During the novel coronavirus outbreak, many people have found themselves unemployed, on a new online job search, or in new environments working from home. As cities undergo lockdowns and social distancing, more people are spending their time working from home, sitting in cramped spaces or rather distracting at-home environments. This article aims to remediate some of these distractions through strategic positioning of one’s desk and methods to maximize work productivity.
When at home, the atmosphere is often one associated with relaxation, family, or entertainment. Those who typically travel to an office atmosphere to conduct work find themselves no longer able to do so and as such, they must recreate this atmosphere, with admittedly some difficulty, within their own homes. At home, there are often loud children, energetic pets, lively discussions, TVs or electronic noises, 24/7 access to the kitchen, and a growing list of distractions which could easily limit one’s day to day productivity over a prolonged period of time.
With this in mind, it is of the utmost importance that someone who works from home designates a space for himself or herself to do so with a desk space to perform this work. Depending on the space in one’s home, this article will detail desk positionings in a home office or an office-like space to result in maximum productivity throughout a remote workday.
In a larger home, where space exists to designate a specific room to an office space, it is absolutely imperative that said space is designed with strategic location and importance. This room should ideally be separated from areas of the house with large noise, such as the living room or a teen’s bedroom accompanied with a blaring stereo. This particular place should also be ideally separated from the user’s own relaxation space as close proximity to the TV might provide difficult temptations to resist. The desk itself, in a room such as this one should be placed preferably against a window for natural light, or a wall. When sitting at this desk, it is critical to avoid sight of the door; this door is an opening for distractions and minimized productivity. Depending on one’s work, nonessential devices, such as your phone, might be more beneficially placed on another end of the room to require a large physical movement to consciously procrastinate. In this specific room, ensure that all materials required for work are present and remind family members of the importance of this room as a place exempt from distractions.
In a less luxurious space, without access to a designated room for workspace productivity, it is still possible to achieve a productive work environment. Perhaps you must share the space with a family member or make temporary movements to find parts of the house with minimal distractions. In this case, the best position for a desk is most simply in the place where distractions will be nonexistent or at the very least, somewhat limited during the times in which you plan to do work. The desk space itself, however, is not necessarily a required aspect for all workspace environments. If work takes place mainly on one’s laptop through electronic files, a person can easily shift throughout the house to avoid instances of distraction and limited productivity. For example, if the family spends a majority of their time in the living room after breakfast, it might be beneficial to sit with a laptop at the kitchen table. If your dog bounds up with high energy all the time, it might be more beneficial to take your dog for a run in the morning, and take advantage of different hours when your dog may be sleeping or eating. If your family is typically very loud, it might be beneficial, if plausible, to sit out on the balcony or on the front porch. The car can also be a great option. Stable desk positioning can sometimes be a luxurious privilege but there are still several ways to get around notable distractions and achieve maximum workplace productivity.
For those who are really cramped, maybe in a NYC studio apartment living with several others, it can be increasingly difficult to achieve at-home productivity. Without a proper desk space, however, an efficient work space can be artfully crafted through a series of important considerations. If your only private space is a bedroom, one where you inevitably spend time resting and relaxing, productivity can be achieved in a specific portion of the room which you might designate as an exclusive workspace. Maintaining a separation between one’s work space and rest space is particularly helpful in maximizing productivity and having this separated desk or work space can be most valuable for productivity. If no such space exists, you could, at the very least, turn to sit on your bed in a different position. For example, if you originally woke up and immediately opened your laptop to begin a slow, remote day at online work, your productivity was likely compromised by the distractions of sleep and leisure which you might associate with the bed. Investing in a lap desk, a hard surface which you can place on your lap to stimulate a desk is a great way to somewhat resolve this. Turning around so that your feet resting position is where you now sit provides a different perspective on the room and may stimulate a different work environment. If the environment is particularly loud, it might also be helpful to invest in noise-cancellation earbuds or listen to productivity-enhancing music during a productive session. A small, distracting space can be turned into one of utmost productivity, if designed with proper ideas and a motivated mindset.
There are evidently still ways to maintain productivity, even in the absence of a proper home office or a desk space. Whether you have the luxury of office space or a cramped one-room apartment, you have now learned the proper skillset to maximize your time in a new workplace environment. Take these words of advice and alter your workspace to achieve the most productive environment for you. As you remain in quarantine, make the most of this difficult time and improve upon your productive space.