An ever-increasing number of employers are providing opportunities for staff to work from home permanently.
This means you may be spending even more time at home, so it’s more important than ever to prepare your home for a balanced life.
Although working from home often includes perks such as zero commute time, more affordable lunches and wearing slippers all day long, with work, cooking, exercise and relaxation all under one roof, often it can be impossible to separate your work life from home life, resulting in detrimental effects on your partner, children, and your mental health.
Our team at Dolphin Storage wanted to share some great ways to maximise the space in your home by creating zones for different mindsets and activities. From creating an area for productivity during the day and a zone for relaxation in the evening, there are lots of ways you can effectively keep your home and work life separate.
1. Create a productive working environment
It can be tempting to move around the home during the workday, but to keep yourself in a focused mindset, it’s better to have one area in which you can consider your productivity zone. This can be your home office if you’re lucky enough to have one, or a particular seat at the kitchen table. Ensuring that you only work in this area will encourage your mind to stay focused on the task at hand and means that when you leave the zone at the end of the workday, your mind can switch off properly.
If there are multiple people in your household working from home as well, it’s a good idea to set up ground rules such as taking phone calls in a separate room to minimise distraction or create periods of time without interruption. It’s also a nice idea to designate a time of day to have a coffee or lunch break together, where you can leave the productivity space and give yourselves a brain break.
If space is a luxury for you, consider sectioning off this zone using a room divider or house plants, which as well as being nice to look at, have been shown to improve concentration.
If space is limited and you are unable to create a dedicated work zone, we recommend putting all your work equipment and papers away during your breaks. Whether it’s at lunchtime or after work, removing work-related items from your line of sight can help you park the day’s tasks and enjoy your well-deserved time off.
2. A space to relax at the end of the day
It’s just as important to create zones for relaxation in the evening as it is for concentration during the workday. A bedroom is an easy option for your relaxation zone, where you can kick back after work and enjoy a book or an episode of your favourite show. As hard as it may be, it’s important to not bring your work into your relaxation space, scientific studies have shown that if you bring work material into your bedroom, it breaks the mental association you have between that room and relaxation and sleep.
Calming fragrances are a great way to unwind at the end of the day, so why not light a couple of candles in your relaxation zone to truly bring your mind away from the stresses of the day. Lighting can also make a big difference to your state of mind. During the day, letting natural light stream in has a positive effect on your mood and keeps you in touch with the world outside. On darker days or evenings, while cool, bright light is best to encourage concentration and is often found in an office environment. It’s best to opt for warm, yellow-toned LED bulbs in your relaxation zone. This type of light best imitates the natural evening light outside and enhances the state of cosiness and restfulness.
3. Know that a tidy space will result in a tidy mind
Whether you’re in your productivity, working zone or your relaxation, unwinding zone, ensure to keep the space orderly. Sounds simple, but when you’re at home nearly full-time, clutter can build up fast and an untidy space leads to an untidy mind. Easy tasks such as making your bed in the morning, hanging up clothes or wiping down your desk after work can make a big difference when preparing for the next day.
We suggest spending some time doing a full declutter of both your relaxation space and your workspace – it will make it easier to keep on top of each day. If you have the room, think about clearing away things you don’t need right now into cupboards, garages or lofts. If your space is already overflowing, why not put some larger possessions into storage to help make room for a working-from-home setup? Dolphin Storage offers a range of self-storage units for storing larger items and furniture, helping you maintain a tidy space and mind.
4. Make bigger changes to define work and non-work spaces
Lastly, if you’re looking to make longer term changes in your home, a fresh coat of paint on the walls is an impactful way to keep your spaces separate. For your relaxation space, consider bright uplifting colours including yellows, but sky blue, blush pink and sage green are also all colours that promote a sense of calm and serenity. While more neutral creams and greys, as well as deeper blue tones, are good choices for a workspace, as they can help you concentrate by reducing distraction.