How to setup a positive home office in a COVID world.

Tips for a better work-from-home experience.

If you’re anything like me, the first few months of working from home were spent with your laptop on the kitchen table or working from the couch and these weeks just became a blur of -what felt like- one never ending shift at the office.

This is why it is so important to define our workspace at home. Whether it’s a home office, or just a nook with a desk, having a designated work area will completely change your work-from-home experience. It enables you to separate your work and personal life and provides you with the ability to “clock off” at the end of the day and still enjoy your home personally; without feeling like you’re perpetually stuck at the office.

There are many “home office checklists” out there, full of the basics that you’ll need for your home office (printer/laptop/desk chair etc). So, instead we’re going to touch on the elements that we have added to our home offices (all rental home friendly, of course) that help us to be our most productive, positive and healthy selves during lockdown.

N.B. Puppy (whilst not necessary to home office) is highly encouraged.

Desk extender:

Okay, hands up who has been propping their laptop up on a shoebox to get a better angle for your zoom meetings? Well we’re going to kill two birds with one stone here.

We all know that sitting all day isn’t great for our health, but most of us also don’t want to fork out for a stand-up desk during a pandemic. So, I have found a great solution. The small adjustable laptop tray (mine was about $30 from Kogan) enables you to elevate your laptop or keypad and work from a stand-up position. I find that shifting my desk to stand up mode helps me to re-focus when I’m starting to zone out.

Plants:

Studies have shown that indoor plants are natural mood boosters. That they assist with productivity, creativity and the reduction of stress; what a perfect combo for a home office. On top of this plants clean the air within your home, all while looking gorgeous and making your space feel fresh and inviting.

Whiteboard/pin board:

When you’re working from home you really need to be more organised than usual. There will most likely be less communication with co-workers and undoubtedly a few less systems in place, compared to at the office. Therefore, we have found it incredibly helpful to have a space that is right in your line of sight for important reminders and information that you may need quick or regular access to; such as a calendar, checklist, or important phone numbers. Just remember that if you are planning to hang anything with a hook, to quickly flag it with your property manager first.

Candles:

One of the perks to working from home is that you can do some things that would usually be a little more regulated at the office, such as burning some of your favourite candles. Sometimes, after sitting in my little home office for hours I can begin to feel a little stale. At this time, I take a moment to reset. I open the windows, light my candle and make myself a cup of tea. By the time the kettle has boiled my office smells like the inside of a coconut husk, the breeze is blowing through the room and it’s like a fresh new space.

Some imagery that inspires you:

It’s your house, so make your office personal to you! Add some things around the room that inspire you and make you happy to look at. Perhaps a photo of a place or some people that you want to visit once lockdown is over, or something that you’re saving up for. Things that remind you of why you are working and the wonderful things that you plan to do with your hard earn money once things open up again.

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