2020 saw more people working from home in the UK than ever before, and 2021 looks set to continue that trend.
Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, many of us have no choice but to continue commuting to our spare rooms, kitchens and living rooms. Regardless of whether you’re planning to return to the office in the future, it is crucial that you have a productive space to work at home for the near future.
Even with offices likely to start reopening in the spring and summer, thanks to the vaccine rollout, it is highly likely that work from home will still be a large part of our work lives.
Here are a few of our favourite ways that you can ensure that your office space is the ultimate calm, relaxed and productive place.
Try Out An Office Tent
This one is great for anyone who has had to set up their home office in their living room or kitchen. Working in a space that you also relax in can create problems switching off at the end of the day.
Office tents provide a great solution to this problem. They do pretty much what they say on the tin: you put the tent up, place your desk, chair and computer inside, zip up the entrance and you are in your own focussed, distraction-free home office bubble.
You can get these tents in various sizes. The more compact tents are best for if you want to be able to zip it up in the corner of a room after a day’s work and forget about the pile of paperwork you have to look at in the morning. Larger tents will work better for anyone who takes calls and meetings or needs to spend a lot of time distraction-free.
Add A Splash Of Colour
Adding some colour to any workspace can help make it a more vibrant and energetic place to be. You could do this in the form of an indoor office garden, with a few potted plants, or by painting a wall a bold colour. Potted plants can also promote calm and wellbeing, perfect in these uncertain times.
You could also consider adding some decorations to the walls using photos, paintings or posters. Whatever you choose, adding some variety and colour to your home workspace will help you be more productive and focussed.
Consider Exercise As Your Commute
Getting enough exercise while working from home can be tricky. Even if driving, your commute to an office would usually involve a bit of walking to get your blood pumping. It can be really easy when working from home to take advantage of that extra time in bed and drag yourself to the computer 10 minutes before you start.
Exercise can help to get you in a productive and focussed mindset. Try getting up half an hour before your start time for 15 minutes (or more if you prefer!) of exercise as a home office ‘commute’. This could be a walk around the block, a quick yoga session or even something livelier like high intensity interval training. This will get you up and ready for the day in no time.
You could also consider another 15 minutes after work to decompress and draw a line under the workday.
Check Out A Garden Office
Garden offices come in many shapes and styles, depending on the space available and your requirements. If the weather is warm and dry, then you could simply take your laptop outside and enjoy the day on your garden furniture.
If you have more space in the garden, you could consider installing a garden office cabin. This is great for ensuring that you can work without any distractions that the home can provide. It can help you to separate your work from home, so it’s ideal if switching off is something you struggle with. You can find more information about garden offices from Shedstore. Shedstore have an extensive range of garden offices to suit any budget and garden size.
The benefits of getting out in nature are many, from relaxation to de-stressing. Having a garden office can be the perfect way to connect with the outdoors and give you the energy and focus needed for a productive day’s remote working.
Look Into Getting A Partition Wall
If you have enough space, a partition wall can be a perfect way to add some extra privacy to your home office. This wall will help remove any visual distractions from the rest of the room and help you stay focussed and productive.
You could consider an open-backed bookcase as a partition wall so that you don’t block out all of the natural light from other parts of your home. A bookcase is a great way to add a bit of style to a room, and will also be a perfect backdrop for video meetings.
Make Use Of Windows
If you don’t have much space to work with for your home office, you should consider making the best use of the room’s windows. Rather than having your desk face a wall, or into a room, consider having your desk set up in front of a window. This can help give your work an attractive backdrop and make a small space seem larger.
If you can, you could even consider installing larger windows which will allow in plenty of extra natural light and give yourself an even better view of the outdoors.
It is essential to ensure that if you do face outside when working that you take proper steps to ensure that you have protection from any direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can exacerbate eye fatigue that working in front of a computer screen can cause. You can utilise blinds, curtains, protective window coatings or shutters to ensure that your eyes stay protected all day long.
This is an excellent choice for anyone working in a flat. If you have a balcony, make use of that extra space and take your office outside. You can buy desks that fold over the edge of a balcony rail to put your laptop and stationery on. This is great for switching up your workspace, though may not be an ideal permanent solution, particularly in the rainy or colder months.
Utilise Home Fragrances
The right scent can help us to focus, relax, or fill us with energy. You could consider investing in a home room spray, candles or reed diffuser to add some calming and energising fragrance to your home office. Our sense of smell is closely linked to our memories and behaviours. Choosing a set of fragrances throughout your workday can help get your brain into a certain mindset, like time to work, time to focus and time to switch off.
Consider starting the day with a rosemary or citrus scent, which is excellent for focus and starting the day off strong. You could choose a lavender scent for the end of the day, to signal the time to start relaxing and ending your workday.
Experiment with different scents and see which works best for you. There are plenty of choices out there, so you’re sure to find the right fragrance that works to get you bright-eyed and productive from start to finish.