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5 Secrets of a Productive Home Office

The rule of productivity is the busier you are, the more you’ll do” – Unknown

While it’s widely known that there are many benefits that come with working from home, there is also an opportunity to increase productivity within any work environment. Reduced travel time, saving petrol money, making homemade meals and the comfort of working in your sweatpants are just a few of the perks of working from home, and how these assist productivity is worth exploring. 

Workopolis found that 90% of people believe ‘telecommuting’ actually makes them more productive throughout the day by helping people get a hold of that work-life balance that everyone strives for. Although distractions can still prevent productivity when working from home; given dogs need walking, laundry needs doing and having to fend off interruptions by your household members is always a risk. 

Make your home office more productive with these five helpful tips:

1. Setup for Productivity

As much as everyone would like to have a huge office that’s closed off to the world, with beautiful views and a giant desk – it’s just not the reality for many people. But it’s still possible to set up a productive space with what you have available to you if you know how.  

Staying out of high traffic areas (kitchen, hallways, living rooms) and finding a quiet area for you is key. Painting the area a soothing colour, like green (the colour of productivity), is another small change you can make. Ensure this area has plenty of natural light flowing in so you aren’t working in cave-like conditions. But above all, make sure you have enough room to work comfortably. 

Setting up a workstation in the garden wouldn’t be ideal for all weather conditions, but maybe place some plants around for something peaceful to look at and surround yourself with. Bringing the outdoors in with a desk or floor plant is a great way to add some fresh air to your workspace. If you don’t trust your ‘black thumb’ to keep a plant alive, try something resilient like a small cactus or a succulent to have some form of nature near you to marvel. 

2. Make your space comfortable

It’s hard to focus when you’re straining to see your screen or dealing with an aching back, so make sure your space is comfortable enough to last the day working. Investing in a good ergonomic office chair or sitting at an ergonomic desk can help achieve this. If you get uncomfortable sitting for long periods, a standing desk is another option to move. Small changes like anti-glare screens for a computer can help reduce eye strain and allow you to focus on getting more work done. 

3. Keep external stimulants close by

Whether it’s a book or a mobile game, or even an instrument – have something on hand for when you need a break during the day. Keep it close by so it can act as a reward during short breaks, but can be put away so you aren’t too tempted to use it when you’re working. 

The rule of productivity is the busier you are, the more you’ll do. If you want something done, ask a busy person. This is similar to Newton’s law: if you’re in motion, you’ll stay in motion, and if you’re at rest, you’ll stay at rest. Stay busy and you’ll have more momentum to stay busy and finish anything given to you. 

4. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter

Home offices are known to have a collection of things from throughout the home – especially if you have children or housemates. Make it part of your daily routine to purge paper, books, dishes and whatever else taking up space from the room to keep a clean space. You can’t get in the groove if you’re surrounded by the mess – clean space = focused mindset. 

Sticky notes can be helpful, but too many on top of coffee cups and piles of paper will distract you from the productivity you’re trying to maintain. You don’t want an empty space, but give yourself the space to think as well.  

5. Take Meaningful Breaks

You’d be surprised how much of a difference taking breaks can be! It’s hard to remember to do it regularly but it’s important to give it a go and get away from your screen. When it’s time to take a break, the default is to scroll on social media. But for a more productive break, try taking a walk around the block, reading some relevant articles or learning something new about a passion you have. 

Don’t assume you need to be working 100 percent of the time to be productive.  Pinterest is a great source of inspiration and motivation, as long as you are timing your breaks you’ll feel more refreshed and ready to jump into your work. 

Ensure whatever you are doing makes you happy given a happy mind and clear space leads to a productive mind. These aren’t rules you need to fully to be successful, they’re just hacks to help you on your way. Experiment to find what works for you, the important thing is to find a set-up that makes you happy and feel at peace. Sign up for our newsletter for more productivity tips.

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