How many of you reading this will have had to convert your home into your 9-5 office as well. Let's be honest, there are certainly perks to not having to go to the office or place of work each morning but there are also so many drawbacks. OK, who misses seeing the same glum faces at the traffic lights at 8am on a Monday morning? Standing up on a tram for 40 minutes stood next to someone who may have forgotten to take that morning shower. All things that we are not desperately screaming to come back to our new normal.
On the flip side, working from home has its own perils and downfalls. I have sporadically been working from home for a number of years. Being a field Account Manager gives you freedom as well as its own challenges. Driving around the country and seeing sights that make you appreciate what a beautiful country we live in is certainly a benefit. However, having to base yourself in the home for a couple of days a week to catch up on the mountain of emails and reports that land in your inbox each day used to be a challenge.
Whether it be the latest Netflix series that you are desperate to finish or the cheeky cheesecake that seems to be whispering to you when you are halfway through an email, these are all distractions that become real if we don't prepare properly for our day at home/work.
Everyone's home set up is unique and we don't all have the space to set ourselves up for success but I wanted to share a few tips that may help and have certainly helped me. Remember, this pandemic and lockdown is temporary as are many changes that can be made for your home so think about the short term and the face that the spaces you create can be switched for a different use once the need for a home office is no longer needed.
Zone your workspace with a fresh lick of paint
If you didn't know by now, I may need to redo my website and social media channels. I love the concept of using paint to create some great spaces and wow moments in the home. Paint can also be a great way of differentiating between the different spaces of your rooms. Your home offices are no exception. If you converted one of the alcoves on your chimney breast wall into an office space, dress it differently and use a more inspiring colour to block out this space and to separate this space from the rest of the room. If you have shoved a table and laptop in the corner of the living room as a quick fix, that's absolutely fine. Use a tin of paint to create a space that inspires you to be creative and helps you focus. As I mentioned before, the great thing about using paint to define space in your home is that it is easy and inexpensive to change once you need that refresh or no longer need to use the space for your home office. How good does this image from pinterest look! An office space that you wouldn't mind getting comfortable in at 9am ready for your emails to come flooding in!
Surround yourself with pictures that inspire
This image is a simple moodboard that I created when I started my journey towards becoming an Interior Designer. This very sketchy image is the perfect reference point for me to remember what I am working towards and motivates me to maintain my focus and finish the job at hand. If you have never created one of these boards, I would highly recommend you put one of these together and have it at eye level in your home office. When you get that crappy email from the client that always seems to make your blood boil, take a few seconds, picture yourself driving your dream car or sitting outside in perfect garden, and remember why you are doing what you are doing!
Family photographs or holiday snaps bring comfort and positivity which will keep you on track for success. Similar to the above, these manage to bring you back to the reason why you need to work so hard.
Pack your things up, it's home time!
With the dynamics of the home completing changing over lockdown, it has neve been more important to pack up your things at 5pm and lock your work troubles away in the desk draw with your laptop. I mentioned in my last blog that with us spending all of our day in our homes, our 2 worlds are colliding and it is becoming difficult to leave our work troubles behind when we join the family dinner table.
Out of sight, out of mind is the best policy in this circumstance.
Laptop - Shove it in a draw.
Printer - Hide it in a cupboard or under the desk
Files and books - Why not put them in the boot of your car
You really don't need to spend a fortune, you just need to use your resources wisely. When you have finished your work, the house should immediately switch to your home. Resist the temptation of getting the laptop out after dinner. Hide away the remnants from your day at work and focus on kicking back and relaxing in the haven of your home.
There are so many great ways of creating simple yet inspiring office spaces around your home. If you are struggling for ideas or you can't quick decide on the perfect space to create your home office, why don't you send me a message today and we can create plans to transform your home.