More and more people these days, myself included, find themselves bringing their work home with them. Some days it feels like seeing the clock tick to 5pm is more useful for predicting the traffic for my drive home than my workload, and I’m willing to bet many of you feel the same way. Working at home is an incredibly different animal than working at the office and that can be a problem, but it doesn’t have to be. On behalf of 1-800-Ridofit, here’s how you can set up and organize your home workspace and how that can lead to greater productivity.
First off, you’re going to need to select your workstation. It’s tempting to work all over the house, finding time and space wherever it’s available, but finding one place to work and sticking to it really is the better option. Selecting one place and working exclusively from there will ensure that you don’t start looking at your entire home as just one more place for work and lower interruptions- when people can tell that you’re working based on where you are they’ll be less likely to interrupt you. Try to select somewhere that’s at least somewhat out of the way as well so that you aren’t distracted by traffic in the room, by the door or a tv in the background. If this isn’t possible, invest in a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones. If you don’t already have them, get a spacious desk and comfortable chair, you’ll be spending a notable amount of time here, so make sure you have everything you need to be comfortable.
Next step is to assemble everything you will need for your work. Make good use of your desk’s drawers and purchase organizers if need be. Work from home is all about efficiency. You want to get to your workstation then get away from it as quickly as possible, so everything you need should be within reach. Lined paper, notebooks, stickie notes, laptop and phone chargers- make sure you don’t need to get up from your work unless you want to. The organizational aspect of your workstation is key. Not only do you not want to get up from it, but you don’t want to fiddle about looking for what you need at your desk either. Just like your office or cubicle at work, papers should be filed, materials should be organized, and your schedule or to-do list should be structured and visible.
Perhaps surprisingly, it’s just as important to keep the room neat as the desk. A cluttered environment in the background as you work can be distracting and stressful. It can hang over you mentally as you attempt to work- just one more thing to do- or distract you visually- taking up more space in your visual field and dragging your eyes away from your computer screen or notebook. Keep things as neat as you can on a day-to-day basis; clean up your station and any visible clutter when you’re done working each night. Schedule a big weekly or bi-weekly clean for the weekend as well just in case clutter sneaks up on you throughout the work week.
Four simple steps: select a workstation, acquire and organize the materials you need, de-clutter the room each day, and deep clean each week. Do all of that, restrict your work to your workstation, keep your work focused and uninterrupted and you’ll be in great shape to work efficiently and effectively from home.