VA TIPS - Four reasons why it’s important to have a designated workspace when you work from home
Posted on 14th March 2021 at 19:30
Four reasons why it’s important to have a designated workspace when you work from home.
Written by Sarah Damani
Ok, so working in your pyjamas can be great! But, I run a home based Virtual Assistant business and working from home permanently could mean that I never get dressed…
Having a dedicated office space makes me get dressed at the very least! But, beyond that, there are so many reasons why it’s important to have a designated workspace when you’re working from home.
Over the past few months, I’ve been project managing the renovation of my new home office space. Which is affectionately known as ‘The Barn’.
The Barn used to be a rather large, underutilised and a bit dilapidated shed. The renovations were completed in January 2021 and as my incredible Virtual Assistant team and I have (safely and at a distance) been getting settled in to our new work space, I’ve been reflecting on why this home office space is so important to me....
1. Control and reduce distractions
I’ll just finish watching this programme, I’ll just stick the washing on...
“Mum! Can I have a snack?”I’ll just load the dishwasher while I’m in here.
“Mum! There’s no loo roll!” There’s wet towels on the floor, I’ll just hang those….. Need I say more?
When you work from home the boundaries are blurred. It’s a blessing and a curse. Having a space dedicated solely to work, even if just a desk, helps you puts a mental block on those things. It helps you control and reduce distractions and keeps you in a focused work zone.
When I’m in this space I’m working.
2. Keeping the little people in check
When I’m in my office space, my kids know WHY I’m there - that I’m running my Virtual Assistant business. Communication is just as important as boundaries and they know that they can still come to ask me for a snack and tell me their orange isn’t orange enough 30 million times…
But, they also know that I won’t be providing entertainment. It’s a workspace and they are welcome to go there for some quiet time to focus on their schoolwork if they choose.
By having my dedicated workspace, I’m laying down the boundaries in a way that doesn’t alienate. It’s actually pretty cool to think that my boys are being exposed to my strong entrepreneurial spirit in their day to day lives. I hope that in having a home office, it’s giving them visibility of life running a business and helping to instil a strong work ethic in them.
3. Striking balance and happy boundaries
As I mentioned before, my home office space helps me (and my family) define the boundaries more and ultimately help us all enjoy a better balance.
When I used to have my laptop on the sofa or at the dining room table, I would get distracted. Who wouldn’t? I’d sometimes get annoyed at interruptions which ultimately aren’t fair on anyone! I work hard to protect the integrity of my time. If I’m working, my clients and my business have my full focus. If I’m not working, as a family we play, laugh and enjoy quality time together!
My new home office helps enforce these boundaries in a really tangible and obvious way.
4. Being at comfort and ease
Now, as I mentioned the sofa, let's get into comfort. My couch is lovely and cosy for lounging or watching TV. But… sitting on a laptop all day typing? A recipe for sore wrists and an achy back. Not good.
My office space has been designed for work and comfort - in equal measures. I have a real chair, a proper desk that’s the right height and… I have this lovely lamp that makes me unreasonably happy.
Alright Sarah, this is all great! I’m happy for you BUT where on earth am I going to put MY dreamy home office?
At Alchemy VA we’re all about simplicity and doing what works for you. You may not have the space, will or indeed inclination to go into full on ‘grand designs’ mode with your home office. You don’t have to! So many people create beautiful functional workspaces in their spare rooms, garages or even the attic! I’ve also seen some stunning work ‘nooks’ tucked into underutilised corners of rooms.
If you’re not feeling building works or you’re already happy with your home working set up, here are some of my top tips to help you get and stay in the zone...
Virtual Assistant Tip 1
Make sure you have dealt with the things you have to deal with before you sit down to work. If your space is in a shared room, you’ll have to be very self-disciplined and some proper preparation can help with this.
Virtual Assistant Tip 2
Wherever you work, make sure it’s always your sole workspace. This way everyone is clear. Keep your space functional and inspiring to you but not interesting to others. I mean, my biggest working from home fail was letting my boys play Roblox at my desk! If you know, you know.
Virtual Assistant Tip 3
I’m all about finding the joy in ‘simple’ pleasures. Let’s be honest, one of the beautiful things about working from home is having the freedom to create your dream work environment. I mean, who actually likes florescent lights and cracked, sticky desks? Yuck! Bring some joy into your homeworking space is my last tip. A plant, a quirky pen pot, a beautiful lamp, a few motivational quotes…
Whatever works and inspires you.
Curate your space with at least one thing that you love! My ‘one thing’ is this bespoke, handmade Alchemy sign from Pond View Creations - isn’t it stunning!
Get in touch with Sarah Damani to learn more about what makes her team's Virtual Assistant services for entrepreneurs and small enterprising businesses so impactful.
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