Is your home office working? Read my 5 top tips for fixing your issues
You're working from home but is your home office working for you? Here are my top 5 tips that should solve the common issues I see in home office set-ups.
Tip 1 - Make sure your workspace is in a clearly defined area.
Because if it isn’t defined, you’ll be constantly distracted, your stuff will spill out everywhere and you’ll feel like there’s no separation between your work and home life.
Ideally you would create your workspace in a spare room, but if this isn’t available then have a look for another corner you could use, a landing perhaps or other cute corner that can be made a little separate from the rest of the house.
If the kitchen table is your best option that too is fine, you’ll just need to define your SPACE. This will help you put it away at the end of the day AND help you keep it all together so you have all you need on hand.
Clear the space you have chosen, it’s good to start with a fresh area preferably every day, even if it doesn’t always stay that way…
This will mean much more focused work time for you, and who doesn't need to improve their focus?!
Tip 2: Get a work tray or box
Oh, those promises of a future of paper free working, remember that fallacy? Well it never happened, so I suggest getting a tray or box and keeping your working papers, pens, pencils and scrap paper for notes in. If you can also clear a shelf in a cupboard, you can pop the tray or box in there at the end of the day and close the door.
This works even if you have a work office. I like to make myself a weekly to do list and gather the papers I’ll need on a Sunday*. It gets added to through the week but it still helps me to keep defined.
*I'm going to be honest here and tell you this one has slipped recently, but I'm back on it and it feels SO much better.
Tip 3: Setting up your work station
Have at least 40cm each side of your laptop/keyboard. So that’s a workspace of minimum 1.2m.
Try to face a window if you can. You’ll need both the light, for your wellbeing, and the visual interest, for your eyes and brain. We all need different kinds of stimulus environments in order for our brains to work. Yes there are moments of concentration, but there are also moments when pausing allows your brain to process the concentrated thoughts. It is so much nicer to do that looking at a tree or the sky, or even an urban landscape, than a blank wall.
Tip 4: Get up and walk around
Your back, hips and mind will thank me for this one. Get up and walk around for at least 5 mins in every hour, you’ll need to set a reminder as it is amazing how easy it is not to do. And that’s fine when you are at home the odd day, but 5 days in a row and you’ll start to see the effects. I like to use the Pomodorro technique (25 mins focused work, 5 min break), there are some great (free) apps to do so, Focus Keeper is the one I have.
Tip 5: Check your video background
Still on loads of Zoom and Skype calls? Yeah, me too. Take a moment to put your camera on (not on a call) and check what is behind you, tidy that scene so it looks professional, this is good for your own professional standing and will be pleasing for clients and colleagues eyes.
ADDITIONAL TIP: Your camera should be at level with your face, raise or lower as needed, and push it 40/50cms further away from you. It’s a more natural perspective and much more flattering, don't forget to sit up straight.
And finally… Add in a plant - I know this is my mantra but a bit of green really brightens things up, If not a plant, then have something in your eyeline that is beautiful/makes you smile.
If you want furniture tips check out my home office furniture top 12s on Pinterest:
Top 12 office chairs: https://pin.it/5tyNit2
Top 12 home desks: https://pin.it/1nfqxPc
Top 12 desk lamps: https://pin.it/wWuU4GK