I’ve been working remotely for a very long time (over 10 years) and have learned that one of the KEYS to staying productive while working from home (or from anywhere) is to have a remote workspace carved out to focus on getting work done!
Want to see my remote workspaces? Well keep scrolling!
This desk is my most commonly used remote workspace and where I’m the most productive. The key is that it’s completely separated from the rest of the house and away from the movement and noise my daughter makes when she’s yelling at friends on Fortnite or Minecraft or when she’s running into the kitchen for snacks.
I have a lot more decorating I want to do in that space but for now it’s the perfect place for me to feel like I’m at work versus feeling like I’m at home.
Although I believe it’s a little dangerous to work so close to my bed, sometimes I just don’t feel like leaving my bedroom or I’m up super early and want to knock out a few things before I go out for my morning walk/run. In those cases, I have a remote workspace set up in the corner of my room.
And then there are days when I want to be in the thick of it. I want to feel the energy in my house and get access to all the good natural light coming into the space with the most windows so I work from my dining room. On those days, I turn my dining table into a remote workspace. Actually, I worked from my dining table for the first four months of living in this house.
I realize how fortunate I am to have so many options when it comes to workspaces. Not everyone has extra space in their home to claim as their office.
From Aug 2017 to April 2018, I was living with my parents and sharing a small bedroom with my teenage daughter – dorm room style. I certainly didn’t have enough room to set up these kinds of remote workspaces dedicated to being focused and optimizing productivity. I had to make it work with the tiny space I had.
I have 3 quick tips on setting up your remote workspaces to maximize your productivity no matter what your situation is.
1. claim your space
I want to encourage you, no matter what your situation is, to find ways to carve out a space that is dedicated JUST for you to work. Even if that space is one you set up and take down daily.
Even if you have to use the dining table or the couch as your office. Get clear with the other people who occupy your home that between certain hours, that dining space or couch is no longer community property, it is officially an office.
2. have what you need on hand
Even if your home office has to be temporary or transient, be sure you have everything you need to do your work with you.
When you have to stop what you’re doing to find a notebook or a pen, you’re not only losing precious moments of productivity, you are now “context switching” and losing focus. Ever had a great idea and needed to write it down but couldn’t find a pen and by the time you found the pen, the great idea was gone? That’s because your brain abandoned “the work” of thinking about that idea and picked up the work of identifying the location of a pen before it had that idea long enough to hold onto it. To maximize your productivity, you want to avoid context switching as much as possible.
(By the way, there is great information on this concept of maintaining focus and avoiding context switching in the book Deep Focus)
I actually have plugs for my computer at both of my desks because I’ve been caught too many times without a charger and my computer died in the middle of me working on something brilliant (I’m certain it was brilliant, I just don’t remember what it was, lol). I also move around from workspace to workspace with a notebook and a little bag that has pens, highlighters, phone charger, my mouse, and my inhaler so I always have what I need.
3. Have Something that sparks joy
Have something in your workspace that brings you joy! Work is hard, no matter how rewarding it is or how much you love your job. Sometimes we need visual queues to spark joy in our brains and keep the endorphins going. Could be a picture of your kids or from your favorite vacation, could be a cool sticker on your laptop. For me it’s a coffee mug. I always have a coffee mug with a cute message at my desk.
Whether you live in a large space a small space, it’s important that you can carve out space to help you focus on doing productive work, even if it’s a temporary remote workspace. I hope these tips were helpful!
When I was living with my mom and could only work from the edge of my TWIN bed or the couch, my mom came up with a genius option for me to have a dedicated remote workspace – the adjustable table they give you at the hospital!
My mom is so full of great ideas to solve small problems and this table was perfect! It slides nicely across the bed, turning the bed into a workspace or it’s easy to wheel right up to the couch when necessary! It was big enough to hold my laptop, a notebook, my coffee mug, and still have space for my mouse. It made the PERFECT mobile/temporary workspace! Here’s a link to where we bought it!
How are you carving out your remote workspace to maximize your productivity?