It’s important to have a distraction-free office space in the home so you can be comfortable, effective and productive at your job. If you’re working more and more from home these days, you’re certainly not alone. Seems like everyone is doing the two-second commute, as hundreds of thousands of employees across the country have shifted at least partially to remote work.
Everyone has different work habits, plus not all jobs are the same. You may have a job that requires you to be writing code on a laptop all day long, while someone else is on the phone from 9 to 5 making sales pitches. Each type of job requires a different kind of home office.
For example, if you’re on the phone or video conferencing platforms a lot, you will need a spacious desk area where you can set up your laptop, with plenty of lighting and space to spread out. But if you’re a writer who needs quiet in order to concentrate, your space will be more contemplative and contained with no distractions.
Time can get away from you when you’re home. There’s lots going on, and not just with your job. There’s the dog that needs to be fed and walked. Then that load of laundry should get tossed into the dryer. Oh and those dishes are really piling up. And not to mention you need to take a grocery run or no one will have anything to eat for supper.
This can all get distracting very quickly. That’s why you need to set boundaries about when you need to be productive and quiet in your home office, and when you can emerge from that office and take care of household duties.
Make sure your kids and spouse know when they can and can’t disturb you. Post your working hours on your closed door. Or hang a sign on the doorknob when you’re on a Zoom call. Set regular business hours, just like you would in a real office. Stick to those hours, and try to contain your household duties, time with friends and family, and errands to times outside those hours.
Setting consistent hours can help with creating a distraction-free office space in your home.
If your home doesn’t have a spare room where you can set up shop, you’ll have to get crafty. You don’t want to do your work out in the open where distractions abound or where you could disturb other family members with your frequent phone calls. Even if you claim a nook of the living room, put up physical barriers to separate your space from the rest of the room. This will be your work zone, and it should be respected.
Digital eye strain is a real thing, and it can give you headaches and much more if you stare at a screen for too long. Harsh overhead lighting doesn’t help matters, so incorporate natural lighting into your space wherever you can. Position your desk at a window, which gives you the freedom of opening up the shades for full light, or closing them at night or when you want privacy.
On nice days, work out on your deck, or head to a local park. Even if you can’t work outside, be sure to at least take frequent breaks to stretch, get a snack, take a quick walk around the block, or just sit and watch the birds for a few minutes.
Distractions are everywhere, and it’s virtually impossible to ignore them all. But if you can incorporate a distraction-reduced office space at home, you’re well on your way to becoming more productive.
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