With us in the middle of a third national lockdown, working from home is slowly beginning to feel like the ‘new normal’.
With some of us never having to work from home before, or have recently started University and now faced with extra time at home to study, you may be thinking of the best way to do this.
A good working environment is important. We’ve provided our top tips on how to create your own home office, no matter what size your apartment is!
Find your designated area- or not!
It’s important before you do anything else, to work out exactly where it is you plan to study.For many people having one specific area that becomes your place of work, works best. However, others prefer to move around. Whatever you chose, you need to work out which way of working works best for you so that you can cater to this accordingly.
The space itself does not need to be large, an area that you can easily set your laptop and sit comfortably is all you need if that’s all you can manage.
Lighting- think windows and sunlight
Sunlight is you best friend. If you can, access to a window is best as vitamin D not only creates happiness, but also helps to keep you awake. Natural light also helps to decrease things like headaches and eye strain after staring at a screen for hours and hours.
However, if this is not possible, fear not, good adequate lighting will help to keep up your productivity levels.
Be fully equipped!
Think about what equipment you need in order to carry out all of your studies effectively. Write a list of all the things you need, so that they are there exactly when you need them.
Think about how you like to study. Are you a visual learner? Do you prefer to write things down? Thinking about adequate stationery and purchasing this at the initial stage will help keep you fully prepared and thus motivated.
Sitting at a desk all day behind a screen can cause havoc on your neck and back. Ensure that the work space you create is comfortable and properly set up. Make sure your laptop is at the appropriate eye level and that your back is well supported… it’ll thank you in the long term.
Close it all down at the end of the day
Particularly important for those having to incorporate a work space in otherwise communal, relaxing areas of your house, such as living rooms and your bedrooms; making sure you close everything down at the end of your studies ensures that you give yourself a chance to completely wind down and shut off.
Many of us would take the commute back to our homes for that physical break between work/ study and home, but already being home means it is harder for you to end your day properly without still thinking about what you have been working on, or indeed going back to your laptop to do more.
Staying hydrated is key to productivity and overall health. Ensure you keep a bottle of water by your side at all times and regularly take water breaks.
Having a quiet area so that you can concentrate is important for studying. Some people prefer complete silence, whereas others prefer the radio or soft background music. Whatever your preference, settingup somewhere that you can do this is important.
However if you live with other people, it may be hard to create a completely private area for you to study in. Therefore, perhaps speaking to the people you live with about your needs will help so that you can all create a plan of action.
Also a shared calendar between everyone in the house may be beneficial so that others know when you need quietness for zoom meetings etc.
Write a to-do list
Write a daily/ weekly to-do list to help keep you on track. This will help keep you focused on the most important aspects of work and can help you stop trailing off onto other things.
It can also help keep you motivated when you gain the satisfaction of ticking off every finished action point!
Grab yourself some house plants!
Did you know that studies have shown that having greenery around can help boost concentration levels and air levels; thus boosting overall satisfaction? Not only that, but it’ll also spruce up your work area.
Take adequate breaks
Taking regular breaks is important for productivity.
No matter how busy and how much work you have to get done, you will benefit from taking breaks regularly even if you think they are wasting valuable time!
By taking regular breaks, you help maintain concentration levels which in turn will boost your productivity and stop unnecessary mistakes from tiredness.