Working from home means creating a space that’s intentional and separates your work life from your home life.
Here are eight easy tips to help make your space work for you, whether it’s an entire office or a designated corner of your living room or bedroom.
1) Create a routine.
Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that because your home is your office and your office is your home—those two things can’t be separated. Just as you had office hours regularly, it’s important to set office hours at home. Allow yourself time after you wake up to make some coffee, read a book and begin the day on your terms. And my favorite routine tip actually comes at the end of the work day. I sign off every day with a walk around the neighborhood so I can get physical space from the day’s work and when I come back through the door, I’ve flipped into full relaxation mode.
2) Reduce the clutter.
A clean workspace means a clean mind so clean up your scattered supplies with a mug that doubles as a pencil cup. And use carry-all pouches and acrylic trays to help tidy the odds and ends that may be floating around your desk.
3) Stay motivated.
Sometimes all the distractions of home, like the TV or a roaming pet, can interrupt your daily workflow. Surround yourself with subtle reminders to stay on track and keep your motivation up. Need a few recommendations?
4) Act natural.
A strategic potted plant or some fresh cut flowers can do wonders for both your mood and energy. And while the prospect of taking care of a new green houseguest may be daunting, start with a low maintenance plant to get your confidence up.
5) Find your artistic style.
Many office setups are a mismatched grouping of art and decor that just didn’t fit in other rooms. Settle on a style that feels right for you and go all in. Whether it’s with a crisp minimal vibe or a nature-inspired sanctuary—a cohesive look goes a long way in maintaining your concentration.
6) Get comfortable.
Nothing ruins a work day at home like cold feet or a lumbar-less chair. Simply by adding a cozy throw blanket or a small but sturdy pillow for your back; you can push aside some of the annoying quirks of home and get back to focusing.
7) Give yourself a break!
It’s critical to allow yourself time during the day to get up from your desk for an actual break. No, not just a walk to the fridge for a glass of water—an actual, walk around outside and leave the computer behind, break. Who knew all the little “coworker pop-by’s” and “water cooler” office moments were that important?
8) Set the scene.
While most of these tips are meant for you to stay focused on the day ahead, there’s also an odd satisfaction in showing your coworkers just how nice your setup is. Hang some art behind you for your next Zoom call and watch the compliments pour in.