7 Tips For Creating the Perfect 'At Home' Work Atmosphere

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The only time I ever went to the library in college was when one of my classes would meet there. In my seven semesters, I didn't study anywhere but my dorm or bedroom at my apartment. I occasionally did work at Starbucks on a Sunday during my first two years when I lived on campus but for the most part, I just work better at home. Even if you prefer to do work–whether it's studying, your blog, freelance assignments, or whatever business you need to tend to–outside of your place of residence, sometimes you just have to settle with your "at home" environment and as Tim Gunn famously says, #MakeItWork. 

Working at home can, admittedly, become a little distracting. It took me a while to figure out the perfect formula for an at home work atmosphere that made me feel motivated and productive and didn't just make me want to wander around my apartment or house aimlessly for something else to do to entertain me. While it's impossible to eliminate everything that could possibly become a distraction (I mean, at some point, you gotta be responsible and not succumb to your desires to do anything but your work), there are definitely quite a few easy fixes to create an atmosphere in the comfort of your own home that will ensure that you get your work done without having to walk or drive anywhere.

Tidy the Space You're Working In

When I do work at home, I tend to do it in my bedroom. The one exception I had was when I lived in my apartment was when I had a remote temporary internship and worked on my off-days from retail while my roommates were gone. I would work out in the kitchen because my bedroom was dark and a little cramped. Plus, I had the whole apartment to myself because I wasn't in school and my roommates were, which gave me zero distractions when their schedules would overlap. But, for the sake of giving a current example, if my room is dirty, I can't focus. I need things put back in their rightful places. If my garbage is overflowing, it has to go. If I know that my room is a mess, my life feels like a mess and then I also feel the need to clean it. This just becomes easier if you regularly clean your room. Vacuum or sweep it, wipe off the dust, and just try to keep your floor and surfaces empty of anything that wouldn't normally be there.

Put Away Your Clothes

This ties in with keeping the space you're working in tidy. This specifically relates to your bedroom because let's be real, where else are you throwing yesterday's outfit and the outfit from the day before and the three outfits you tried on and didn't like but didn't have time to put away so you just put everything in one pile on the floor that becomes undiscernable between clean or dirty? I know how it goes, I'm that way too. But if I know there are clothes in a pile of the corner of my room that aren't supposed to be there and could be folded back in their drawers or hung up in my closet, it starts to eat at me. While it's true that it would just be easier if I put them back as soon as I either took them off or decided I didn't want to wear them anymore, ignoring them forever isn't really an option either. Before you sit down to work for the day, check your room to see if there are any clothing pieces out of place. Put them back so they're out of sight and hopefully out of mind so you can focus more on the work at hand.

Make Your Bed

This post is making me sound like a neat freak. This is for two reasons. The first reason just relates back to reason one: clean room = happy you. It's really that simple. But also, I break Lauren Conrad's rule where she says the bed is just for sleeping and sex. I work in bed, I'll admit it. I know that's terrible and like, really bad for your sleep and is all around just not a good idea, but I do it! I'm doing it right now as I write this blog post because it's late at night and sometimes sitting in a desk chair hurts my butt and my back and I didn't want to deal with that tonight. I have to make my bed every morning, but if I skip it for some reason but I want to lounge and edit pictures or something, I have to make sure everything is tucked neatly back in and all of my throw pillows are in their places so I can fake being tidy and organized until I make it.

Make Use of Natural Lighting

Open those blinds, my people! I always feel so much more productive when I have natural light pouring into my room rather than just using the overhead lights or lamps in my room. My old bedroom at the apartment was essentially a cave because it was at the end of a long hallway and had no windows in it so I was constantly shrouded in darkness, even with wall sconces and a tall lamp. But in my bedroom at home, I have two big windows and as soon as I'm up for the day, you can bet my blinds are drawn and remain open until the sun sets. Sunshine is good for us! I mean, I know it's even better if it's actually touching your skin (with the proper SPF, of course), but even just having it shine through your window to make your room brighter works too.

Get Out of Your Pajamas

I get it. You want to be comfortable at home. But you can still be comfortable without remaining in the same pajamas you slept in (if you're me, they're probably the same pajamas from the past two or three nights)! If I'm trying to get a lot of work done from home, I tend to change into my tried and true outfit: a pair of fleece lined leggings and an oversized sweater. That way I'm still comfortable and warm but I'm changing out of the clothes I slept in. Changing and doing your morning skincare routine will give you a sense of getting up and ready for the day, even if you're just staying at home to get some shit done. You're just tricking your brain into being productive which is how I like to get work done. Gotta outsmart the brain, which I realize sounds incredibly stupid but did I mention that I'm writing this late at night?

 Clear Off Your Desk

Francesca, how much do you want us to effing clean? A LOT. I'm kidding, but actually, think about it. A clean workspace has fewer distractions and gives you more room to spread out whatever you need to get your work done. I also just really believe that the less random projects you have to do around your house, the more likely you are to actually work on what you need to work on instead of procrastinating. And you know you're really procrastinating when you reorganized your underwear drawer just because you don't like that they're all not perfectly folded. Moral of the story: keep everything clean, including your workspace.

Get Tea/Water/Coffee/Your Drink of Choice

Make yourself at home! Kick back with your drink of choice and get to work!!! I always make sure I have a tumbler cup full of ice water for those moments where I'm super thirsty. I tend to have a cup of tea too, just for something sweet, especially if I've already had my coffee for the day.

Do you prefer to work at home or at a library or coffee shop?


  1. I love that my "job" requires me to be in the kitchen! So I've made my perfect little "standing desk-esque" perch on a portion of my counter for my laptop, papers, etc.

    1. That's perfect! More proof that you can turn any part of the house into a workspace if you just reorganize a little bit :)


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