Build a Productive Environment
Okay, so you are forced to work from the privacy of your home. Now what? Let’s begin with establishing your new environment – one which is ripe for productivity, creativity and focus.
Find a space in your home that can act as your new office. Many of us don’t have spare rooms lying around and that’s okay! Get creative! This is the perfect time to convert wasted space into a fully functioning area.
Investigate the nooks and crannies of your home, with fresh eyes and an open mind. Is there a corner of a room you can turn into an office? What about that dining room used only on major holidays? Or the large landing at the top of the stairs, where the kid’s toys tend to multiply and accumulate? Ask yourself - Are you really utilizing your craft room/attic/den/basement, or can it be converted into an office? This is the perfect time to take stock of how you are using your existing square footage and to identify unused space.
While you’re hunting for a cozy nook to call your own, consider where the natural light filters in or where the house may be slightly quieter. Where does the sun rise or fall? What is the view from the nearest window? Where would the least amount of distractions (noises, smells, activity) occur? Are there outlets nearby?
Fill it with Productive Tools
Now that you have identified your new office space, fill it with objects that foster productivity, creativity and focus. You’ll need a flat surface such as an office desk or table (I love this one by ikea! It folds neatly or spreads out, depending on your needs) and an extremely comfortable, ergonomic chair with wheels.
A standing desk is another fantastic alternative due to its health benefits, such as burning a few extra calories and reducing shoulder or back pain. They range in price but are worth the initial investment. A standing desk converter (like this Bublitz Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter) is a more budget friendly option offering the same advantages.
To keep your electronics within reach and at maximum power, add a charging station to your workspace. If possible, set up a larger monitor (24-inches or more) at eye level; this will help alleviate eyestrain and neck pain. (Tip! If money is tight, see if you can borrow one from your employer.) Another way to maximize productivity is to invest in a pair of comfortable noise cancelling headphones or a headset. Wireless ones are optimal, so you can free up your hands for organizing paperwork or shoo’ing the family away.
Fill it with Calming Tools
Now that you’ve got your electronics in place, consider adding a small table lamp for warm light and a potted plant to reduce stress and produce oxygen. Include a beloved framed photo, a lightly scented candle, your favorite trinket. The goal is to surround yourself with items that bring a smile to your face and an ease to your mind; all of this adds to your productivity.
To further separate your new working space and for added privacy, order a wide room divider (wayfair has a wide variety of choices). Free standing or floating bookshelves help to further organize your space, along with storage cubes. A wall clock with silent hands allows you to work free from distractions and keep tabs on the time. The possibilities are endless!
Now that you have a proper (and fully functioning) workspace, it’s time to consider how you can structure your days to be both productive and gratifying. Keep your eyes open for part two of this series, which will provide tips and tricks for creating a new routine.
Just an agile-dork writing about dorky agile things.