For many, working from home has become the new normal.
Yes, it has its pros. No more commuting through traffic. Instead, it’s down the stairs and into your little office, stopping off at the kitchen to make a cuppa. But what can you do to make working amongst the ironing and kids’ homework productive and rewarding? And how can you focus when the cat thinks your keyboard is its new bed? We have a few ideas…
1. When’s the last time you saw the top of your desk? Yes, thought so. It’s time to de-clutter your work area. Take everything off your desk (and we mean everything). Only leave the essentials, like your laptop and mouse. Once all the paper and post-its have been cleared you can sort it out. But be ruthless – shred the bits you don’t need, scan or file away the bits you do. A fresh, clean desk is good for your mental wellbeing too.
2. Nothing blasts away the cobwebs and helps you focus quite like fresh air. Open the window and let in a refreshing breeze while you’re knee-deep in that report. Or better yet, pop outside for a brisk walk. Even a quick hit of fresh air, like taking the bins out, helps you to relax and clear the mind.
3. Unless you’re a lumberjack or a rally driver, chances are that your work involves staring at a computer monitor for much of the day. That’s why it’s oh-so-important to make sure it’s positioned in the best place for your posture and general health. Adjust the monitor height so that the screen is at eye level – or just below. And keep the monitor 20 inches from your eyes.
4. When you’re working from home, it’s easy to just make do. How many of us have been perched on folding chairs, or slumped in bean bags, typing away on the laptop? It can lead to serious back pain. So next on your shopping list is a good ergonomic chair. They’re designed to support you properly as you can adjust them to your specific needs. Not got the cash? You can tweak a kitchen chair by putting wedges under the legs to tilt your pelvis forward.
5. Position your home set-up near a window if you can. Natural light is great for giving you an energising boost. Not only that, but a view of trees and grass can do wonders for your stress levels and help make whatever you’re working on more awesome than usual. But beware; don’t get distracted by the next-door neighbour hanging out the washing.
6. Hitting a creative wall? Can’t find the inspiration to finish that paragraph? Yup, it’s happened to everyone. But don’t bin your Biro just yet. Having a few encouraging quotes around your workspace might just be enough to motivate you. Don’t worry, you’ll be back to your brilliant self in no time.
7. If you’re having trouble zoning out, then pop on some music. Maybe a spot of Mozart. A little bit of The Stone Roses. Or perhaps some deep meditation sounds. Try different music for different moods.