If you’ve recently started working from home, you might have quickly figured out that you didn’t design your space to have a home office area. Or, maybe you did, but you didn’t think you’d be spending this much time there so you didn’t consider your long-term comfort at the desk space you set up. Either way, it’s important to figure out ways to ensure you’re productive while working from home, no matter the space you’re working in. Here are some ways to turn any room in your home into a productive workspace.
1. Upgrade Your Internet.
When working from home, it’s important to have a quality internet connection. The last thing you want is to lose connection during a video call with an important client or your boss! Call your internet service provider and discuss upgrading your internet. Sure, you might have to pay extra every month, but since your livelihood rests on being able to successfully complete your projects on time, you’ll want a fast internet connection. This way, you can be in any room and receive faster updates and answer video calls without worrying about lag or dropped calls.
2. Invest in a Computer with Good Storage.
Another really important part of ensuring you can be productive in your home, regardless of where you are, is investing in a good computer. Your company may provide you with a computer that already has programs and security features installed. However, if you are a freelancer or small business owner who is in charge of procuring your own tech tools, it would be a wise idea to ensure you get a computer that has great storage. Sure, it’ll cost more at the outset, but in the long run, you’ll be grateful that you didn’t have to purchase extra cloud storage, an external hard drive or play the game of “which files can I delete to save this new one?”
3. Make the Space Personal.
One of the best ways you can make your space productive is to make it feel like you. If you’re establishing a designated office space, try to include personal items that mean something to you, such as personalized picture frames or the signed baseball from your first game with your dad. You could also add some other personalized items, such as monogrammed wall calendars or mouse pads that will make the space feel more like you. Incorporate your favorite colors, or keep things neutral so they won’t distract you.
4. Use Good Lighting.
Lighting is all about personal preference. Some prefer white, natural light so make sure you position yourself and/or your desk near a window or a natural light source, such as a skylight. Others prefer the muted yellow glow, such as what you’d find in a coffee shop, so add a desk lamp or hang some string lights over the area. Figuring out what your preference is takes time, but once you do figure out what lighting makes you most productive, stick to it!
5. Remove Clutter.
You’ll want to make sure that your workspace doesn’t make you feel closed in. Removing clutter is great for increasing productivity. Sure, if you’re working from home and the kids are also sharing a space with you, it might be hard to consistently clean up all their toys. You should still try. Create a routine with the kids and enforce cleaning up after themselves. Alternatively, try and place your workspace in a relatively clean area away from the chaos. Some home layouts might not allow for that, especially in apartments, but if you can clear out a corner by rearranging some cubby shelves or using other furniture as a barrier, you’ll be surprised at how much more productive you can be. Another great way to remove clutter is to showcase your decor vertically rather than scattered across your desk. Install some floating shelves on your walls, or hang photo frames and canvases instead of setting them up on your desk. You can stack files or reference books on the shelves, and you can even hang a letterboard on the wall to help you plan your week.
6. Get Creative.
You don’t have to go running out to your nearest office supply store to stock up. Instead, look around your home at what you already have and use those items. The custom coffee mug your aunt got you that you want to show off? Use it on your desk to hold pens, highlighters or even paper clips! Use Mason jars to hold other small items, such as staples, binder clips and push-pins. Finding unique ways to efficiently use the decor in your workspace will make you feel good about where you’re working, ultimately making you more productive during the day!
7. Add a Plant or Two.
Greenery is a great way to spruce up your workspace. Plus, some plants can purify the air, making your workspace cleaner. A clean workspace will leave you feeling refreshed and vibrant, ready to take on the day’s work. You’ll also feel better at the end of the day, too. If you don’t have a green thumb, add a terrarium of succulents to your desk or a snake plant to the corner of the room. These plants need little water to survive, perfect for those who want low maintenance plants to take care of. If all else fails, find some faux plants from your local craft store. They’ll never go out of season and will stay green all year long!
Working from home can be an awesome experience, but it’s important to stay productive. If you’re new to working from home, or you’ve been working from home for a while and are looking for ways to make yourself more productive during the day, consider where you’re working and how you can set the space up to be more focused. Ensuring you have the right tools and setup will go a long way into making you the most productive remote worker your company has ever seen!
Ashley Peterson is the Director of Marketing at GiftsForYouNow. Her favorite part of the job is connecting others with sentimental and personalized gifts that foster lifelong memories. Ashley is also a mother of two and enjoys spending time with her family and exploring the outdoors.