Tips For Working From Home
Today Amy from May & Co shares tips and ideas for creating a productive work space at home, even if you’re working from a corner of the kitchen table! >>
During this unexpected time we are adapting in ways we haven’t known before and like many, you may find yourself having to work from home. Which is why I’d like to offer you a little bit of inspiration for creating a work space that makes you look forward to your daily commute across the landing.
For 8 years I worked from home as a freelancer, before setting up my vintage furniture business May + Co last year, so I fully appreciate the importance of having a dedicated space that helps you to get motivated, be productive and stay focused.
I’ve tried many different working arrangements. What began with a large desk and swivel chair in the corner of my living room, stacked high with files, printer and multiple computer screens, transitioned into being completely paperless and working entirely online, allowing me to operate freely from my laptop anywhere in the world. My current office set up, which is a combined working and ‘me time’ space comprises of a desk (with lots of plants rather than files), a space to roll out my yoga mat and a chair by the window for when I need some thinking time.
So as a seasoned ‘stay-at-homer’ I wanted to share with you a few tips that might help you create your perfect working from home space, whether you’re perched at your kitchen table or working from a corner of the bedroom.
Designate Some Space
If you’re used to working in a more traditional work space and have the room, then investing in a desk could be a good option for you.
A few of my vintage favourites are the mid-century Scandinavian desks that can be quite compact and ideal for small spaces as well as being easy to maneuver up that narrow staircase. Or, if you’ve the room and are used to operating with a number of screens and spreading out papers and files then why not go for a stylish retro 70’s office desk that offers lots of storage and plenty of desk space.
Alternatively a classic writing bureau offers a great space saving solution with its drop down leaf to work on that can be closed, shutting away your work at the end of the day.
Another great space saver is a drop leaf table. Whether it’s a dining or side table, a drop leaf can be used as and when you need it, with the leaf closed down at the end of the day and the table tucked away, back in the corner.
Even if you’re used to a swivel desk chair at your workplace, when it comes to a chair for your home office set up, buying new isn’t the only option. If it’s a temporary solution you’re after then don’t forget the many second hand chairs for sale on eBay or Marketplace, which have plenty of life left in them. If you’re looking for something a bit more stylish, that still offers comfort then an iconic vintage cantilever chair is also a great shout. With a supportive back and a satisfying sprung action, it gives the sitter much more comfort compared to a rigid kitchen chair.
Let The Light In
Research shows that natural light can significantly boost our health, wellbeing, and productivity so don’t underestimate the importance of choosing a spot to work from that provides plenty of it. If this isn’t possible then remember to allow yourself the time to stick your head out the door, get out into the garden for regular breaks or stand by the window at various moments throughout the day to recharge yourself. Failing that a daylight lamp is another good solution.
Control The Clutter
Whether you have a designated desk or your kitchen table is your only option, keeping your work separate from your home life, even though they may now be in the same place, it’s important for productivity and focus. Using stylish storage solutions gives you space for your papers/books/files whilst looking less “officey” – my personal favourites are vintage baskets and trays and bamboo racks and shelves – that are lightweight and easy to move around.
Plant life has replaced the files that used to adorn my desk and our green friends are productivity powerhouses – boosting our mood, concentration and creativity. So try having at least one plant on your desk to help bring you back to nature without having to leave your home, something we could all do with right now.
Own Your Space
Whether your kids are running around or your partner is trying to hoover under your feet, keeping the same level of concentration you had whilst you were in the office can be challenging. Choosing things that help you stay focused is key. I personally try to start my day as I mean to go on, by lighting a candle or incense, making sure my desk is clutter free and playing music to either inspire or relax me on my headphones.
The Morning Commute
Forming a new working from home routine is key to being productive. Whether you used to walk, cycle or drive to work, you would have left the house at some point, so replacing this with a stroll in the garden or a jog around the park can help you clear your head before settling down at your desk.
If you’re new to working from home or need to change your current home office set up to make space for other family members then I hope these tips help you in some way during this time, and perhaps also for the future if working from home becomes a longer term solution.
Please get in touch if you need help sourcing any vintage pieces for your home office by emailing me at email@example.com or for more inspiration you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.
Thank you so much to Amy for sharing her home working tips! Over the next month we’ll be sharing lots of useful tips and advice from the Indie Oxford community on how to stay healthy, happy and motivated while staying safe at home.