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Creating a productive workspace at home amid lockdown

Updated: May 4, 2020

Your working environment has a huge impact on your daily productivity. A conducive working environment can make the difference between getting things done or not. Now more so than ever, with social distancing, it’s important to create an environment that promotes productivity while working.

I was so excited to find out that our work was introducing a work from home policy. The first couple of weeks working from home were great. I was getting work done; logging in at 9 and out at 5, just as I would at work. Yet in that same time I continuously found myself distracted. House chores. You name it – I was doing it. I was working from all over the house; my bed, the sofa and sometimes in the garden so it was time to make a change and create a dedicated workspace.

I decided to set mine up in my bedroom due to space constraints and to avoid distraction from everyone in the house. However, research recommends that you set up your working space away from distractions possibly in a different room, so if you are able to that's great. I know what you are thinking and no I don’t get tempted to go back to bed. I have a pretty solid routine.

Here are some tips on how you can create a productive workspace at home; or at least that’s how I did it.

Design your space for ease

To ensure you maximise the benefits of a well-placed workspace, it is important that your area is:

  • Well-lit; you don’t want to strain your eyes trying to do your work. Bad lighting can cause eye fatigue.

  • In a room with a window; to allow fresh air. This improves the air quality of the room aiding concentration. Also gazing through your window is a good eye exercise and helps to reduce eye strains.

  • Not cramped; make sure you are able to freely move around.

  • Comfortable; a good chair goes a long way in maintaining your posture especially if you are sitting on it for periods of time. If like me, you have a basic chair, there are ergonomic back supports you can order from Amazon.

Make sure you arrange everything so that the things you will use often are closest to you. You don’t want to have to break your concentration by getting up when you can easily store essentials close by. This includes a bottle of water to keep you hydrated throughout the day and healthy snacks. As you can tell, gum is my absolute must have, so it stays on my desk 24/7.

Keep your space clean and tidy

Clutter equals distraction and if it builds up, it can start to have a negative effect on your mood. As a self-confessed borderline OCD individual, mess just aggravates me so much and therefore it’s important that every area of my life is tidy. A clean and tidy workspace enables you to focus on what you want to get on with.

Beat the clock

Watching the clock is guaranteed to kill your creativity. As the saying goes 'a watched pot never boils.' Try and make sure you don’t have a clock on your desk that's in your face (you can tell the time from your laptop!). Don’t let yourself think about how many hours or minutes you have left before you can stop working.

Bring in nature

I once read somewhere that plants in a workspace can improve productivity by 15% because they help improve wellbeing and increase your attention span. Have you ever noticed most if not all offices always have some sort of plants or trees? One thing you must remember if you have a plant, is to water it. I’m sure that a dead plant won’t have the same effect. I opted for an artificial plant so I don't have to think about watering it.

Smell of success

Smell is the strongest sense and it is able to influence brain activity so the right kind of smell in your working environment can certainly transform your mood and productivity. You can use various products such as candles and/or essential oils - I have a peppermint reed diffuser in my room.

You can try these fragrances for different benefits:

  • Lemon: promotes concentration and has calming and clarifying properties

  • Lavender: This oil has calming properties that help control emotional stress and has a soothing effect on nerves

  • Jasmine: commonly used as an anti-depressant because of its uplifting capabilities that produce a feeling of confidence, optimism and revitalised energy

  • Peppermint: An energy booster, this scent invigorates the mind, promotes concentration and stimulates clear thinking

  • Cinnamon: It’s stimulating properties can help fight mental fatigue and improve concentration and focus

If you’re thinking of setting up your workspace, I have added links of where I got my items as a starting point. Remember, your workspace is unique and personal to you.

Have you got a workspace, or you’ve just finished setting it up? Let me know what other items you have that make it special and inspires creativity in the comment section.


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