Remote working is nothing new. It was already on the rise and has seen significant growth over the last several years. But, the COVID-19 pandemic sped up that process significantly. According to a FlexJobs survey, 65% of employees want to continue working from home even after the pandemic is over.
There are plenty of reasons why remote working is so appealing. It allows for a bit of flexibility, you can be more comfortable in your own surroundings, and some studies have found that working from home can actually boost productivity. That’s one reason why more employers are okay with their workers making the switch to remote.
But, productivity only comes with the right mindset and setting. Working from your couch in front of the television each day is more likely to make you feel sluggish and uninspired than creative and productive.
So, how can you optimize your work-from-home space and set yourself up for success?
Understand Your Own Needs
What inspires you? What gets your creative juices flowing? Everyone has different needs and wants when it comes to working from home. It starts with your surroundings. Having a dedicated “office space” should be your first step, even if it’s just a corner of a room.
Your office space should be a reflection of who you are. It needs to be a place where you feel comfortable and somewhere you want to go each day. The perfect office layout is different for everyone, but some general tips to keep in mind include:
- Keeping things organized
- Having different “stations” for different types of work
- Letting in natural lighting
- Utilizing functional furniture
- Decorating with things that inspire and calm you
It’s also important to make sure you have the essentials in your office, so you never feel limited by working from home. These include everything from a reliable computer and Internet connection to a functional desk. The nice thing is that you get to decide exactly what those things look like, where they’re positioned, and how they will best serve you in your space.
Distractions are one of the biggest issues for people working from home. While comfort is important, getting too comfortable can harm your productivity. Common distractions include family members, personal emails, and household chores.
While having your own space away from some of those distractions can be helpful, doing what you can to limit them even further will boost your productivity and put you in the right mindset.
Though it doesn’t have to do with the space itself, it’s a good idea to set “working hours” for yourself each day. When you dedicate a specific amount of time to your work, you’ll be able to do whatever you want in your free time, so you can focus on what you have to do during the day without wanting more flexibility.
But, how can you limit distractions in your workspace? Start by keeping things clean. A cluttered office often leads to a cluttered mind.
Additionally, make sure you choose the right colors and focus on natural lighting. Did you know certain colors can boost your productivity? Some of the best options include:
- Light blue
Using color psychology to your advantage can keep you motivated throughout the day, so consider repainting your workspace, or using some of these colors in your décor.
Let Nature Inspire You
Remote working can quickly become stagnant if you don’t find ways to stay relaxed and inspired. That’s especially true if you’re trying to dodge family members or roommates all day, or you find it too easy to get distracted by other things.
One of the best things you can do to de-stress and fuel your creativity is to let nature inspire you. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways to do that. Simply having a few live plants in your workspace can make you feel more energized and calm.
Taking it one step further, you can (and should) take multiple breaks throughout the day to get some fresh air. Spending any time outside can give you a boost of energy and even make you feel happier.
If you’re truly a nature lover and it makes you feel more creative, consider setting up an outside office space. It can increase your happiness, reduce your stress levels, and allow you to feel more satisfied with your job.
As you might expect, working outside can require a bit more effort. You’ll need something like a covered patio or sunporch to keep yourself safe and protected. But, if you do your best work when you’re in the middle of nature, working outdoors could be the perfect solution.
It’s clear that, for many, working from home is here to stay. Don’t let some of the potential productivity drawbacks keep you from doing the job you love the best way you know how. By considering these tips for your workspace, you can create a distraction-free zone that allows you to let your creativity flow, so you get as much done as possible every day.