Work from Home? Why You Need a Dedicated Workspace

You've been deep into your work when you happen to notice the time. Oh man, you didn't mean to be working this late! Where did the time go? You need to put dinner on/ walk the dog/ pick up the kids. 

You're in the middle of something, but you have no choice. You'll have to pick up where you left off later. The problem? Your work stuff is spread out all over the dining room table. 

You have a few options. You can choose to put your stuff away now, and be late for whatever you need to do. You can choose to put your stuff away later, when it's time to sit down for dinner, risk shuffling things around and disrupt the flow of your evening. Or you can choose to leave stuff out and forgo dinner at the table.

Work-life balance is often an issue for people who work from home. It can be hard to find when your work stuff is literally, physically in the way of the rest of your life. 

Maybe for you it's not the table you use for dining. Maybe you're in the habit of taking your work to the couch - and when you try to wind down at the end of the day with your loved ones, you feel as if you can't escape your work. Maybe it's in your bedroom, inspiring insomnia and zapping your sex drive.

It's difficult to work effectively and live well if you don't have a dedicated workspace. Here are some ideas for creating a home office that will give you the separation you need to toggle between the two if you work from home.

 

Clear the Way

A lot of people think they just don't have enough space for a home office. Yet, so many people have at least one "junk room" of stuff that they know is clutter, but they just haven't make the decision to let go yet. This is one very direct way that clutter can hold you back.

If you don't have a junkroom to clear out, can you think outside of the box? I've seen very functional home offices set up in closets. Maybe there's a couple of closets where you're not using the space efficiently, and you could consolidate them and create a workspace in the empty one.

 

Don't let it be an afterthought

One of the biggest work-from-home mistakes people make is trying to cram a workspace into a space that's also used for something else. One of the most common home office scenarios I've seen the home office-guest room combination. In my experience, it's harsh combination for both purposes. It's uncomfortable and weird for guests to sleep in an office. And it downgrades the importance of your work - which you probably engage with for a significant portion of your daily life - to make your home office share with a space that's probably used 98% of the time. 

 

Don't Treat Your Workspace as a Catch-All

Home offices can quickly attract clutter if you treat them as a catch-all. And it won't just be work clutter - it will be household clutter. Those deferred decisions you don't want to make - keep or toss? How do I get rid of this? And when that clutter builds up, that is when people close the door and end up back where they started: at the kitchen table.

 

If you work from home and don't have a functional, dedicated workspace, it's very likely that it's causing struggles in your daily life. The biggest thing with a home office, is to just prioritize it. They are not an afterthought - generating income is a significant part of your life. Set yourself up for successful, effective work and a rejuvenating home life by creating a clear separation between the two.

 

With Love & Gratitude,

Anna Brunelle