How to Set Up a Productive Home Workspace

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Working from home seems glamorous – after all, you can snack as you please, get fresh air whenever you need, and lounge in your coziest pajamas all day. But, when it comes down to it, working from home comes with a unique set of challenges.

Your home office space has to work for you

Perhaps the most difficult part about working from home is actually doing the work. It can be easy to be distracted by seemingly endless choices of other things to do. But, once you find your balance, working from home can be extremely productive. Follow these tips to be on your way to working productively from your home workspace in no time.

Treat your home office like any other office

This one might seem like a given until you’re actually trying to live the principle out. It can be easy to fall into a habit of laziness because you’re at home. You probably see the home as a place of relaxation, especially if you’ve worked in a traditional office setting for some time. One key to being productive at home is switching this mentality.

To do this you need to create distinctions between your work life and your home life, even though it's all happening in the same space. A few ways to create this distinction include:

  • Beginning and ending work at a consistent and predetermined time

  • Working at the same designated workspace while in your home (but it’s also OK to work from public locations like coffee shops and parks if that’s more your scene)

  • Keeping your home workspace clean and clutter free like you would in a shared office

This workspace can be a separate room that you have transformed into a home office. Or if you’re limited on space, a nook with a table, chair and good lighting will do.

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Make your desk a work-conducive space

There are a few practical steps you can take to make your workspace more “work-friendly.”

  1. Adding houseplants to your workspace can actually boost productivity. As strange as it sounds, research by Exeter University confirms that individual productivity was boosted by around 15% when greenery was present.
     
  2. Researchers have also conducted numerous studies on the impact that colors can have on our mood. We know that colors like blue and purple can relax us, colors like red can give us a sense of rage or irritability and that black and dark grey tones give off a somber vibe.

    What you might not have thought about, however, is how your color choices at your home workspace impact your productivity. In general, you should opt for vibrant, brighter tones like bright green, stark white and sunny yellow. Warm and cozy tones like red and gold tend to relax us and lull us into a sleepy vibe.
     
  3. The addition of some small, cute office items will complete your oasis of efficiency.

Don’t chain yourself to your workspace

Surprisingly, one of the most effective ways to boost your productivity at your home workspace is actually to leave your workspace entirely. If you stay seated at your desk all day, eventually your productivity will suffer. The key is to take purposeful breaks.

Stepping away from work for a few moments can actually be more beneficial than powering through mental fog because you can return to your work refreshed and with a new found motivation.

When taking a break at home, however, it is important to keep in mind that you must return to work at some point. An easy way to remind yourself of this is to set a timer for yourself. Your break should also not be idle time – fill your break by watering the plants, calling a friend or some other simple task that makes you happy and relaxed.

A change of scenery and change of pace can help bring you new perspective when you get back to your desk.