With time (and making many changes to my workstations over the past few years), I’ve come to accept that a productive workspace is just as important as a productive mindset.
Where you work is directly proportional to how you work.
Before the pandemic, the office I worked at assigned cubicles to its employees. Having seen many people come and go during my stint there, I noticed a pattern emerge. New recruits spent their first week burrowed in their cubicle, keeping one ear open to scope out the floor and know a little bit about the people sitting next to them. Over the month, a few personal belongings would emerge on the desk, whether it was a pen holder or a keychain. And a month later, the cubicle would be decorated enough for a passerby to know at least five things about the person sitting there.
Obviously, the hoarder in me was awakened too, and I had everything I needed to survive if I were ever locked in the building overnight, right from coffee and snacks to mufflers (no, I’m not kidding) and even makeup! The soft board in front of me had concert tickets, menu cards, dreamcatchers, and literally anything that caught my eye. Even though it seemed excessive, my desk finally felt like home. The balance of feeling comfortable in a commercial workspace boosted my productivity, and I loved going to the office.
So when the pandemic struck, having to box up all my things and bring them home, to create a home office setup, was heartbreaking because I knew I’d miss my desk. But more importantly, it meant having to get used to a new way of life ﹘ to create a new workspace that embodied the opposite of what we had to do in an office.
We now had to create boundaries in a space that we were much too comfortable in ﹘ our home!
Why Do Workspaces Matter?
A study conducted by Gensler showed that well-designed office spaces increase the productivity of employees by over 20%. In fact, a good work environment also affects the overall health of employees, indicating fewer sick leaves and better performance.
When applying the same philosophy to work from home life, balance is the name of the game. How do we bring about a sense of discomfort during our workday? And how do you know when it’s time for a change in your work-from-home office setup?
During the initial work from home days, my body still functioned on my regular office routine, so I woke up early, took a shower, had my meals on time, and enjoyed the hours I saved travelling to and from the office. But as the months passed, I began waking up later than usual, didn’t care much for my surroundings, and strayed from my routine as much as possible.
No, it wasn’t deliberate, but it was natural! As my relationship with my workspace soured, so did my productivity.
(Continue Reading Below…)
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Creating A Productive Workspace At Home
The first step to creating a productive workspace and routine at home is accepting that we live in a new ‘normal’. With this comes flexible rules for us to bend and having the space to work how we’d like. I have some friends who love working from home, and some who despise it.
I prefer a mix of both. On days when meetings and coordination get the best of me, I spend the latter half of the day working in bed, propped up on pillows. It’s safe to say my stack of pillows has doubled over the lockdown, since I need a few to surround me, almost like an island. And with more pillows come soft pillow covers.
I chanced upon these SPACES Pillow Covers a couple of months ago, and I can’t get enough ever since. They’re made with pure 100% organic cotton, which has given skin flare-ups a break, and I can work in utmost comfort. I personally adore these blue ones, because I wasn’t joking about building an island! These are an absolute work-from-home setup essential.
My desk at home may not top the desk I had at work, simply because I’m one of the few who prefers not to work at home. But I brought back the essence of the space that made me most productive – a mix of cute personal belongings mixed with the minimalism of working in an office. Apart from a couple of keychains and posters and one soft toy, my desk only has work essentials so there’s nothing that’s too distracting.
The Senses And The Workspace
You may know the five senses, but do you know that they are directly impacted by your workspace which, in turn, can impact your productivity?
Five out of seven people I spoke to said that they deliberately choose to work in quieter areas of their house. It’s a no-brainer that loud noises can not only distract you but are also a menace during virtual meetings. I remember having construction noises disrupt my work days for a whole month, and ended up working out of cafes.
Sight plays a part in enhancing productivity too. While natural sunlight is softer on the eyes, I also prefer having calming colours around me. On days when I choose to work in bed, my SPACES Anti-Viral Bedsheet is the perfect companion with its super soft fabric and beautiful designs. Plus, it helps keep me protected from unforeseen allergies and viruses, so I really don’t feel guilty for staying in bed all day.
Changing It Up
If you find your productivity taking a dive while you work from home, try and switch things up. I’ve created a few makeshift workspaces around the house, and I keep moving around when I’m particularly distracted or feeling lazy. Sounds like a true modern home office, doesn’t it? The change of space is much needed, especially during this time when our movement is quite restricted, so working around the house can help you take a much-needed break!
So, whether it’s the bed, your desk, on a rug, or by a window, assign a few places to move around throughout the day. I prefer working by the balcony during the evening, feeling the cool breeze refresh my mind.
How To Make Your Workspace Productive
Want to create a productive work-from-home space? Here are some home office setup ideas:
- Get a desk organiser to keep your work essentials in one place.
- Place a few plants around the room to add a pop of green.
- Invest in an ergonomic chair that supports your back and neck.
- Assign one area to get creative and add fun items.
- Keep things minimalistic so you’re not constantly distracted.
The new rule for working from home is that there are no rules! Even though we’ve had to work from home, creating a productive workspace makes all the difference, so no matter what your definition of productivity is, incorporate it into your workstation to make the most of this new normal.
In today’s times, our home is our workspace as well as our haven. So, create your own safe space in this new ‘normal’ with SPACES! Head to the SPACES website to create a beautiful space that’s safe, comforting, and a little more ‘you’!
Updated 5 October 2021
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