Why A Dedicated Workspace is a MUST for Remote Workers

My fiancé and I both travel a lot for work and I am pretty sure it is an almost reflex reaction that the first night back in your own bed you have to say firstly how comfy it is, and secondly how pleased you are to be back. Given how comfy these spots are why wouldn’t you just work from there all the time? Why is a dedicated workspace a must for remote workers?

I am a firm believer and advocate that if you are going to be a remote worker full time (or at least 50% of the time) then a dedicated workspace is a must.

Why? Well firstly, it gives you a clear mental separation between “work” time and “play” time. We humans are creatures of habits and anchors, surprisingly in a lot of ways we are little more than Pavlovian dogs salivating at the sound of a bell. When trying to beat any habitual problem such as procrastination or addiction, you are encouraged to figure out what the trigger is that starts you on the path to the behaviour you want to change.

This is the same for work as well. If you mix your workspace and your non-work space then the line between them can easily blur leading to problems in both directions. Firstly, it can become hard to focus on work and not just watch the TV for example. Similarly, it can become hard to switch off and relax in an evening with your loved ones when you are used to working in the same space. By having a dedicated workspace the simple act of walking into it can help trigger your brain into productive mode, and walking out of it can trigger your brain into relaxation mode.

It can also help give you space from your loved ones when needed. I used to work on a number of projects in the US which meant for me calls in the evening. I also often work in the evening thanks to a flexible schedule. Being able to retreat to an office to work meant I could take the calls, have the discussion, and work away without inconveniencing my loved ones or having any background noise from them whilst I was on the phone.

I personally also enjoy the fact I’ve been able to setup a space that is mine and built for how I want to work. In my office I have some posters on the wall in front of me, a nice widescreen monitor, a big whiteboard, and a standing desk. It’s _my_ office. It helps me get my head down and get on with things. I can put what I want up to inspire me or just for me to enjoy looking at (or in the case of the signed football shirt on one wall, both).

So whilst the sofa or the bed may be more comfy for chilling out on, think again before working there too frequently and treat yourself to a dedicated space instead. If you cannot get it at home, then have a look for a good co-working space or office nearby, you won’t regret it.

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