Staying productive, without allowing your work to spill over into your home life, can be tricky to balance; but fear not, our experts have some great advice.
How to be productive at home
Around half of us are now working from home some or all of the time, so the need to maintain productivity is paramount. Distractions can be the home worker’s biggest nemesis but thankfully these can usually be overcome by taking a few simple steps.
Kerry Davies, a cognitive behavioural therapist (CBT) at Talk 2 Change, says: “If you can, try to create a home work space that is separate from your living space so that while you are working, you feel focused on the task at hand. Alternatively, set up your work area so that you can tuck it away at the end of the day.”
While the layouts of some Redrow homes offer dedicated areas that can be transformed into a more formal home office, others provide multi-functional spaces that can be used for work when needed. You can take virtual tours of our Heritage designs to discover one that’s perfect for you.
How to make the most of your day is also an important consideration. Experts advise keeping a structured routine that stays as close to your normal working day as possible.
“Set yourself a number of goals in the morning and this will help you to feel a sense of achievement as you make progress,” says Kerry. This in turn provides us with a natural hit of dopamine, also known as the ‘achievement hormone’. And the more dopamine your body releases, the more focused and creative you become, so it’s win-win.
“Take regular screen breaks and try to go out for a walk in a local green space at lunch time. This enables you to recharge and refocuses your mind for the second half of the day.
“Minimise distractions by setting mutually agreed boundaries with the people you live with so your time for work and home life remain separate. Turn notifications off on your phone and set strict limits for yourself on watching TV / social media / online shopping or whatever usually proves to be your biggest diversion.
“Try to set a regular time at the end of the day to stop working. Close the door on your home office or put your work out of sight. This is important so you can switch off and relax.
“A fantastic benefit of working from home is being able to use the time we would have usually spent commuting, doing something else. Why not sleep in a bit later, enjoy a workout or prepare a home-cooked meal? All are great activities for boosting our mood and helping to improve our wellbeing and mental health.”
Try positioning your work space to face a window with a view or, if you prefer, a piece of abstract art. Colour, light and texture can all make us feel inspired.
Home office interior design
If you want to feel motivated, then it’s important to create the right environment. Redrow homes offer flexibility for you to use rooms as you choose and we now often incorporate work space into our Show Homes to inspire your home office interior design.
Our interior design manager Alysha Alli believes styling your home office area cleverly can benefit you to do your job.
She says: “For those in creative industries you’ll want your environment to inspire, excite and encourage fresh thinking. Try positioning your work space to face a window with a view or, if you prefer, a piece of abstract art. Colour, light and texture can all make us feel inspired. Opt for vibrant candy inspired colourways – on trend for this year - and surround yourself with sculptural lighting and accessories inspired by nature.
“If your work can sometimes be stressful, then an anchoring colour choice, like the 2021 Dulux Colour of the Year ‘Brave Ground’, is perfect for providing a sense of stability. Another way to create a calming effect is to feature the forms and textures of water, one of our key interior trends for 2021.
“Scents can also spark an emotive reaction in our brains so introduce these using candles, reed diffusers or oil burners. Tapping into the restorative powers of aromatherapy, they can help reduce stress and anxiety. Aromas of freshly cut flowers, basil and lemon or woody / mossy tones are perfect for bringing you happily back to earth. A Redrow scent is in the design stage so watch this space for updates.
“And, while work may be the primary focus, it’s also important to personalise your environment with family photos and favourite artwork.”
The working from home essentials
What do you really need to work from home? In reality, it’s probably little more than a laptop and a fast home broadband connection. However, there are a few other things to consider to help you create an environment that’s conducive to work.
All our latest Redrow homes benefit from ultrafast broadband via Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) to ensure your internet is up to speed for your daily Zoom meetings.
Good lighting can really help too, so work in a space where there’s plenty of natural light or use spotlights to recreate the appearance of sunlight.
Choose a chair that’s going to support your posture and ensure your desk is at the correct height and your monitor is eye level. We have introduced a range of home office furniture options for selected house designs, including built in desks and storage. These can be viewed and chosen via the dedicated members’ area of our website My Redrow.