After years of employees asking for “work from home” benefits, 2020 delivered by forcing employers to “let” us all work from home. I personally love working from home (no commute time, instead of “stop n chats” I can get quick house tasks done.. the list goes on). But, being thrown into a work from home environment without a home office can be a little bit of a boon. People are working from kitchen tables, the couch, their bed.. which is not ideal to do daily.
My environment is important to my productivity – and the right environment allows my headspace to transition from “work” time to “family” time. Without a dedicated workspace, everything starts to blur together. So, now that we’re 9+ months into this thing with no end date in sight: how have you made your work from home space work for you? Here are my tips for making a productive home office.
Invest in a Desk
This might be a tough one if you’re space or budget constrained, but if not, this is where you should start. Having a desk sets the tone that you’re sitting down “at work” for the day. It helps stop that feeling that your home and work life are blending together, and it can put you in a more productive headspace. I love my desk – it’s a lot prettier than any desk I’ve had in a workplace, it has a good amount of storage, and it’s big enough to fit a raiser on top to allow me to stand while I work. I also have a desk chair (recently upgraded from a stability ball) that ties the whole “home office” feel together. There are still times where I sit on my screened in porch or take a meeting from the couch, but overall, having a space where I do most of my work has been so helpful.
Now.. Decorate That Desk
Now that you have your own dedicated space, time to spruce it up. I find that little comforts go a long way in setting my mood for the day. I keep pictures of family and friends nearby to make me smile and book stacks to help me feel motivated. I also love to drink coffee and tea out of my favorite mugs. Keeping things nearby that bring me even a little bit of joy helps me get through the grind!
Light a Candle
Scent can really influence your mood (like when someone microwaves fish for lunch, or your grandma is baking your favorite cookies.) Seasonal candles excite me (and I know I can’t be the only one given the size of the candle market). Keeping one at my desk adds a great scent and some warm light to the air, making my work space feel cozy. A small addition like this makes my desk a place I want to spend time at. I’m currently using this Christmas Velvet candle.
Bring In Some Nature
Cubicles are notorious for lack of natural light. Being in your home can mean better lighting opportunities, which is a perk in itself, but it also means that plants are easier to keep at your desk. Indoor plants can add to a feeling of calm and relaxation while increasing productivity. I keep an aloe vera plant on my desk!
Put On Your Favorite Music
Another benefit of being home? No coworkers to dispute your music choices, and no headphones required. Put on whatever boosts your mood or makes you feel your most productive. Since it’s November as I write this, I’m big on Christmas music right now. For deep concentration, I play low-fi beats or movie scores, and to keep myself groovin’ I’ll play rap or EDM. Not most people’s tastes, which is why I find it nice to work from home!
How do you maximize your work from home space?