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Transforming A Home Office Into A Shared Working Space: The Guide

Transforming A Home Office Into A Shared Working Space: The Guide

With the digital revolution, we have seen millions of people utilizing the internet to make a profit. If you are one of these lucky people, you would probably agree that setting up a home office is the way to go.

A dedicated space enables you to concentrate solely on the job, which increases your productivity. As time passes by and you’re doing work hard in your home, advancing your business further, you realize that the workload grows steadily. Gradually, it becomes too much to handle, and you have to call in someone to help.

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    With more people on a common goal, your best option is to expand your office to a shared working space. It is very gratifying to have all your employees in one place. You become a team, consulting and helping each other with every problem and having a few laughs along the way.

    The productivity goes up, and the communication gets better, and your team bonds and grows. This situation is much more preferable than collaborating through online platforms. It brings the office atmosphere to your home, but it requires some structural changes.

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    So, how do you do this? How will you effectively execute the transformation of this space? Here are some of the things that you should incorporate into your home to transform your home office into a fully functional shared working space.

    Working stations

    Since home offices are not too big in most cases, you will have to use the space efficiently. The foundation of the whole room is the workstation – a desk, a chair, and a computer.  More people will be working there, and you will need multiple stations, so opt for smaller desks. Small offices are easy to move and reorganize, and will also prevent you from piling up useless clutter because you won’t have the extra surface for it.

    shared working space

      Switch from a desktop PC to a laptop or all-in-one, because they require less space and cables. Comfy, ergonomic chairs are a must, but this you probably know. If you are short on socket plugs, just get a multi-socket extension cord. When positioning the workstation, it would be advisable that all of the workers face away from each other. Constantly having a person in your line of sight might distract you from the tasks and spark unnecessary blabber. Remember, productivity is the primary goal here.

      Chill out zone

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        To keep your sanity and health, occasional breaks are necessary and building a nice chill out zone is of great importance. The king of the modern day resting furniture is the sofa. Depending on the size of the room you can go with anything from a love seat to a corner sofa, you can’t go wrong with either of these. Lazy-bags are ideal for a moderate-sized space since they can be moved around quickly, and they provide comfortable resting ground.

        Another must-have is a side table for beverages because it is tiny, light, easy to put away, and you can even make one yourself. Throw in a ping-pong table to shake up your body after long hours of sitting. It takes minutes to set it up, and it is foldable and easily disposed of when you don’t need it anymore.

        Restroom

        You might wonder, why on Earth would I suggest this idea? Well, a bathroom is the most private area of a home, and it should remain exclusive to you and your family. Remember, a business space should have a professional feeling and has to stay separate from your personal living space. In addition, your co-workers don’t have to worry about bumping into your family members every time nature calls. To achieve this, you need to create a restroom. Nothing too fancy is required, a toilet and a bathroom sink. If you’re not good with pipes and drains, get a professional plumber to help you.

        office shared work space

          Besides installing some water pipes, separation walls will also be required, and building them is easier than you think. Let’s get down to the elements, and the first one is a quality toilet. Never skimp on a bathroom. A small sink with a quality faucet is necessary here, for the sake of general hygiene. Always keep a set of paper towels there, and a small bin.

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          Kitchen

          Unlike the restroom, the kitchen doesn’t need to be physically separated from the rest of the office. Let’s make it clear, when I say kitchen I mean focusing on the elementary things, the first one being the sink.  Since you already installed water pipes for the restroom, connect the sink & the faucet to them as well. People tend to wash hands in the kitchen often, so a quality sink & faucet is advisable.

          shared working space - kitchen

            The space under the sink is perfect for a trash bin. Second, you need a small counter or some active surface for food and drink preparation. For example, a folding table would be perfect because it is easy to put away once you’re done with it. Lastly, if you want a bit more luxury throw in a mini fridge in there, and if you are a coffee fan, place a nice coffee machine on top of the fridge. Of course, the latter two are not necessary, and if you’re short on room, it might be best to skip on these. Same goes with the water machine.

            What’s better than being your own boss?

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              It’s working in your place of course. As I’m sure you know, running a business can be tough, and it is truly a blessing to be able to do it from home. An office space is not to be taken likely, it can make you or break you, so be sure to optimize it according to yours and your coworkers’ needs.

              A good working environment will raise the team’s spirits and result in a pleasant atmosphere which will turn the business into pleasure and contentment. There are not many things in life better than that, and success usually follows.

              Do you have a home office? Do you plan to expand to shared working space? If you’ve considered creating it, now is a perfect time.

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              Dejan Kvrgic

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              Last Updated on April 19, 2021

              The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

              The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

              Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

              The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

              Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

              In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

              When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

              Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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              1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

              When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

              As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

              That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

              The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

              What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

              Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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              There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

              So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

              2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

              When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

              No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

              3. Move Your Body

              A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

              It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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              So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

              4. Connect With Another Person

              Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

              One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

              Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

              5. Use Your Imagination

              When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

              That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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              And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

              Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

              Final Thoughts

              Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

              Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

              More on the Importance of Taking a Break

              Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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