“Work From Home” has been a heavily-discussed topic… Seemingly everywhere you turn, a conversation is being had regarding the pros, cons, or personal preferences of skipping the commute to the office. With WFH and hybrid schedules increasing in popularity and necessity due to COVID-19, it’s very plausible that you’ll find yourself participating, if you haven’t already.
Creating a comfortable remote workspace that gives you the separation you need between the personal and the professional can be tricky. These 4 tips will help you learn how to design a better work from home setup and build healthy work from home habits.
1. Pick Your Spot & Stick With It!
First and foremost, you’ll need to designate a space—and that means actually designate. While the temptation to work from bed or on the couch may be strong, that mental separation is important! By dedicating a specific area to getting work done, it will aid in separating your “work” from “home” mindsets despite the lack of obvious boundaries sans commute. When working from the couch, it’s easy to mentally clock out because it’s only ever been a place you’ve relaxed. Even worse… While nestled into bed! The last thing you want is to be sending emails at 11pm because you can’t fall asleep (classical conditioning at its worst!).
While not everyone has the luxury of a home office, try to pick a space that is either far from your bed or isn’t in a heavily-trafficked area in your home. If you can do both… great! If you can’t swing it, try to adhere to one or the other. Depending on the type of work you’ll be doing and what kind of distractions are the most likely to derail your train of focus, pick the option that makes the most sense for your individual needs.
Chances are that if you don’t have a spare room to transform into an office, you’ll be using a space already in use. There are plenty of options for those tight on space, as well. Opting for a floating desk, a wall-mounted fold-up table, or repurposing a shelf or storage closet are great ways to optimize the space you do have! Having a small desk tucked into the corner of your living room is better than nothing, as long as you’ve designated a space to keep you focused and maintain that crucial separation between work life and home life.
The better the boundaries, the better you’ll feel… And more productive you’ll be!
2. Design Your Space
If you’re working remotely, you’re spending a decent chunk of time at home. So, your WFH space should be a place you want to spend time! Consider adding your favorite scented candle, framed photos, or hanging a piece of artwork you like. Plants are also a great addition for those who have green thumbs! Just be sure to do your research before choosing a plant because some can be toxic to our 4-legged friends… or in this case, your coworkers. Plants serve both aesthetic and practical purposes: reducing stress, boosting mood and creativity, increasing productivity and concentration, and air purifying! Incorporating a little greenery may have you performing and feeling your best even if you’re not necessarily dressed to impress.
If you want to really get into it, you can have a whole design scheme, with a mousepad that coordinates with your office chair, and a laptop case that complements your desk lamp. Whatever it is that makes your at-home workspace look like someplace you want to be. Utilize the wisdom of color psychology and choose a color scheme that boosts your productivity, whether it’s green for peace and focus, purple for creativity and imagination, or red for energy and determination! You can find inspiration on Pinterest and bring your vision to life with peel and stick decals which are cute, low-effort, cost-effective, and renter-friendly. Plus, with peel and stick decals, you can easily change up your space whenever you’re bored of its old look so no matter how long you work from home, it’ll never be boring!
When designing your space, having a “home” for everything is important. Clearing your desk at the end of each workday will keep you organized, stress-free, and will help with switching between “work brain” and “home” brain. Whether you’re using shelving, drawers, or storage bins (or even a combination of the three), you’ll feel better starting each day with a clear workspace.
3. Don’t Forfeit Functionality
You shouldn’t have to forfeit utility for design. You’ll want to make sure that your remote work environment is functional — starting with the right equipment. If you want a matching mouse and keyboard you want to add a little personality to your desk — consider going wireless! Invest in that second monitor you wish you had or whatever it may that you need to be to build a remote workspace that’s easy to work in! If you’re going to be working from home, your work environment should be just as functional as if you were in an office.
If you intend on working remotely for an extended period of time, it may be worth it to spend some extra money on high-quality furniture that will make all the difference. Buy an adjustable standing desk, a chair with great lower back support, and maybe a space heater or a dehumidifier; you can’t be productive if you’re uncomfortable! Whatever it is that you need to create a space that’s comfortable may be worth the money if you feel eager to get your workday started each and every morning.
4. Let There Be Light!
If you can set up your comfortable, functional, designated remote workspace somewhere with natural light, you absolutely should. While not commuting is great for that extra half hour of sleep, not having to leave the house to get in the car or catch the trains also means that you probably have many days when you aren’t going outside at all. Working near a window will benefit your wellness.
If you don’t have a good natural light source you can work nearby, consider investing in a SAD lamp for some artificial light therapy.
As remote work becomes the new standard across a number of industries, more people than ever are finding themselves setting up shop in the comfort of their own homes. If and when you do, be sure to create yourself an environment that ensures you don’t lose that in-office momentum.
If you’re looking to upgrade to a home that provides you an office of your own to create your ideal remote work setup, contact us at Poli Mortgage today to get started finding your dream home (and your dream home office).