Working from home
Normal looks a lot different for most all of us these days. Many are juggling working from home while also homeschooling their kiddos. Aside from figuring out schedules, and how that balances out in the day, figuring out work/school spaces is another thing. Creating a designated space for yourself if you’re working from home can save you some serious mental anguish. Working in high traffic areas of your home, such as the dining room table, leads to being easily distracted and taken from your work; whether by others in your home, or tasks that catch your eye. Like those dishes taunting you in the sink.
All the things that will “only take you 5 or 10 minutes” that you stop for through the day when working in a high traffic area of the home really add up by the end of the day. If you create a designated workspace, it’s not only easier to not get distracted by household tasks (that you wouldn’t be doing if you were in the office), but you can also make it known to others in the home that when you’re in your designated area you need to be left alone. I know, that one is kind of funny! I know your kiddos are not going to leave you for hours on end to tend to work, but it can at least take you out of their line of sight to where they don’t automatically recruit you for that cup of water they can get on their own, or to show you their latest Tik Tok.
As far as your kids getting their work done, having a separate space is mostly so they can mentally separate “schooltime” from free time. If they have a set time and space they have to be working on assignments it helps create a new normal for them and can help them mentally. Even though they fight it, it’s been proven that kids need structure to do their best.
Advantages to keeping your workspace separate:
1- It’s easier to mentally separate work and home tasks since you will be less distracted than being in your primary living areas.
2-You have to physically leave your workspace in order to tend to non-work related matters (and others have to seek you out opposed to just saying your name as they walk by).
3-I don’t know about you, but I tend to get paper piles and notes everywhere when I’m working. Having a separate space in your home keeps the clutter away from the main areas of the home. If you have a smaller work area due to this, it also forces you to stay a bit tidier because you’re not working with so much space.
4-Keeping a time-blocked schedule is easier as well. You can use Google calendar, or whatever calendar you typically use, to block out time. The reality is you may not be able to stick 100% to this, but it helps to have notifications letting you know how on task you are so far.
5-When we’re bouncing back and forth between home tasks and work tasks all day, it can be easy to feel like we need to keep working when we should be clocking out to spend time with our family or just to take some time for yourself so you don’t burn out. It’s much easier to shut off the work part of your day if you’re shutting the laptop and walking out of the room!
How to designate workspaces
If you’re lucky enough to have an extra room unused in your home this one is super simple for you. Just make that an office. If not, perhaps you have a guest room that is rarely used. You could easily convert that into an office space for yourself. If you have a finished basement you could also claim part of that area as your office. I personally like to have natural light while I’m working; so for someone like me, that wouldn’t be ideal. A better option in that case (if your master bedroom is large enough) would be to convert a corner of the master bedroom into an office area.
For kids having a school area, unless you have another extra room in your home, adding a desk to their bedroom may be the best solution. I would avoid playrooms because while we might be distracted by chores, they’re more likely to be distracted by toys!
Make your space feel good
If you’re going to spend a good chunk of time sitting in this space getting work done you’ll want it to feel and look nice. Small things can do the trick. You can hang your favorite quote on the wall by your desk, get a fun pencil holder, or add a desk lamp that has more pizazz than you would have at the office.
If you need a desk for the space that isn’t going to cost you thousands, we have a contemporary desk in espresso with a file drawer and two small storage drawers to keep you organized. If you like a more traditional look, we have a Bowfront Cherry Desk with two full pedestals. If you’d rather look at used furniture, we have high quality pre owned furniture as well. This inventory rotates and we don’t always have them in stock. So if you see something I would recommend giving us a call to confirm availability.
Creating a separate space that you will enjoy working in, and are able to lessen the number of distractions you have throughout the day, will increase your productivity. It will also eliminate the guilt of clocking out at a reasonable hour when you feel like you have been productive throughout the day.
This balancing work, school, and home life isn’t easy. Set yourself up in a way that makes it easier to succeed, but also give yourself some grace. This gig is hard right now and we’re all doing our best.
If you need recommendations on furniture ideas for your home workspace, give us a call at 314-266-9083.