Home office tips for working more effectively at home

In addition to numerous advantages, the home office offers various risks. If there is no clear dividing line between work and private life, it quickly leads to overwork. Lack of discipline is a major factor why working in the office at home does not work. Not to mention the numerous distractions lurking in your own home. We give home office tips to help you work more productively.

Leave the sweatpants in the cupboard

If your desk is only a few metres away from your bed, you'll be tempted to get started as soon as you get up. Pyjamas and sweatpants are comfortable, but quickly tempt you to go lottery. To be better prepared for work at home, it is advisable to put on the clothes you usually wear to the office. Dressed smartly and appropriately, you mentally tune yourself for the next hours of work.

You focus on working efficiently on the project. In the evening, when you get comfortable, the sweatpants come back into action. Many workers swear by wearing sturdy shoes for important phone calls. This gives them a professional, confident appearance. It's best to decide for yourself what works for you.


Create a permanent place for work

To work permanently in a home office, a separate office is suitable. Here you close the door to avoid disturbances. In most flats, there is not enough space for a physical separation. Working on the couch, in front of the television or in bed is not a good idea. These are the places you use in your private life to relax. It is important to find a good place where you can work in a concentrated way.

Set up a small work corner in your living room or bedroom. It signals to you and the family members that you are pursuing your professional activity in this place. The dining table is also a good idea, as long as you can find peace and quiet there. Many furniture stores are reacting to the changed working conditions. They offer clever furnishings for the home office. This allows you to convert small corners into your own office.

Finding ways to communicate efficiently

There are various ways to get in touch with customers, colleagues and superiors in your home office. In addition to telephone conferences, video chats are a good way to contact your counterpart visually. This alleviates the longing for colleagues. Virtual meetings with several company members are part of the daily routine in many companies. It is important that no one disturbs you during these meetings.

A respectable outfit and tidiness in the background go without saying, even when working from home. Optionally, switch off the transmission of the image. This reduces your visibility in the company. Other options for communication are messenger services such as WhatsApp or Telegram. Which communication channels are best for you depends on the ways in which addressees respond most quickly and easily.

E-mails are one of the more efficient options for colleagues who are difficult to reach. If you long for social contact, pick up the phone. This way you stay informed, get a clear answer and are happy to have a short chat. Set fixed working hours.

One of the most important home office tips is to set regular working hours. If there are core working hours in the company, stick to them. It is important that you are available during these hours. Start your tasks at the same time every day. To balance work with family life, make sure you have a regular closing time.

Many people working from home tend to work longer hours to complete a project in a timely manner. If your employer gives you some freedom, work according to your biorhythm. This way, early risers and night owls alike benefit from the advantages of working from home.


Putting the workplace in the (day) light

In a dark room, the motivation to work decreases. Dim light reduces concentration, leads to headaches and puts you in a depressive mood. One of the best tips for your home office: move your workplace closer to the window. Daylight saves electricity costs. It increases productivity. If it's dull and rainy outside, a daylight lamp will help.

Establish your morning routine

Sleep late in the home office and start the day relaxed - that's the assumption many office workers make when they dream of working from home. The reality is different. If there is core work in the company, stick to it. This means that you essentially only save the journey. If you can't get out of bed early in the morning, you won't get your workload done.

One of the home office tips that many home-based workers stick to is a morning routine. This means that you get up at the same time every morning, shower, get dressed, make coffee and go to your desk. The regular routine will get you into the day faster.

Almost as important: the evening routine

To mentally separate yourself from work, closing rituals help. Shut down the computer and close the office door. If you have a small workplace in your bedroom or kitchen instead of an office, close the laptop. Stow it away in the cupboard. This way, the work is out of sight. This works well with a secretary that hides files and work equipment behind a flap. If necessary, a walk helps to "come home" as usual afterwards.


A breath of fresh air in the home office

To avoid cabin fever, get out for a few minutes each morning. A round of cycling or a walk clears your head and gets you through the day more alert. Regular airing in between increases the oxygen supply and banishes headaches and tiredness.

Make yourself pretty

Those who work at home more often appreciate a nice workplace. Furniture manufacturers have adapted to the new working conditions at home. Many employees have little space in their four walls. Modern furniture finds shelter in the smallest niche. A comfortable chair and a functional table - that's all you need to get started. In many companies, the employer provides the equipment and peripherals. A screen, a shelf, a different wall colour and large indoor plants visually separate the work area from the rest of the room.

Decorate sparingly to stay focused

A personal touch in decorating adds charm to the workplace at home. A healthy measure is important. Too much decoration and paraphernalia is distracting. Keep the view of the screen clear. Set subtle accents with a green plant, fine office materials or a picture of your loved ones. At the end of the working day, tidy up the desk to mentally conclude the day in the home office.

Don't forget the lunch break

Just like in your normal workday, take regular breaks. Include a one-hour lunch break in your time management. Use this time to eat, take a short walk or switch off. Take a few steps in the fresh air to relieve the strain on your spine. The increased oxygen supply frees your mind for the tasks that follow. Eating at work is taboo.

You need the time to regenerate. If you don't motivate yourself to do this, enter your lunch break in your Outlook calendar every day. The programme reminds you that it is time to leave your desk. To avoid spending your lunch break cooking, prepare a small snack the night before. Plus points are awarded for healthy meals.


Satisfy the ravenous appetite

Actually, eating at work is taboo. At home, different rules apply. To beat cravings for nerve food like chocolate bars and biscuits, keep healthy snacks on hand. These include fruit, nuts or vegetable sticks. A bottle of water will quench your thirst.

Take regular breaks

Take exercise breaks in between to relieve the strain on your back. Alternate between sitting and standing. Walk a few steps every 60 to 90 minutes. Stretching and bending exercises or a walk in the fresh air have a positive effect on your back muscles. Optionally, make a phone call while walking around the flat. Make yourself a coffee or tea in the kitchen.

Choose your seat wisely when furnishing

An ergonomic office chair that fits you perfectly is one of the best home office tips. There is now more modern seating than the familiar executive chair that is a visual highlight. These models are ideal if you work from home all the time. For one or two days a week, you use a comfortable chair that allows you to sit upright. A backrest supports the spine.

Work at a table that is suitable as a spare desk. Refrain from working at the coffee table or in bed. What may seem comfortable at first, will give you back and neck pain. Another factor: lying comfortably on the couch reduces your motivation.

Replace the notebook with a desktop computer

In the home office, most people work on a laptop. This is more convenient because they can use it anywhere. It also takes up little space. The disadvantage? You are constantly looking at the screen from above. The tilted head position causes pain in the neck. A floor-standing computer is better. You can adjust the height of the monitor individually. This puts less strain on the cervical spine.


Maintaining social contacts

Many employees who work at home every day miss their colleagues. How about a phone call or a virtual date during the lunch break. Have a digital meal together or meet up after work.

Eliminate distractions from the workday

At home, there are plenty of distractions from family and friends. Try to avoid contact during your working hours. Draw clear boundaries between your private life and jobs. Signal that you are not approachable during this time. A closed door is a good sign for other housemates. If you take these home office tips to heart, you will have more time. You'll be more productive and get through your desired daily workload without working overtime.

Ban social media and YouTube

At home, there are other temptations that distract you from working. The bed tempts you to take a nap, the TV broadcasts your favourite series. Even worse? WhatsApp and social media channels! Stay away from these distractions. Put the remote control, smartphone and other gadgets far away. Turn off your personal mobile phone during working hours. Apps that allow you to block YouTube, Facebook & Co for certain periods of time are practical.

Always be prepared

If you are only in the home office for a few days, you know the problem: important files or access data are in the office. Create a file with important access codes, download programmes in advance, save important files in the cloud. This simplifies the processes.

Conclusion: Home office tips that support efficient work

The various home office tips in our article are a support to better adapt to working at home. Over time, you will find out for yourself what works for you. One person likes to work well in sweatpants. The other rambles on walks. The important thing is to find a personal rhythm of how to efficiently manage your daily workload. Good time management gives you many advantages in the home office. You have more free time because you no longer have to travel to work. This leaves more time for friends, family, sports and new hobbies.