Over the last few years, I have worked with many clients to help them create a distraction-free workspace at home. With the rise of remote working, the need for a home office has never been more important than right now. But when working from home, there are many distractions to contend with!
Before moving into our new office, Innovatus Design was based out of my home. My husband also works from home and there were distractions everywhere. From our twin 5-year-olds (and their caregiver), to laundry, taking in deliveries, and the general distraction of a cozy living room being only a few feet away. We did what everyone does – make the most of what we have! And that is what many of my clients have done before working with me to transform their homes.
Creating a distraction free workspace at home may seem like an impossible task, however, there are some key principles you can apply to your workspace in order to keep the distractions at a minimum. From the start of my interior design career being in commercial and office design, I love to use my knowledge and experience from this time and apply it to my client’s homes!
Did you know that the most common distraction is phone calls and messaging? This is closely followed by the internet and emails. While these are all technology based, there is a huge amount of research to suggest that having a distraction free workspace or area to work from can help you to regain focus and concentration.
Limit your distractions in your workspace to simultaneously reduce stress, and create a calmer working environment.
Have you struggled to create a distraction free workspace? Here are my top tips and advice for creating a distraction free workspace at home!
First, it’s really important to choose an area of the home that is quiet (or can be made into a quiet space at the least). Is there an empty or unused room you can use to create an office space? Or perhaps there is a quiet corner upstairs away from the main living areas of the home?
Older properties can have some awkward corners or nooks that actually lend themselves well to creating a small workspace. New construction homes have extra space that could be turned into a home office or workspace corner.
Ideally, your workspace should be somewhere you can close a door, so you limit distractions coming in from elsewhere in the house.
Comfortable and Ergonomic Furniture
When working from home it’s important to create a workspace that supports a healthy environment. And one part of that is choosing comfortable and ergonomic furniture. This will avoid any body related distractions. For example, choose a basic chair for your office space and you could easily end up with a sore back or posture problems which can distract you from working.
The office chair is the most important piece of furniture to get right. As you’re likely to spend almost all day sitting in the chair, it needs to be ergonomic. This means an office chair that has been specifically designed to support your body when seated for long periods of time.
You should look for an office chair that has an adjustable seat height, adjustable armrests, and lumbar support.
A Clutter-Free Desk
Next up – is a clutter-free desk space.
It’s important to keep your desk clean and tidy to limit distractions, and only keep work related items on the desk. This will avoid temptation to engage in non-work related things, like a hobby or interest.
Store notebooks and paperwork in desk drawers when you’re not using them, or use a computer screen riser that has areas for storage.
I love having a leather desk matt to keep all my work essentials together, which in turn helps to keep my immediate desk space clear of distractions that are unrelated to work.
Limit Personal Items
It always seems like a nice idea to have lots of personal items in your workspace but this can actually be a huge distraction! Consider limiting what personal items you have on display within your workspace in order to keep the space focused on work.
Keep personal items to one or two photographs, a couple of drawings made by your kids, and remember not to overcrowd the area where you’ll be working. A clean and clear work space = a clean and clear mind!
Keep Decorative Accessories to a Minimum
Similarly to personal items, decorative accessories can create clutter and distractions within a workspace. Limit decorative accessories to one or two pieces to give the area some personality, but don’t go overboard with them!
A real potted plant can improve air quality within the workspace, and artwork can inject some color and personality into the space too.
Top Tip – The only other items in your workspace should be work related. Your computer, phone, other devices needed for work, a notebook, calendar, and stationery.
And lastly, it’s important to consider setting some boundaries!
This could involve only using your workspace for work, and no personal research or hobbies. Developing this mindset can reaffirm over time that your office is for working, and therefore increases your focus during work hours.
You could also ask other family members to keep noise to a minimum during certain hours in order for you to work more effectively.
Think about other things that can help you to keep focused on your work and look at ways to implement them.