How to Create the Perfect Work From Home Space
Date: 31st October 2021
Author: Julia Nasri
More and more of us have been working from home over the last year. Whether our employers have pushed us to work from home, or if we have lost our jobs and have taken the steps to work from home as freelancers, the move has been unprecedented and massive across the world. Some of us love working from home. The stress of getting ready for work, commuting, and putting in the traditional 9-5 is eliminated when Zoom meetings can be done in pajamas from the safety of our own four walls. Is this good for everyone, though?
I am sure that, like me, others have felt the uncomfortable stir-craziness that comes from working from home. You don’t have the chance to move around, interact with people, or change your scenery when there has been quarantines and curfews across cities worldwide. Even if you have chosen to work from home, this tension can still build up, making your workday harder and causing frustration that affects your productivity. For some, this can grow into something more dangerous, like anxiety and depression, as our lifeline to the outside world becomes more and more precarious. I feel it, I am there with you.
In order to manage this stress, keep myself sane, and not lose productivity during this time, I really wanted to think about what would make working from home easier. This list is just three ideas that I have found effective in making my work from home experience more tolerable (and even sometimes pleasant). If you have tried these tricks or have considered other options, please share your experience with us on Instagram. These can also act as little reminders that you are not alone in your work-from-home experience.
1) Make a YOU space.
Working from home means different things for different people. Maybe you have a desk in your apartment, and you can have a dedicated workspace. You could be working from home on your kitchen table and sharing your workspace with your kids who are e-learning. There could be not enough space in your apartment for a desk, so you have to work from the bed.
Whatever your work-from-home situation, it is important for your productivity and mental health to make your space as personalized as possible. Try to set up a workspace that puts you in the mood to work. If dedicating a particular area in your house isn’t possible, then try to adjust other parts of your environment to work to your advantage. I suggest eliminating distractions, set the temperature to your liking, putting on instrumental background music, and ensuring there is good light in the house. These little changes can really get you in the mood to work, making your work-from-home time more tolerable.
2) Keep a routine.
It has been very easy to fall into the pajama dilemma during the last year. You’re working from home, you’re not seeing colleagues, so you stop putting in the effort to get ready. First, maybe its no make-up and more casual clothing, but this choice can quickly slide into working in bed in your pajamas. I don’t recommend this practice because it can unmotivate you, making you sluggish and less focused on your work. It may work for some people, but I find that if I work in my pajamas, I have no energy for work or household chores.
I recommend waking up in the morning with enough time before work to get yourself ready, similar to if you were going into your place of work. Doing some light exercises in the morning at home I find can really help to boost energy during the day and doing these quickly before your shower will set the tone for your day. I’m not saying you have to go the full nine yards in getting ready but giving yourself that set normalcy that you would have outside of pandemic conditions will improve your mental health and your productivity.
3) Don’t let your phone become your enemy.
I will admit that I am constantly on my phone. It is a bad habit, and I have tried hard to break away from it when working. It becomes so easy for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites to pull you in and make you forget that you have to work and be productive just like you would be if you were working away from home. Maybe you even have this habit in the office.
Cut yourself off from your phone during the workday if necessary to make sure that you are accomplishing all of your tasks for the day. Consider, if you can, turning off the Wi-Fi on your phone, using Do Not Disturb mode, or downloading an app like Forest, which I use to break my day up into manageable chunks of work. I’m not saying you have to turn your phone off for 8 hours of your work day, for most of us that’s not possible. Break each hour up into chunks of 20-30 minutes each, though, where you are not using your phone and solely focused on the task at hand. You would be surprised how many breaks you give yourself a day, and how many things you can accomplish, when you are more conscious about your phone usage.
I hope this list has helped you to consider what you can change about your work-from-home lifestyle for the better. If you ever feel like you are having difficulty with working from home and being disconnected from people, please make sure to reach out to the ones who love you, as we all understand how devastating the effects of the pandemic have been for mental health. Stay safe and stay well!