Whenever you encounter people talking about working from home, one of the first things they say is to have a home office. Okay, sure, having your own office at home is fantastic. In fact, it’s the dream for most of us. It would be ideal if you could lock yourself in a nice quiet room and work there all day. Unfortunately, the idea of a home office hinges on the assumption that you have the space for one in your home. If you don’t have a spare room or a garage – and aren’t willing to pay for an extension – this idea won’t suit you.
Instead, most people find somewhere to work in their home, usually ending up in the kitchen. Why the kitchen? There’s a table there already, and it’s probably one of the more productivity-inducing rooms in the home – if that’s even a phrase. It’s the next best thing to a home office, and here are some tips to make it even easier for you to work there:
Get a proper office chair
An easy tip is to order a proper office chair to sit on while you work. It’s really not a good idea to sit on a kitchen chair all-day, as they’re not designed for ergonomics. You’ll end up with terrible back pain and awful posture. Office chairs can be relatively cheap, though it’s worth investing in a good one. Particularly if you will be working from home for a very long time, it’s definitely worth investing in your comfort!
Create a little workstation
Going down into the kitchen and plonking your laptop on the table isn’t a great way to work. Again, it’s awful for your posture as you’ll be hunched over your screen the whole time. Instead, create your own little workstation at the kitchen table. If you have a laptop, it’s worth buying a stand that lets you raise it up, so the screen is at eye-level. Then, if you find it too hard to type this way, get an external keyboard. Instantly, you’ve got a more comfortable workstation that will lead to more productivity.
Play around with the lighting
Finally, you need to have the right lighting in your kitchen to make you feel productive. Ideally, it should be as bright as you can stand it. There are so many kitchen remodel resources out there that are full of lighting ideas for a kitchen. Opt for something that lets you shine a light on your workstation and keep you focused on what you’re doing. A simple solution is to buy a desk light or lamp to have with you while you work. This will be very useful if you’re working while it’s dark.
Using natural lighting is also a great option. Open any curtains or blinds in your kitchen, and the light almost wakes your brain up. It gets you in a more productive mood than if you were sitting there with all the curtains closed and some gloomy lighting.
Tidy the kitchen
It sounds simple, yet it’s something people don’t think about. Tidying your kitchen is critical if you want to create a space that’s conducive to productive working. A messy kitchen is one giant distraction. You can’t possibly work and focus on tasks if there are bowls and plates everywhere. It’s the same as working in an office with a completely filthy desk that’s full of clutter. A messy workspace leads to a messy mind, which means you will never get your work done.
So, work on cleaning your kitchen and keeping it as clean as possible. A weird benefit of working in your kitchen is that you’re more likely to want to clean it. If that’s the case, then it works really well in your favor!
Time your work accordingly
The kitchen is quite a social part of your home. People will be using it all the time, so you have to plan your work schedule around theirs. It’s a good idea to get your most productive hours in between breakfast and lunch, then lunch and dinner. Don’t have a long lie-in, then go downstairs and start working at lunchtime. Why? Because other people in your house will be in the kitchen doing things and eating. You’ll be heavily distracted, so plan to work during periods where you know the kitchen will be empty. This way, when the dips in productivity do come, you’ve at least had a few hours of working hard under your belt.
Just like that, you’ve turned your kitchen into a place that’s easy to work in. If you can’t create a home office, this is definitely the next best thing to help you be as productive as possible.