Having a functional workspace is essential, when you’re working from home. In a perfect world, that workspace would also be a dedicated one, such as a home office, or at least desk of your own in the living room or bedroom. However, that doesn’t always mean you should, or indeed have to, work from that dedicated home space all the time.
For many new and established VAs, working from home can also be a drain on their productivity, creativity and well-being. Working on your own can be lonely and boring, motivation and productivity can drop, and staring at the same view day in and day out, can be a little soul destroying for you and your creativity – regardless of whether you’re a new or established VA.
A dedicated workspace is a good starting point
I’m a big advocate on you having a dedicated workspace at home, as it helps you have a professional mindset, whilst also giving you somewhere practical, safe and secure to store your supplies etc (check out my recent blog post on ‘Interior design tips for a productive home office’). But, I also appreciate how important it is to look after your emotional and mental well-being too. When you’re working with clients, it’s essential that you’re in the best creative, productive and inspired state to do your best work – and sometimes, that means changing your workspace location altogether.
Change your viewpoint – and location
Your environment can impact on how you view things and the outcomes you achieve, as Melissa Chu illustrates in her article for Inc.com entitled ‘Why your environment is the biggest factor in changing your life’. Sometimes, when you’re working from home at your dedicated workspace, you’re seeing everything through the filter of your business mindset. This can be great for consistency, but it can be limiting for out of the box thinking or new ways of doing something. In order to change your viewpoint, you may need to physically change your location, in order to open yourself up to other ways of seeing things and other possibilities.
Changing hats can sometimes mean a change in location
As a work-from-home business owner, there’s so many different hats you have to wear, as you switch between the different tasks on your to-do list. I know some people who have to do their client work in their dedicated work space, but find it impossible to do anything related to their own business in that same location, as it just leads to procrastination and frustration. If you find yourself struggling to complete tasks relating to the different roles and tasks for your clients and your own business – try changing workspace location and moving to another area or room.
Sitting in a chair for long periods of time, isn’t always conducive to a healthy physical body. Not only does it slow your metabolism, it can also lead to issues with your posture and weight, as stated in this article on the NHS’s own website . New research now suggests that standing desks can be a good solution for small business owners, as they can improve your overall physical health (check out Intelligent Office’s article on whether a standing desk is right for you). So, why not look to benefit too, by occasionally working somewhere where you can stand up?
Emotional and mental well-being
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘A change is as good as a rest’ and that is appropriate for your workspace! It does you good to get up and change location, as it stimulates your senses and refreshes your outlook. It can also serve as a great pick-me-up when you’re tired of seeing the same four walls, or when you need a break from the background noise of your young children and children’s TV!
Boost your inspiration and creativity
Another important reason to change your workspace location is the impact it has on your inspiration and creativity. Having your desk set out a particular way, or in a certain space so as to not be distracted by the view out of the window, may help your productivity levels with certain tasks – but if you’re looking for fresh ideas or wanting to brainstorm passive income products for example, it can be difficult to come up with anything, when you’re not feeding your inspiration and creativity. You may find you work better on these more creative tasks, if you go outside and give yourself a change of scenery.
Workspace location ideas
When it comes to finding a different workspace location, the type of task you’re looking to complete can dictate what criteria you look for (such as the need for a good WiFi connection or a large table). However, you still have a great many options to choose from, including:
- Working from a different room in your home – such as the kitchen, dining room, conservatory or bedroom – and see how each area feels and works for you.
- Booking yourself a co-working space – as it’s paid for, you’re more likely to knuckle down and get on with the work!
- Hotel lobby – they usually have comfy chairs, plus you can reward yourself with a quick swim, if they have suitable facilities!
- Cafes – as long as you order at least a drink whilst you’re there.
- Go to the library, if you need quiet time.
- Take your laptop and go work in the park
- Work in your back garden – either sit at your patio table, on your back porch, or set up a workstation in the shed/summerhouse!
Having a functional workspace is essential, when you’re working from home, but it isn’t always the best solution for every work-related task. By switching out your workspace location occasionally, you’ll not only find what works best for you, you’ll also ensure you’re staying healthy, happy and productive – and able to bring the best you to your work and your clients.
Do you change workspace during your working day? If so, where have you found, that’s perfect for you? Maybe you haven’t yet tried switching out your home office for a different location – is it something you’re now going to try? Why not share your thoughts on workspace locations, in the comments box below!