Photo courtesy of Jasper Sanidad
Author: Marina Fletcher
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are working remotely from home. While the prospect of no commute and spending the day in comfy sweatpants may seem inviting at first, the transition away from a corporate office environment can be challenging. Suddenly you are disconnected from the office setup, tools and teammates that inspire you to be productive.
The designers at Workspace Interiors by Office Depot® know a thing or two about how to create inviting, functional office spaces. We invited them to share their tips about how to translate what works well in commercial offices to home settings.
It is helpful to create a space in your residence that is used only for work, even if you do not have a formal home office. Claim a desk or table in a quiet part of the dwelling and add a comfortable chair. Commit to only doing work-related activities in this area. Hang a visual barrier such as a dark-colored curtain or sheet to define the space if it helps you concentrate. When you finish for the day, “commute” to your home space and shift your focus to personal interests.
Pay attention to the sensory factors of your environment. Open the curtains or blinds, and if possible, include a natural light source in your workspace. Monitor the impact of temperature changes on your comfort level, and add a fan or adjust the heat as needed.
Set yourself up for success by making notes at the end of the day about your agenda, priorities and time estimates for what you want to accomplish tomorrow. Get dressed for the day. Comfort is key, but you should still look professional during videoconference calls. If you normally take a lunch hour, build in time for your break, and walk away from the workspace.
While you want to maintain your productivity levels when working from home, don’t push yourself too hard. Recognize that this is a stressful time (especially if you’re juggling work and parenting). Try setting alarms on your phone as reminders to take a physical break. If possible, take a walk outside for a change of scenery and to breathe some fresh air. Limit how often you glance at the news to keep stress levels in check.
Finding the right balance between work and home life can be difficult during normal times. When your home becomes your workspace during this unprecedented time, taking proactive steps to maintain the division between personal and professional is key.
Thanks to the Workspace Interiors designers for these tips for working from home: Elizabeth Bower, Jennifer Ferrara, Kate Hartfeld, Jeremy Nixon, Angela Petcash, Sherolyn Hunsinger and Jennifer Stanek.
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