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Working from home

Home office set up

So we decided to do a little move around. Spurred on by the need for a change, I have been working from the dining table for so long and my husband is permanently working from home so we needed an office update and we decided to claim the spare room as our new office.

I can imagine so many people have been looking into doing a similar shift around recently as many of us will be looking at this new way of working long term even as restrictions lift. It seems working from home, at least some of the time, is now the new normal for many.

I have been looking into tips and suggestions on how to keep productive day to day and also pulled from my own experience of working from home with Pentlebay.

Work environment

I think this was the reason for our move, sometimes you need a little refresh and break from the normal and to change things up a bit. It’s amazing what a change of location or table/view can make to your mind set for the day! With the increasing blend of work and home life, it is important to create a work environment that allows you to be productive and stay focussed and motivated. Even if it’s just moving to a new position, with a different view, it all helps with motivation. A good friend of mine had a new desk built for her by her handy husband which works perfectly. So if you know someone that is handy for a bit of diy you can always ask for some ideas!

I have tried to keep our new office relatively clutter free and keep what I really need to hand to make it less stressful. I am used to keeping it minimal from my time ‘hot desking’ in an office but the odd personal touch like a candle or plants/flowers are great and they can apparently help with problem solving and creativity so can only be a good thing! Plants have also been proven to create a more positive environment by refreshing the air and uplifting moods in an office setting.

The office chair is new and has been really comfortable so far, and our storage was both from a company we found online - Laura James. They have some great items, especially for a home office.

Office desk plants

Other things I find help to keep me focussed and productive:

Light: My desk is next to the window, I do find that I feel more positive and productive with plenty of natural light.

Take a break: Take plenty of breaks and don’t feel bad for not working every hour of the day. I remember the coffee break chats I used to have when I worked in an office and the long lunches... not to mention those totally unproductive meetings, you know the ones.

I often go for a jog just after the school run and I leave for the school run in the afternoon so that is always my time off each day.

Switch up your desk: We are lucky where we live to have a local cafe, Kooky Nohmad, that allows customers to grab a coffee and stay and work in the cafe as a working office space for as long as you need. This is a great way to break up your working week and chat to other home workers too and mix up your view for a few hours or longer.

Prioritise and minimise distractions: I try to have a few hours each day without distractions and really focus on what I need to get done, no checking my phone or trying to sort other household tasks! If you can get in the zone, that’s great but if you get to a problem you can’t solve, change up your task. I’ve read that if you keep yourself stuck on one continuous thought-pattern for too long, it can block creativity and be unhealthy and unproductive.

To-do list: Some may not need it but I can’t work without one of these! I have a notepad and a digital to-do list to keep track of things and also helps me to see what I have achieved and completed which keeps me motivated!

Dress for success: I know this was discussed a lot in lockdown, some prefer pyjamas while others love to dress up for work. I always find it puts me in a better mood to dress for work and put on some make-up. It has to be comfy though and dresses are perfect for that as the weather gets warmer. Check out our range online!

Lots of tea: Or coffee! It keeps me going, but also plenty of water too to keep focussed and hydrated so I always keep a water bottle handy! The only downside to our new office is that it’s further from the kettle but I can’t have everything right?!

Clare sign off
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