As recent events are keeping more of us inside now, we’re having to learn a whole new way of life by doing our work at home. If you don’t typically work from the home, it’s probably had some challenges for you. Some of the common struggles can include getting distracted from your work, not managing your time well, and dealing with the lack of human interaction. As challenging as this new lifestyle may be for you right now, there are ways you can manage and make the most of it. Here are some tips that can help you be productive working from home.
1. Set up a nice separate office space
Part of the difficulty of staying focused on your work at home is the fact that you’re at home. This is your space that you use for relaxing and taking time to enjoy your life away from your job. It’s important to recreate that physical separation between your home and work life by setting up an area of your home where you only focus on work. This can be a spare room, or if you live in a small apartment, a specific corner where when you get in that space, it’s work time. You also want to have a comfortable chair to sit in if you’ll be working eight hours a day. If you can, set up your space near an area where you get good natural lighting. It’ll make you feel less stressed with being stuck inside more. Once you’re done with work for the day, you can exit your designated workspace, and take time to relax in the rest of your home like you normally would.
2. Hang art on the walls
It’s good to find different ways to influence your mood in a way that helps you be more productive in your home office. One way you can positively influence the way you feel is by hanging artwork on your wall. Particularly for people who work in a creative field like the voice industry, visual imagery can help spark creativity and inspiration. It can also even make you happier while you’re working. A neurobiologist from the University College London researched the effects of art on a person’s brain. The results from the research found that just looking at art can release dopamine in the brain, which is a feel good chemical that gives us intense feelings of pleasure. Given these numerous benefits, you should definitely consider finding some artwork you like that you can hang in your home office.
3. Think about a standing desk
Continuing on the theme of influencing your mood, a standing desk could be just what you need to boost your work productivity at home. There are have been numerous studies conducted that show the benefits of using a standing desk. In a 7-week study where workers used standing desks, it was found that those workers felt less stress and fatigue than those who were seated the entire workday. A majority of the participants who were standing while working felt more energy in their day. The more energy we have while we’re working, the more productive we can be in our work. The best part is you don’t even have to use the standing desk all day to get these benefits. You can choose to use it in the morning or the afternoon for a few hours, and you might start to notice a significant difference in how much work you get completed
4. Take breaks away from the workspace
It’s good to go to extra lengths to make sure you stay focused on your work while you’re working from home. Having said that, it’s equally as important to take short breaks as well. The longer you spend time working, the more decision fatigue can begin to set in. A Psychology Today article notes that it can lead your mind to make the easiest decision more than the best decision, and also potentially cause you to procrastinate as well. Breaks will give your reasoning ability and willpower some time to re-energize and help prevent decision fatigue.
In addition to re-energizing your reasoning and willpower, it can also restore your motivation as well. One research concluded that sustained focus on a single task can actually hinder performance over time. Psychology researchers found that it was better to take brief mental breaks in order to better stay focused on the task. Lastly, similar to how artwork can spark inspiration, another study concluded that those who took breaks were more likely to be more creative and get an “aha moment” during their work.
Working from home has its challenges, but it is possible to manage your new work-life balance. Look at working from home as an opportunity to improve your work skills. Becoming an even better worker can open the door for new opportunities in your career. Keep these tips in mind to help limit your distractions, boost your mood, and maintain optimal productivity working from home.