We all know that adjusting to a life where our office and personal space overlaps, can be incredibly productive for some, while for others, it can be really distracting.
In this article, we explore the benefits of creating dedicated workspaces to help with a potentially significant change of routine for many of us – one which means that the usual office distractions may be gone but others are there to replace them!
You may have children at home and they will demand your attention!
Your neighbours might be taking the time to do work on their houses or gardens and all you can hear is an almost constant banging of hammers, hum of lawnmowers and music from people’s gardens as they do so.
Or you might even be struggling with the lack of noise – with so few cars passing and people staying inside the silence could be deafening.
But all is not lost!
As we enter week four of the UK wide lock-down, we want to encourage you to take a step back, catch your breath and spend the next few moments thinking about how you can maximise your new “office” environment to help you at work.
Your working environment
So – now the dust has settled a little – let’s take a look at some of the small changes we can make in how we set up our working environment at home.
We’ve got some practical ideas designed to help us settle in, make the most of our new routines and maximise our productivity. Let’s see what work’s for you.
Creating a designated work area
It’s widely recognised that our physical surroundings can, and do, support us in having an “at work” mindset.
And while it’s fair to say that sending emails from the sofa isn’t ideal, we know that having dedicated office space isn’t possible for everyone.
So, whether it’s a separate office, the dining room table or a small desk in the corner of a room, setting up a designated area to work at will help you move into that “at work” mode and mindset. It will also indicate to others in your household when you’re working (or not) which will help you focus and manage your time more effectively.
Maximising your space
If it’s possible think about the location of the workspace you’re setting up. Some of the key elements of making it work well are lighting, noise level and your physical comfort.
Take a moment to think of some of the tweaks you can do to get the space to your liking.
For example, and it may sound obvious, but is your chair comfortable? Not only essential for looking after your posture and your back, having the right chair set up for you to work at a desk will help you transition into the work day more easily.
We know the benefits and positive impact of natural light on our senses and our bodies so, where you can, optimise the light in your chosen work space.
Make it YOUR space
Just as you do in the office, organise any work materials so they’re close at hand.
And, as importantly, think about personal touches like having framed photos within your line of sight (just remember to keep them out of sight of your laptop camera when using Skype or Webex).
Research by Forbes also shows that adding plants to your environment can help lessen stress and improve both our mood and cognitive function, amongst other things. So if it feels right, think about adding some greenery to your new workspace.
Remember to Move
Although we will take a deeper dive into moving and exercise in upcoming articles, it’s also important for all of us to remember to move!
The temptation to sit at our work space all day can easily take over without daily office routines of walking to meetings, picking up a coffee or going to the restaurant for lunch.
Set reminders in your calendar to get up and move around. Grabbing our headphones and taking part in a conference call so you move around your workspace is ideal – it’s the small tweaks that can make all the difference.
Today’s Take Away
Making the space your own will not only help you settle into a different way of working but will also remind you that you’re influencing your own well-being both at work and home.
And at times like this, that can only be a good thing!