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How to stay productive if you work from home

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From home office to coffee shop, there are plenty of places to work from. But there are also plenty of things that can stop you from being productive if you work from home. Here's how to stay focused and productive without a boss looking over your shoulder to get the job done!

Tips to stay productive if you work from home

There’s been an explosion in the number of people working from home in the past few years. While the practice has been on an upwards trend for some time, recent events have made it mandatory for many people.

Whether you’re working from home as part of company policy or setting up a home-based company, there’ll be some issues. A lot of this revolves around productivity. It’s one thing to be productive in an office where you have relatively few distractions.

At home, however, you have access to your television and other forms of entertainment. That could make you much less productive, which you’ll want to avoid. You might assume that most productivity tips focus on your behavior when you’re working, some don’t.

How you design your home office will play a significant role in how you work. After all, it can be hard to motivate yourself if you’re sitting on the couch all day. Setting aside a space for you to work from home productively is mandatory.

Picking a random part of your house might not be good enough. You’ll need to make sure that your home office helps you be productive. There are multiple aspects to this, some of which you might have overlooked or simply not thought of.

How to design a home office for productivity:

Have the right desk and chair

The most important things you’ll need for a home office are your computer, desk, and chair. You would’ve already made sure that your laptop is appropriate for work. The desk and chair could be a different story, however.

You’ll have multiple chairs in your home that you might think are appropriate. There’s a large chance that they’re not. It’s recommended that you pick up an ergonomic desk chair that provides back support.

While these could be relatively expensive, getting one will make sure that you don’t develop any back issues. These will not only affect your productivity levels, but they’ll also be an issue outside of work.

You should get an ergonomic desk for the same reasons. If you’re short on space, you could pick a minimalist option. These will be designed to take up as little space as possible while giving you a decent work area.

Before you buy, you should make sure that this space is enough for your computer and any other work items. A light and some other items may also be needed. Many options also come with built-in storage, which might be a priority for many people. 

Go for minimalism

When many people picture an office in their head, they mightn’t think of the most stylish things. Instead, you might think of large desks, bulky filing cabinets, and much more. You might want to avoid that and go for a more minimalistic approach.

If you try to cram too much into your workspace, then it could become cluttered. Boil things down to the essentials will be recommended. You shouldn’t just focus on physical space. Your mental space matters just as much. Clutter could negatively affect that.

That also goes for your desks, chairs, and storage options. Having a minimalist design can lead to a positive boost on your mental health, which will make you more productive.

If you have things you need to store then check out these bespoke storage solutions for some inspiring ideas.

Let there be light

Nobody likes working in the dark. That’s why many office buildings are designed to let as much natural light in as possible. There are also multiple lights installed in key locations. You should replicate as much of this as you can in your home office.

That could be more difficult than you’d expect. The easiest way to solve this is to put your home office in a room with several windows. That’s not always possible, however. You can overcome this by having the right lighting.

If your desk is placed away from the room’s main light, you could consider getting a lamp for your desk. You’ll have multiple options available, many of which are designed to take up as little space as possible. There are also quite a few style options available, so you shouldn’t have a problem working them in with your room’s decor.

That can also be said of freestanding options, which could be placed close to your desk. Taking this option also reduces the chances of glare on your computer. Having more light will reduce eye strain when you’re working, which can have a large impact on your productivity. It’ll also reduce the chances of developing any headaches because of it.

Choose practical storage solutions

You’ll likely need a few supplies when you’re working from home. That could be paperwork, pens, and much more. Having a storage solution in place could be essential. If you don’t have much space in your home office, however, then that could be difficult.

Thankfully, there are a lot of workarounds to this. You could, for example, buy a desk that includes built-in storage. While these used to be big and bulky, many modern options aren’t. There are plenty of minimalist designs that could offer a large amount of storage space without being too bulky.

You’ll have to balance storage space with how much space your storage takes up. Keep your room’s physical limitations in mind. Something small that exactly matches your storage needs will be recommended.

You could also consider wall-mounted storage. As an option, it’s becoming increasingly popular. After all, you’ll keep the amount of floor space you have available while having somewhere to keep your supplies. Installing this above your desk could be recommended.

There’s always the option of getting more in the future, should you need it.

Get some decorations

You might need a little bit of extra motivation when you’re working from home. In an office, other people being there and working could be all you need. You naturally wouldn’t have that in a home office. Try getting some motivational signs or other decorations.

These don’t need to be quotes; they can be any kind of art that motivates or inspires you. Positive vibes are the key to this, as they can have a subconscious effect on you. That should help you stay productive when working from home, especially in the middle of the week.

Plants have been proven to be great for this. They’ll also have practical implications, as they can make the air quality in the room much better. Depending on the plant, there’ll also be a cognition boost, which will help you maximize your productivity.

Working from home productivity tips you need to know

There are quite a few benefits to working from home. That’ll be true regardless of whether you’re working for yourself or someone else. Not only would you reduce your travel costs, among others, but you can be much more comfortable when you’re at work.

Many people assume that working from home will decrease your productivity; it’s something that many employers worry about. That’s why many of them use apps and other software to help manage employees. You might wonder how you can stay productive while working from home.

As difficult as it might seem, it can be much easier than you’d think. Making sure your home office is optimized for productivity is one part of this. There are multiple other ones, however. Some will be much more effective than others, so you might want to try several of them.

The most notable of these include:

  • Take Short Breaks: You’ll want to keep as close a schedule to your office work as you can. That means taking breaks at about the same time as you would in an office. These will let you rest your brain while giving you time to relax.

  • Have Some Light Exercise Equipment: Exercising wouldn’t be the first thing you think of when becoming more productive from your home office. Not only does it give you time for your brain to relax, but light exercise can reenergize you. It should also let you loosen up your back muscles.

  • Declutter Often: If the room your home office is in is cluttered, you should get rid of as much of it as possible. Dirty or cluttered rooms can distract you and impact you mentally. Getting rid of it lets you focus more on your work while also giving you a healthy space to do so.

  • Get Rid Of Distracting People: Other people in your home can be distracting. You’ll need to implement rules to make sure they don’t distract you when you’re working. Have a lock on your door and make sure people know not to disturb you. You should also teach yourself to disengage with people while you’re working. That involves not responding to personal messages or calls until you’re on a break.

Working from home can be a blessing and a disguise. For all of the benefits, there can be multiple risks. Your employers will want to make sure that you’re working at the rate you used to in the office. You’ll also want to do that, but mightn’t know how to.

Using a combination of the above will help you do it. While you’ll have to put in the effort at the beginning, that will pay off. After a while, different tips and tricks will become habits. That’ll make things much easier going forward.


Not working from home yet, but want to?  Check out all these ways to make money from home