Whether you’re currently working from home or are planning to make the shift, you might have already thought about how this is affecting your productivity.
It’s no secret that working from home can be challenging if you want to stay productive – especially if you tend to associate your home as a place of rest or leisure.
Luckily, studies are on your side. It’s more than possible to be more productive when you work at home than at an office. (Just take this famous Stanford study, for example.)
But it’s not enough to simply work from home. You’ll need to set yourself up for success. So to help you optimize your productivity, here are 7 different ways you can create a space that’s more conducive to work.
Tips to create a productivity-boosting workspace at home
1. Choose a place that gets some sunshine
Lighting can play a big part in making a home-based workspace more conducive to work. Some studies and surveys have shown the many benefits of a well-lit workspace. Just a few of these benefits include less anxiety, improved mood, and less chances of developing eye strain and headaches.
When choosing a place to set up your workspace, you’ll want someplace with bright natural light. If you find a spot that has all the natural light you need from the morning to the afternoon, that would be best.
If you live in an apartment that’s dwarfed by taller buildings and don’t see much bright light come your way, you can supplement what available light you have with the right kind of artificial light. Choose something that lets you control the level of brightness or something that gives off light as close to natural light as possible.
2. Set the right ambiance
One of the best ways you can design a more productive workspace is by giving it the right ambiance. In this case, you want the ambiance of your workspace to be as quiet as possible and private, assuming you don’t live alone.
Your desk and work chair ought to be made for working – it beats working out of a couch and coffee table that you might already associate with rest, for example.
You can also surround yourself with your work implements, such as notepads, calendars, planners, and pens.
Avoid also any items that might make the line between your workspace and home blurred, such as distractions like TV.
3. Try a bit of feng-shui in your design
Some research has suggested that we can learn a little bit more about designing a more productive work area by paying attention to what we know from feng shui, the ancient Chinese art of using the arrangement of things to channel different energies – including productivity – to a space.
In feng shui, for example, colors can influence the energy you bring into a room or space. White can be beneficial for creativity, yellow can boost happiness and remind you of good days, while green is associated with health and balance.
You can also incorporate different personal items to your desk and space that make you feel good, such as photos of family or a vision board.
More feng shui tips for working from home. (Image source)
4. Use an ergonomic chair
Don’t underestimate the power of a good ergonomic chair. Not only does a good chair get you in the mood to do prolonged work, but it also makes sure you don’t get prone to backaches and posture-related illnesses.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, medical expenses are rising faster than salaries are increasing, with a 33% growth in the last decade alone.
This makes it top priority to make sure your workspace serves you and keeps you out of the hospital. Not only do you save time by missing out on visits to fix bad posture, for example, you also save money by going to less doctor’s visits.
5. Invest in the right apps and tools
One other way to set up your work area for success and maximum productivity is by having the right tools and apps to support your goal.
Distraction-blocking apps, for example, can do wonders to curbing urges to scroll through social media or indulge in binge-watching sprees.
You can also use apps like a Pomodoro timer to make sure you don’t spend all your time on just one task when you have multiple tasks to do – scheduling your time in the best way can help your productivity immensely.
This also applies to industry-specific tools and apps. For example, you might be an entrepreneur and you run a website. So one thing that can increase your productivity as a website owner is having a content delivery network to make your site load faster and keep you more productive when updating and managing your site.
6. Keep it clean and tidy (including your desktop)
The state of your workspace can have a say on how productive you can truly be. A messy space is not only distracting, it can also cause you to waste more time. Just imagine the time it takes to sort through your files looking for a specific sheet of paper, for example.
Invest in file cabinets and desktop organizers to keep your physical space neat and tidy. But don’t limit it to just physical space – your digital workspace can always use some tidying up as well.
Keep your desktop nice and neat, and avoid overloading it with random files. Make it a habit to file things in specific folders you can access easily. And as a bonus tip, get to know some keyboard shortcuts that will maximize your productivity on a computer.
7. Bring in some greenery
Having plants in your workspace can increase productivity by up to 15%, according to a study. Greenery is not only nice to look at during a workbreak, but it also has other benefits like keeping the air cleaner and increasing feelings of being less stressed.
Keep a potted plant near your desk, or have a small desk plant sitting near your laptop. When you need to take a short break, you can even just look at greenery to feel more focused when going back to work.
Over the years, we’re becoming more aware of the benefits of working from home. So we can maximize these benefits by being more productive and setting up our work areas to be the most conducive to work they can be. Use the tips above to start redecorating or sprucing up your workspace, and see yourself become more and more productive over time.