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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.

  1. 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.
  2. Keep your distractions handy: Choose your break weapon of choice (book, app) and reward yourself with short breaks, then tuck it out of sight.
  3. Get comfy: Invest in a good office chair and set up an anti-glare screen for your computer.
  4. 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.
  5. 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”.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.