Top tips for a productive work space and a relaxing home

Our homes are our havens – it’s your space where you can unwind after a long day. But now that many of us are working and studying from home, the line between our place for work, school and our home have blurred. Without knowing for how long this will be our new normal, it can feel overwhelming at times.

We want to help you define the line between your home as your sanctuary and as a productive work space with our 3 top tips and examples of what some of the Icon By Design team have implemented since working from home. It’s time to see your home in a whole new light…

1. Create Work Zones

Dedicate specific work zones so that every person in your home has an area to work and study. If you don’t have a home office or a spare bedroom, it’s time to get creative – are there any unused corners of your home? Could you rearrange your space to create a work zone? 

Make sure your work space is a quiet and enjoyable place to spend your day. If you don’t like silence, a white noise app or a chill out playlist can help you focus. Decorate your new working area with things that inspire you and make you feel comfortable.

Our Finance Manager, Jessica has set-up her ‘office’ in a small space at the bottom of her stairs, she’s hung up artwork, has photos in frames and decorated it with all of the bits that make her feel happy and inspired. We don’t know how long we will all need to be working from home so rather than treat it as a temporary set-up, try and make yourself comfortable which will help with productivity and enjoyment of the space you work in.

When it comes to breaks, try and step away from your work space and dedicate another area to spend your time away from your desk. How about your balcony or backyard for some fresh air and sunshine?

Our Interior Design Consultant, Natasha lives in a one bedroom apartment and has never spent time on her small balcony before. Since she’s started working from home, this is now a dedicated area for breakfast, lunch and dinner and it has opened up her small apartment to feel more spacious. She now has an appreciation, not only for this new zone, but the rest of her apartment as she’s not overusing one area for everything.

Image credit: @housebeautiful

2. Versatility is key

What furniture or space in your home can be versatile during this time for work, without being taken over completely? For example, you could make your dining table double up as a work desk. Our top tip is to change the decor as you change the task. After breakfast, set it up for the working day ahead, adding some creature comforts like a pot plant, a scented candle and a pitcher of refreshing mint-infused water. Setting up your laptop at the right height will do wonders for your posture; use books, a shelf insert, whatever you can find! 

Our Digital Marketing Coordinator, Sara uses her dining table to work from and evening meals. Both herself and her flatmate sit in a different seat for work than they do for dinner. And at the end of the day they pack down their laptops, files and stationery and replace it with the usual dining table setting so that there is a distinction between their working day and their personal time.

If you have to work in your bedroom, set up a specific work zone that acts as your office desk – and don’t be tempted to work into the night just because you’re at home.

3. Maintain No-Go Zones 

Keep sections of your house ‘work-free’ so that you can relax and unwind after a day of online meetings and assignments – a place that you still enjoy coming ‘home’ to at the end of your working day. It’s a space to get together with those you live with and reconnect, perhaps over a glass of wine as you play your favourite board game or watch TV together.

Our Customer Care Manager, Anthony and his family have created work zones utilising their spare bedroom, dining room and hallway but have kept the living room as a space that remains purely for after hours. This keeps it as a place for relaxation and fun times, somewhere they look forward to congregating at the end of the day. Their living room has remained their sanctuary while they’ve had to change the way they live in every other corner of their home.

Remember, your bedroom is your place for rest and relaxation, if you are able to work in a different area of your home, we highly recommend your bedroom is one of the no-go zones! We know this isn’t possible for everyone, so if you do have to use your bedroom as a space to work in, try not to work on your laptop from your bed as you type away furiously – you don’t want to feel like you spend the majority of your day and night in one place as this can also affect your ability to sleep at night. 

Need help with clearing your mind after a busy day? Finish your day with some yoga, dancing or meditation. Try the Headspace app for 10 minutes of mindfulness in a quiet area of your home.

You’ve got this!

With a little bit of creativity, you can open up your home to utilise every bit of space to its full potential. Your days of working from home can be both peaceful and productive so that your home continues to be your haven, a place that you enjoy spending time.

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