Let’s be honest, the first weeks of this new year have got 2021 feeling a lot like 2020 part 2.
With new or extended lockdowns keeping an ever increasing number of people away from the office, working from home is soon to enjoy it’s 1 year anniversary as the ‘new normal’.
So what can you do? Well, you can certainly make sure that you’re comfortable while working from home, and create a home office environment which is conducive to both helping you work, and allowing you to unwind after a long day.
With a good amount of home office experience under our belts, we’re here to offer you Zyro’s top tips for ensuring
1. Location, location, location
Just because there’s space for a small desk and folding chair in your storage closet doesn’t mean it’s the best place to set up your home workstation.
If you’re working 8+ hours a day, you need to find a space that is going to give you plenty of space to think and won’t drive you crazy.
Important factors to consider include:
- There’s space to set out your equipment
- You have enough light to work by
- You’re not going to be bothered by other people
- You’re going to be able to sit comfortably for many hours on end
2. Separate life and work
When you’re working from home, everything can start to blend together. It’s often hard to parse out exactly when and where work ends and life begins.
We at Zyro are very conscious of making space for work in our homes which is away from the rest of our lives. If you’re working from the same couch you’re going to watch Netflix from late, your work is going to suffer and you’ll find it harder to unwind.
That’s why, where possible, you should make sure that your work space is elsewhere from you living and relaxing space.
Separating them physically will help you separate work and life mentally.
3. Keep on top of clutter
We’ve found that, when you’re working from home, every distraction costs a whole lot more in terms of time and attention than when you’re working in the office.
One avoidable distraction? Clutter.
Depending on what you do, your workspace may be covered in papers, files, wires, tools, or just the detritus of life pooling around you.
Don’t let the clutter get on top of you. Untidiness will make it harder for you to find things when you need them, and has been shown to make it harder for people to concentrate on tasks.
Our recommendation? Make time either before or after you start working to give your workspace a little spring clean.
4. Make friends with some plants
Having living things around you will always help you get on with work better. People and animals are great, but tend to be an unwanted distraction when you’re working for long periods.
Instead, consider bringing some greenery and plants into your workspace.
You can get your hands on some pretty low-maintenance houseplants for not very much money, and believe us, it can make a huge difference to your productivity, having some foliage around you while you work.
Everyone at Zyro was given a bean to grow last year, and those of us lucky enough to keep ours alive now have a handsome beanstalk to keep us company while we make Zyro great.
5. Furniture matters
Look, we understand that you’re probably not feeling your most flushed with cash right now, but if you’re going to be working from home for any serious amount of time, then it’s probably worth investing in some furniture and other tools to make your life more comfortable.
Things you might like to buy to increase your comfort levels include:
- A comfortable chair with an ergonomic design to ensure you don’t strain your back
- A proper desk at the correct height for your to type comfortably
- A laptop stand and external keyboard and mouse to give your neck a break
All of these things can be bought in good quality second hand to save on costs.
7. Accessorize for fun
Just because it’s the place you’re going to be working, that doesn’t mean your workspace has to be boring.
Putting some picture, decorations, and even small toys for you to look at and play with through the work day will relieve stress and help keep your workspace from feeling too… well… office-like.
At the end of the day, having the right workspace is all about looking after your mental health properly, and keeping your mind fresh.
8. Stepping away makes all the difference
Creating a space in your home where you can work is all good and well, but a huge part of working is making sure you spend enough time away from work.
As a fresh-faced startup, Zyro is the kind of company where burnout is a real possibility if people take on too many tasks and don’t give themselves enough time away.
That’s why our final piece of advice is to make sure you know when to turn off your computer and step away from your responsibilities.
Throughout the day and at the end of work, make a point of leaving your desk, going outside, and taking some time to reset and refresh.
Don’t overwork yourself and burnout.