By Azal Khan -
Working from home can be productive ... until the cat wants to go out, the laundry needs doing and the children/significant others/neighbours want your attention. Follow these tips to maximise your home office space.
- Set up your office for productivity: Find a quiet corner of the house and make it your own with plants and a wall colour or decorations of your choice.
- Keep your distractions handy: Choose your break weapon of choice (book, app) and reward yourself with short breaks, then tuck it out of sight.
- Get comfy: Invest in a good office chair and set up an anti-glare screen for your computer.
- Invest in light exercise equipment: Take short breaks for exercise to help you re-energise and give you mental space for creative and strategic thinking.
- Declutter ruthlessly and often: Yes, even your home space needs a regular clean out and packing up the space each day can help you move into “home time”.
- Take regular eye breaks: Reduce eye strain by following the 20–20–20 rule. Every 20 minutes, stop looking at your screen. Stare at something 20 yards away and hold it for 20 seconds.
- Work with purpose: Make a list of tasks to complete, then do it. Many experts say making the list at the end of the previous day can decrease stress and increase efficiency.
- Get tough with distracting people: Treat your home office like your regular work space and don’t take personal calls. If neighbours spot your are home and pop in for a cuppa, politely decline until your break.
- Dress like a grown-up: Two schools of thought on this one – see what works best for you. Either force yourself to get up and dress as it if is a regular work day, or work more creatively in your PJs. The second option may make it easier to decline invites from the neighbours.