Five Mistakes to Avoid When Setting Up Your Home Workspace

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After two months in isolation, you’re probably wondering how the world will look when we come out of the pandemic, and whether changes to the workplace will stick. With an increase in the amount of jobs being done from home, chances are you’ll see more of this trend in the future. Now is the perfect time to set up your home workspace to be both functional and stylish! While there’s plenty of tips and tricks in my home office article, it’s time to look at what pitfalls to avoid when setting up your home workspace.

1. Not Having a Dedicated Work Zone

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When I first started working from home, it was easy to set up at the dining room table, or even on the couch. But as time went on, I realised the importance of having a dedicated space for my work. Make sure you find a way to separate your workspace from the rest of the house - utilise a spare room if you have one, or even make use of a room divider or curtain. By separating your workspace from the rest of your home you’ll find you’re not only more productive during the day, but that you’re also able to ‘shut down’ when it’s time to clock off.

2. Organising Your Space Carelessly

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It’s easy to think that setting up your home workspace is just putting a desk in the corner and calling it done. While I’m no feng shui master, setting up your workspace with the right furniture in the right place definitely has its perks. My number one tip is to go towards the light - make sure your desk is near a window, where natural light can fall through. Think about other furniture and fixtures to include in your space, whether it be a mood board on an adjacent wall, or a couch in the corner. And please, please invest in a quality office chair - your back can thank me for it later!

3. Not Maximising Storage Space

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If you’re anything like me, leaving mountains of paperwork on your desk is second nature. But having allocated storage space for every item will help keep you organised, and make tidying your workspace easy breezy. Optimise the space you have and consider what storage meets your needs best - it could be a set of drawers, a filing cabinet, a bookshelf, or even a wardrobe. Choose products that fit your space well without cramming anything in.

4. Overcomplicating Your Design

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One of the biggest mistakes when setting up your workspace from home is overcomplicating your design. While it’s fun to include your favourite colours, functionality takes precedence over style. Choose a neutral colour palette that’s not too distracting and avoid unnecessary items that clutter the space and mind. If you’re dying for some colour, add small amounts as you accessorise with just one or two tones. A neutral workspace is both timelessly classy, while also allowing practicality to take priority.

5. Overuse or Underuse of Personal Items

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Although we don’t want to overdo your accessories, it’s also important that you add your own personal touch to your workspace. Whether it be your favourite indoor plant, or a photo of a loved one, adding personal effects to your workspace gives it that homey feeling. However, don’t fall into the trap of adding too many personal items to your space. Sure, it’s cute to have your child’s latest drawing on the wall, but if you add drawing after drawing your space will soon look more like a pre-school room than a functional workspace. Thoughtfully choose items you most cherish to put on show, and keep the others elsewhere in your house.

After you’ve set up your workspace, take stock and learn to appreciate the perks of working from home - life may be different in the face of COVID-19, but I know I wasn’t allowed a dog in my office 24/7 before! If you’re one of the essential workers who isn’t able to work from home, please make sure to give yourself some extra pampering - if a home office isn’t on the cards, maybe a self-care station is! And, if you have a loved one in your life who needs some extra love, be sure to check out our gift guide for the perfect ‘just because’ present.

How has your work life changed due to COVID-19? Let me know what you’re doing to create the perfect home workspace!

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