Are you one of the many millions of people who work from home? If so, you’ll be familiar with the benefits flexible working brings: more time to do your own thing, more time with family and friends and reduced travel costs to name a few. Oh, and staying in bed every now and again (you do, you know you do).
But it’s not all fun and games. As you’ve probably experienced, one of the main challenges of working from home is keeping motivated. Being at home is different to being in an office environment. There are fewer constraints—you can set your own schedules and work on your own terms. That’s great, but it can lead to productivity dips. Here are three tips for avoiding them.
Declutter, declutter then declutter some more
If your home working space is all last year’s invoices, empty sandwich wrappers, Starbucks cups throw it all out. Clutter, of both the physical and digital kind, inhibits productivity. It distracts us, slows us down and, in some cases, causes stress. Decluttering could well be the key to working from home in a more productive manner.
Furniture retailer Pottery Barn knows a thing or two about working from home productively—they’ve released an interactive guide designed to give home workers simple design tips for smoother, stress-free working spaces. And guess what – decluttering is in their top five. “It may seem a simple thing, but imposing a bit of order and clearing out the clutter can be transformative,” says the retailer’s Style Editor, Courtney Lake. “Schedule times to keep on top of organization, choose furniture with innovative storage solutions and make the most of digital filing alternatives where possible—there’s no need to accept clutter as a fact of your working life.”
Plants = increased happiness and productivity. They’re fairly inexpensive to buy as well—you can find them in bountiful supply in most supermarkets. Clear a shelf and fill with greenery—it’ll work gentle wonders.
“Though you probably shouldn’t set up shop in your garden, you can definitely bring some of the outdoors in,” says Tikva Morrow, editor at home and garden community Hometalk. “A desk or floor plant is a great way to add a breath of fresh air to your workspace and create some visual variety when your eyes need a break from the screen.”
Buy a standing desk
Being sedentary isn’t good for our health. Sitting down all day affects our blood flow and meaning we burn less fat. With sitting down being linked to high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, one idea is to invest in a standing desk which allows you to easily switch between standing and sitting while working.
Justine Hofherr in a post for Boston.com suggests a standing desk can “break up your day” and “help prevent much scarier health risks such as heart disease, colon cancer, mushy abs and poor circulation”.
“Some studies have even shown that workers using standing desks were more productive than their sitting counterparts by 10 percent.”