Since the start of the pandemic, more than one-third of U.S. households reported working from home more frequently. After making the shift from in-person work to remote work, many people found that it was a more ideal working situation. Workers reported increased productivity and wellbeing due to reduced commute, fewer office politics, and a quieter, less distracting work environment. This hasn’t just affected a small group of people. In fact, 77% of remote employees say they are more productive when working from home.
So how does this play out now that employers are looking to bring people back into the office? In a recent survey through FlexJobs, 96% of respondents said they wanted some form of remote work, with 65% desiring a fully remote job. On top of that, 61% of employees have actually left their jobs or are considering leaving their jobs if they do not offer work flexibility. All of this points to a shift in working as we know it. More companies are opening their minds to remote work, and it’s now feasible for many of us to work remotely, whether that be full-time or partially.
Now that working from home is no longer a temporary adjustment, it’s time to consider actually making space in our home for a workspace. In the last year, we all made do with kitchen tables and makeshift desks, but as we transition to a full career spent at home, we can make some more permanent adjustments. Below are some tips for creating a more productive space for working from home.
Determine Your Designated Space
It’s easier to stay productive and focused when you have a designated space solely for working. Working somewhere that has another purpose can often lead to distraction. For example, your bed is meant for sleeping. So, when you try to work from there, you often find yourself fighting the urge to doze off or getting a little too comfy to truly get work done. To avoid this, find a spot in your home that can only serve one purpose – work. Many people have cleaned out their guest bedrooms or even converted their pantry or closet to convert them into offices. Make sure to pick a space that is free from distractions. If your family is home, avoid setting up in a high-traffic area like the kitchen or living room.
Equip Your Space
Once you have your designated workspace, it’s important to equip it with everything you will need. First, and most importantly, make sure the space has high-speed internet. If it’s in a spot that is far away from your Wi-Fi router, you may need to buy a Wi-Fi extender.
On top of high-speed Wi-Fi, you will also need a desk or workspace that is comfortable and productive. Make sure your workspace is ergonomic, especially if you will be sitting for most of your day. Place your desk near an outlet, or supply your space with a power strip. Buy an extra set of chargers for your phone, laptop, etc., and keep them in your office at all times.
Declutter Your Home Office
If this is your first time working from home, you likely had a different purpose for the area you are working out of. For instance, you may find yourself working in a room that you previously used for storage and now find yourself surrounded by boxes as you work. A great way to give yourself more space is to rent a storage unit. This allows you to get rid of any clutter in your home and provides plenty of room for your new home office.
Decorate Your Home Office
Don’t just make your home office functional; make it enjoyable! Having a place you enjoy working from can make a serious difference in your desire to get up and work every day. Consider reviving the space with plants, artwork, or even a fresh coat of paint.
Choose an Office Scent
This one might seem a little odd, but it’s another trick to mentally separate your workspace from the rest of your home. Pick out a signature scent that you only use in your home office. This could be a specific candle, a scented wall plug-in, incense, essential oils, or really whatever you like the most! Your brain will start associating that specific smell with being productive.
Open the Blinds
Last but not least, open the blinds to bring in plenty of natural light. Having a brightly lit office with a scenic view can help boost your mood and keep you productive. If your space does not get a lot of natural light, consider adding mirrors and switching to daylight bulbs to make the room appear brighter.
Working from home has a ton of added benefits, and if these last two years have taught us anything, it’s that it is possible for many of us to do our jobs from the comfort of our own home. For the best results when working from home, it’s important to designate and declutter a spot specifically for getting work done. Once you decide on a space, take the time to make it your own!
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