According to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, more than 3.1 million Americans telecommute, and that number doesn’t include those who are self-employed. Just because you work from home doesn’t necessarily mean your working environment is as serene or productive as it could be. If you’re like many work-from-home moms, you’re probably fighting a losing battle for home office space against stray Legos and piles of laundry. Fortunately, reclaiming your space and your sanity is possible with just a few simple steps.
Draw a Line in the Sand
If you’re going to have a tranquil work-from-home environment, the first thing you need to do is set boundaries. Make a hard and fast rule that your office space is exactly that, not spare storage for art projects, off-season clothing or anything else. If an item isn’t essential for your work, it’s not allowed.
Stand up for Ergonomics
According to evolutionary biologist Olivia Judson, sitting for long periods of time is literally killing us, even if we exercise on a regular basis. The solution? Invest in a standing desk setup. NextDesk Terra and Muvman offer pricey but high-quality standing desks and stools specifically designed to keep you healthy and productive. Complete the setup with a quality floor mat, and replace your mouse and keyboard with a track pad and split keyboard. This setup will help improve your overall health and in turn, your mood and productivity.
Let Your Light Shine
Proper lighting is also important when it comes to creating a tranquil environment. Depending on the number of windows in your home office and which direction they face, it can be difficult to keep a consistently well-lit work space. Cellular shades from Just Blinds offers a variety of light-filtering, adjustable shades ideal for any home office.
Clutter and disorganization are the enemy of productivity and tranquility. Install sturdy shelves to make use of a nook or other small, awkward spaces, and use vertical wall space for mounted file holders, cork boards or even pegboard. Get rid of excess paper by scanning documents into your computer, and use a small filing cabinet for documents you must keep.
Engage the Senses
There are several ways you can make your home office an enjoyable and productive place, including:
- Play music. Music can fuel productivity, but it can also be a distraction. Be sure the music you play isn’t so slow it lulls you to sleep, but isn’t so upbeat you’ll want to get up and dance instead of work. Some people find it difficult to concentrate while listening to music with vocals, so if this is the case for you, stick to instrumental music.
- Light scented candles or use aromatherapy. Scents affect our mood and productivity. Our reaction to different scents is based on our experiences with them, so experiment to find which scents work best for you.
- Get a little blue. The color blue is associated with productivity as well as serenity, so paint your home office your favorite shade or decorate with blue accents. Bonus: Blue has also been shown to curb appetite.