If you're used to going into the office every day, dusting off your desk to work from home can be a tough transition. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prepare a home workspace that's both pleasant and productive - even if you don't have the square footage for a room dedicated to doing your job. Here's a look at a few ways to make the most of whatever space you're working with.
1. Carve out an area specifically for work.
Having a designated space for work can help you stay focused and establish a routine. If you don't have an existing home office, you can turn a spare bedroom or basement into a dedicated office area. If you work in a shared area of your home, consider converting your kitchen island or dining room table to your office space, complete with any tools and resources you need to do your job well - such as a computer monitor, a desk lamp and a comfortable chair, for example.
2. Establish boundaries and privacy.
It's important to have a distraction-free space. If you're home with roommates, children or a spouse, you might set up "office hours," when they know it's important to minimize interactions with you. Setting up boundaries, even in shared spaces, can also help you settle into a daily routine. If your desk doubles as the dinner table, try setting up and removing your work equipment at the same time every morning and evening.
3. Remove distractions and clutter.
If your home office is also a storage area, or if your kitchen table is covered in your teenager's homework, it's time to clear up the space to maximize its potential for productivity. Remove unwanted or unnecessary items from the area - and if the distractions come in the form of sound, use headphones to block out the noise. Consider gates to keep pets at bay until it's time to log off. By setting up a designated work area, establishing boundaries and getting rid of anything that doesn't help you do your job well, you increase your chance of success.
4. Spruce up your work space.
You'll be spending a lot of time in your work space, so it's important to consider comfort in addition to productivity. Just like you would in your work office, you might place framed photos of family, friends and pets on your desk - and you might grab a nice potted plant the next time you do a grocery store run. If you can, position your work area near a window. Natural light and views of nature will not only boost your mood, but they're also known to boost productivity. If you aren't able to make your workspace as nice and tidy as you'd like, sit with your back to the wall during video calls. Some video communications tools offer customizable backgrounds. This is a great option if you'd prefer your co-workers to see a breezy beach scene rather than a sink full of dirty dishes.
Only you know the best setup for getting your job done well at home. But by creating a comfortable dedicated space for your work and establishing a regular routine and clear boundaries, you'll be setting yourself up for success.
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