How can I change my home office to stay productive?

Working from home is the new norm for millions of us, but there are still plenty of people who are struggling to stay productive and focused throughout the work day. We know that it can be difficult, especially with the different distractions that come with working at home, so we’ve put together some helpful tips to make things easier.

1. Split work and home

A big issue that home workers have to deal with is splitting their time in the day, designating some of it as work time and the rest as home time. To make this easier, you should only be at your desk during your official working hours and avoid being elsewhere in the house during this period. It’s very easy to be distracted by household chores or other family members, and while we justify it to ourselves as only being ten minutes here and there, this quickly adds up and makes a difference to the working day.

Pick a space that you’re comfortable to work from each day, and stay there; it’s best to set up a desk in a quiet part of the home, so you’re less likely to be bothered by other family members. Having a designated office space can increase your property value too – a perfect option for those asking, “how can I sell my house quickly?”. When it comes to your break, leave the desk and go to another part of the house, as not having time away from your desk can result in you feeling like you haven’t had the break at all and mean that you lose motivation more quickly.

2. Organise your workspace

Working from home means having to battle the distractions surrounding you, and this can be really difficult if you’re not organised and efficient. No matter where you are if your desk is piled with clutter and you barely have space to work, you’ll struggle to reach your full potential. A tidy desk will make working much easier as you won’t have to constantly move things around to be able to progress with your day.

A lot of companies will enforce a clear desk policy as it reduces distractions and keeps you more organised, allowing for an easier day of work. Keeping a desk tidy at home can be more difficult, especially if other people use it when you don’t, but utilising drawers or a desk organiser will make it much easier, and you’ll see a difference in your work almost instantly.

3. Invest in a good chair

Being uncomfortable throughout your workday is guaranteed to reduce your productivity, as you’ll be fidgeting trying to find a better position. Last year, a lot of us didn’t want to invest in office furniture as we thought that it wasn’t going to be a permanent arrangement working from home, but after over a year, more and more businesses are deciding to keep employees at home. If you’re included in this, it’s time to get some more comfortable pieces to make your work day easier.

A good chair is crucial for office workers as it will reduce the strain on your back, neck, and shoulders and prevent long-term damage. Being more comfortable will help you focus on your work, and you’ll quickly see an increase in your productivity if a bad chair has been bothering you.

4. Pick the right background noise

A lot of offices will have music on in the background, as this eliminates silent working and gives a more welcoming and friendly feeling to the workplace. However, when you’re at home, you may be tempted to fall into habits of having the television on as background noise. This isn’t a good idea for anyone, as you will inevitably end up getting distracted by the screen and taken away from your work.

Having some music on in the background will often help you stay focused, but make sure that it’s only music on and that there isn’t the risk of distraction with the television. You can choose a favourite radio station or make your own work playlist, depending on what works best for you; having different genres for different days is a popular choice to provide a bit of variety.

5. Go paperless

Paper is the most common clutter that lives on desks, and a lot of the time, it’s not actually needed. Most of us like to have a notepad nearby to jot down important things through the day, but if you know that you’re prone to collecting sheets of paper and not sorting them out properly, you should try an online notebook. This will let you open various tabs and folders to keep organised without having to sift through scraps of paper to find your notes.

Going paperless will also mean you’ve got less stuff on your desk to organise, keeping it clear much more easily, making it a win-win!

There are plenty of ways that you can change how you work from home to make your day more effective, and we hope that these tips help you!