary snacking and the temptation to put a quick load of whites into the machine!
And lastly, use a desk or table that fits the space and allows you to work comfortably; it’s really important to keep this area free of any clutter to get into that ‘tidy desk, tidy mind’ mentality.
Proper lighting makes most tasks easier but chances are that the existing lighting in your work from home space is inadequate.
Blue-enriched white light stimulates the brain, improves alertness and performance, and will help you sleep better at night. To avoid square eyes and headaches while you’re working on your computer, put an order in for a home delivery of a 60-watt desk lamp – not only does it reduce eye strain but it will also make you feel less tired overall.
If you don’t want to run to the cost of a lamp put your desk close to a window for lots of natural light and in warm weather open the windows too and let that fresh air in!
If you have some house plants at home, bring one or two into the room you’re working in. As well as injecting some vibrancy and colour into a room, some greenery can do wonders for your mind-set.
Plants have been shown to improve the quality of the air, stabilise humidity, and to reduce stress. By adding plant life into the design of your working space, you’ll be able to enjoy all the physical and psychological benefits that they bring.
Take a lunch break
Take some time out away from your work – especially if you’re sitting at a computer.
Actually using your lunch hour to grab a bite to eat and to relax is a great way to break up your day and will leave you feeling recharged and refreshed for the rest of the afternoon; many studies have found that this helps improve productivity.
If you’re unable to take a full hour at lunch, consider taking more, shorter breaks throughout the day for the same effect.
Get out and about
Don’t spend all of your day inside. Getting some fresh air can do wonders for your mental and physical health.
Make the most of your one trip out a day and either get up early before work, or allocate some time in your lunch break or after your day is done to head out for a run or stroll.
A change of scene will stop you from going stir crazy!
Make the most of your evenings
As tempting as it may be, don’t spend every evening during the week lounging on the sofa.
Designate time to being with loved ones, whether it’s over the phone or cooking dinner together.
Or, take up a hobby; fill your nights with something you enjoy or something productive. Read more, learn a language online or take up yoga or meditation. The possibilities are endless!
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