How to create the perfect home workspace (as a work from home mom)
More and more parents are finding themselves working from home these days, and it may be for the long haul. This makes creating a productive and motivating space that you can work from home in even more important.
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to creating a space to work from home; but it does take a little effort to create something that will keep you motivated in the long run.
There is nothing more motivating then trying to squeeze yourself and your laptop on the couch between the laundry and toys that need picked up.
The line between working and mommying (or daddying) may seem a bit blurry when everything is intertwined while working from home. By creating a unique space just for working, this line may start to look a little more clear.
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Why creating a unique home work space is so important
Having a spaced designated solely for working from home will help you accomplish more by having everything in one place. You know you dont need to find a quiet (toy) free space in the house, because it is already there for you.
When setting up a workspace for yourself; try to create an environment that will facilitate working on whatever task needs to get done. Making sure that this space has everything work related all at your fingertips.
This will keep you more motivated and productive, and will help you accomplish more in the long run.
Working from home can be a great opportunity to get more done and feel more in control of your work life balance; but it takes some effort to set up a productive space! With these tips, youre on your way to creating a workspace that works for you.
Tips for creating a productive work-from-home space
1- Find the right spot
If you dont have the space to turn the spare bedroom into a home office then its time to get creative!
It can be tricky working with small spaces, but it is possible! The first few years I worked from home I had a small corner in the living room that I deemed my office. It was still near all the chaos, but everyone knew that it was off limits.
A few at home office ideas:
- A closet office- If a desk fits, you can make it work! Convert a closet into your office and you can shut the door when you are done with work for the day. The added bonus is that there is usually storage in a closet, so plenty of space for your office supplies.
- A wall under or near a window- doesnt have to be a large space, just enough for a desk.
- Convert a room in your house if you have the space.
- The basement (although this wouldnt be my first pick if there isnt any natural light) But if its the only option, it will work!
- Any odd nooks or corners in your house that you dont have a use for. Those will make a great office!
Whether you live in a big or small space, you can find the room to make a designated spot to work from home. Sometimes you just have to be a little creative!
2-Keep distractions out of the work zone
Whether it be a designated office or just a corner in the living room, let it be organized and free from distractions.
Have only work related tools available and keep the toys far far away if possible. When its time to work you want to be able to fully focus on the tasks that need to get done and not fall down the play doh rabbit hole.
3-Keep it tidy
Not only will having an organized work space that is free of toys and clutter help you get more done; it also just looks nice.
Dont let your home work space become another place to pile up all the stuff youre not using at the moment. Find a way to organize and contain everything related to work so it looks neat, tidy, and inspires you to get down to business.
If you were going to work every day, you probably tried to tidy your desk at the end of each work day. You want to keep that same level of organization when working from home.
Related: 6 Sneaky ways to keep your house clean with kids around
4-Make it comfortable
Working from home can be a long haul (especially these days). Make sure your work zone is comfortable! Whether that means adding a nice chair, some plants or some fun art on the walls; make it yours!
Here are a few ideas:
- A nice sturdy desk with drawers for organization
- A space heater if you get cold easily (nothing kills my productivity like being cold)
- Optimal lighting ( I prefer a desk lamp over the overhead light)
- A comfortable, Ergonomic supportive chair
- Add a few plants or pictures
- If working from a laptop, a mouse might be a good option
When it really comes down to it; you want to incorporate things that are going to keep you motivated and focused on work.
The idea of what creates a comfortable workspace will be different for everyone. You have to find what works for you!
5- Keep your workspace minimal
I find this so important for staying focused! If there are a lot of things on my desk I find myself getting distracted instead focusing on work.
Keep your desktop supplied with only the essentials. If you dont use it every day, get rid of it or find a storage space for it.
This may include:
- A computer (or laptop)
- Printer (if needed)
- Charging cords
- A desk light
- Pens, pencils, sharpies, highlighters etc..
- A notepad
- A calendar
Thats it! If you find yourself needing something else to focus, chances are that thing is a distraction and should stay out of your workspace. Keeping it simple is key!
6- Create a routine and stick to it
This one is key! Just like when you have a physical office, having a routine for when you work from will be ideal. Schedules always seem to be changing with kids but try to stick to one as best you can.
Knowing when its time to work and when its time to be mom will help you define that line when working from home.
Related: How to create a productive work from home mom schedule
Related: 8 Ways to stay more organized as a stay-at-home mom
7- Natural light is important
Incorporate natural light into your workspace! Put your desk in front of a window, or in a room with a lot of natural light.
Exposing your eyes to natural light (especially in the morning) have an immense amount of benefits! Getting natural vitamin D (through the sun) can help regulate your sleep, fight fatigue, help with mild depression and so much more (source). It is really amazing what a little sunlight can do for the body.
Being exposed to sunlight is proven to boost your mood and hopefully help your productivity!
8- Have a space for storage
There may be things you dont use on a regular basis but still need to keep handy in the office. Make sure you have a desk with plenty of space or an extra storage cabinet that you can hold files, or extra office supplies in.
This will allow your space to remain clutter free when everything has a spot. You dont want piles of old paperwork sitting on your desk, find a spot for it! Otherwise if is going to be a distraction.
Related: Fool proof ways to declutter your when you have no time to do it
9-Invest in ear pods or headphones
This one is for all you conference callers (or podcast listeners)! A good quality headset can make or break your work from home experience.
I recommend getting noise canceling headphones so you can focus on the call and not the dog barking, or kids playing in the background.
You dont want people to think youre working from home. This will keep things professional even if its anything but that behind the scenes.
10- Set boundaries
One of the best things about working from home is the flexibility it offers. You can work in your PJs, take a break to do laundry or run errands, and work late if needed. However, with that flexibility comes responsibility.
Set boundaries for yourself and stick to them! If you know you have a deadline, plan accordingly. This is where the designated workspace comes in handy. You know you have a quiet place to accomplish the important tasks that need done.
Distraction can really hinder productivity, especially in a home setting with an ongoing to-do list! Boundaries are important when working from home.
Changing your work from home space might be just what you need to work more productively
If youve found yourself struggling to work from home, it may be time for a change in your workspace.
Changing up the space where you work can give you new motivation and energy that will keep you productive all day long.
Let me know in the comments if you have any tips for setting up your work from home space!