Many companies are downsizing their corporate offices to allow employees more flexibility to work from home. If you are doing the WFH thing, you may have scrambled to get the basics down: computer, chair, desk. Now it’s time to take a step back and make it a cozy, personalized space where you can be comfortable and organized. Here are five things you can do today to make your work-from-home office more functional, comfortable and, ultimately, productive.
One. Create a Filing System
There’s nothing worse than random stacks of papers taking up valuable work space on your desk. And what happens when you need to pop into the corporate office to work for a bit? Will you waste time rummaging through those piles to find the documents for your project du jour? Invest in some file folders or a filing system to keep things organized. I use an accordian file folder, since I have discrete projects that have a beginning and an end. My husband bought a two-drawer filing cabinet off Craigslist because he tends to have long-term projects.
Two. Set up Creature Comforts
Now that your desk is cleared off, you have room to spread out and work. So gather the things around you that fuel you, whether that’s a steady stream of coffee or a cup of kombucha and a handful of almonds. Find yourself a cute coffee cup or a personalized water glass and keep it filled. Try to reach for healthy snacks that stave off those 2 pm munchies.
Three. Keep Inspired
I’ve oriented my desk to be able to see out a window. On my desk, I have an array of messages and notes from cherished co-workers and friends. Above my desk, I’ve hung a piece of artwork created by my daughter that features a message of inspiration I always tell myself. Or maybe you have a kiddo at school who lights up your life. Set up a picture frame to keep them front and center.
Four. Schedule Breaks
There’s a lot of truth to the COVID “19” weight gain. During the pandemic, a lot of us became more sedentary. Sitting for long periods of time can hurt our health. Luckily you have a lot of options at home. It could be walking, yoga, push ups, jazzercise, dumbbells…whatever. Just get up and move!
Five. Maintain Your System
We all know that good intentions are easy to come by, but maintaining that energy requires a system or process. So, assign a 15-minute block of time weekly to sort through and file or discard your documents. Invest in a memo square so that when you’re jotting down notes off a phone call or zoom call, they don’t get added to the back of a random piece of paper you won’t be able to find again. Bring your coffee cup to the sink each evening and wash it, so it will be fresh the next day. Look at your planner for the week and schedule 15 minute activity breaks several times each day. If you need to, create a chart so you can create a to-do list and cross things off as you achieve them.
I should have included a sixth item: reward yourself! If you implement these five steps, you’ll not only be more productive at work, but your home office will be a peaceful place with a sense of order.