Although it's far from natural, working from home has become the norm. The conditions at home are generally not conductive to work and vice versa. It's your chill out zone, your personal space, the area you want to be able to let your hair down and not have to think about your co-workers, but now you end up inviting them virtually in the front door everyday!
Whilst many of you may have understandably set up shop in whichever room seemed easiest to start with, now that it's looking like the working from home is going to stick around, it could be time to re-evaluate if you've chosen the most harmonious spot for productive work, but importantly for your mental health and happiness.
Luckily, science is here to help us with this one! In order of importance below are the top 5 things to consider when choosing a room to work in;
As much as we'd love not to believe it - 98% of humans cannot multitask. You can very rapidly flick your attention back & forth between two things repeatedly, but unless you're in that magical 2%, you cannot concentrate entirely on both things at once (If you are in that 2%, we're all very jealous and you can skip to part 2).
If you're working in a noisy environment, be it sharing a room with a washing machine, listening to the background noise of the TV nextdoor, or even sharing a room with a partner or housemate that likes to talk too much, you'll be adding to your stress levels whilst also not producing your best quality work.
Try and find a room where noise can be kept to an absolute minimum to allow you to concentrate fully on the task at hand. If this isn't possible, give some noise cancelling headphones such as these Apple Airpod Pros a go and see how it improves your productivity. The active noise cancelling does a great job of drowning out background noise even without music playing which should help you focus.
Twinned with no.1, distractions in the form of people or technology can have a really detrimental effect on your day. For example, If you stop what you are working on to look at your personal phone, it can take you up to 20 minutes to get "back in the zone".
There's a long list of potential attention grabbers; The tv you want on in the background, the other half walking in every 5 minutes as you're seated in the kitchen, the food cupboard staring at you! Try to isolate yourself from as many potential distractions as possible by placing yourself in the least dynamic room of the house. This means when you take your breaks and do go to a room full of fun things to, it will be even more enjoyable.
A 2013 study from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that nature can give us a physical and mental sense of being away from the monotonous urban environment. Whether images or the real deal, nature scenes give us visually-rich stimuli that nourish the brain.
Those results say it all. If you can be seated near a window with any form of nature in sight, be it a tree, grass, or even just the sky, it's a great way to keep your stress levels down and keep your brain in balance. If this isn't possible, do a bit of home DIY and put a picture on the wall to help relax you! Heres an ideas board from Etsy to help.
The bane of most peoples day! A strong connection can ensure a clear Monday morning zoom meeting sets you up for the week ahead, just as a crappy one can make you look really unprofessional in a client meeting and bring the wrath of your boss down on you.
Ensuring you're close to your wifi router is the best option here but if not possible, technology is here to help! Hot-spotting your phone is one way of potentially bypassing this issue. Do beware that even on "Unlimited" data plans, most large companies will slow your download speed once you use a certain amount each month.
The other alternative to this is wifi range extenders. They're cheap, easy and efficient. Click here to read more about these and see the top 5. Another option is wifi extending USB plug sockets which we can supply here at Easysockets along with installation guidance if you get in touch.
Although it's no.5, having space is still important. Not only do you need enough space on your desk for you to work, you need enough space in the room for you to feel relaxed.
If you're in a tiny cramped corner, your brain may reflect this. You'll be close minded, your creative juices will not be flowing and you'll end up uncomfortable and dreading work.
On the other hand, if you have a nice wide space around your desk, you're positioned in the centre of the room rather than tucked into a corner, your body has the room to move just as your mind has the room to think!
Hopefully this article has brought something to you. For more home working hints & tips, along with home improvement ideas, sign up our newsletter.