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Upgrade Your Home Office and Write Better Python Code

Is working from home affecting the quality of your Python code? These suggestions will help you code better from your home office!

During the pandemic, most of us experienced working from home. Some of us enjoyed it; whereas others suffered from lack of motivation and developed procrastination into an art form. The home office has its pros and cons, for the company as well as for the employee. Setting up a productive home office requires space, equipment and an attitude that will push us toward reaching goals when our motivation is dropping.

Now we are slowly moving back to offices. But some jobs (including programming and other IT roles) don’t need to be performed in the office building. Writing Python code on your living room couch might seem like a perfect solution, but few people can be productive this way. If you work from home all or part of the time, how can  you set up your work area for maximum Python productivity?

Upgrade Your Home Office for Better Coding

Whether you decide to work as a full-time developer or you want to become a Python freelancer, there is a high chance you will work from home. So, how can you create a friendly space and keep the working routine under control?

1. Set Office Rules

Working from home can be challenging, thanks to the hundreds of distractions at your fingertips. Office distractions are mainly colleagues who interrupt your work; at home, it can be anything. Dog or cat, partner, kids, laundry, a dishwasher to be emptied, a book you need to find right now – the list is endless.

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Prepare yourself for those situations. Write down your office rules and try to follow them. If you’re not living alone, talk to your family or roommates and explain your working hours and what you need from them to stay focused.

2. Consider Ergonomics

Most of us spend almost the whole working day in front of the computer. If you have a career as a Python developer, you automatically agree to work long hours at a screen. You can get a taste of this work style while learning Python. This kind of preview will immediately show you how important it is to prepare your workstation.

If you want to keep your spine in good condition, take care of the ergonomics of your workplace. First of all, choose the right chair. It needs to be height adjustable and have a head support. Set the screen at the appropriate eye level. If you're using a laptop, get a larger monitor. Your feet should be resting on the ground and your forearms should be bent at a right angle. Get the right accessories – e.g. if you scroll a lot, give yourself the gift of a mouse pad with wrist support.

3. Take Care of Your Eyes

Arrange for good desk lighting, especially during dark winters. Protect your eyes and put screen filters on your PC. If you wear glasses, it is good to invest in ones with anti-reflective coating. When working long hours, take short breaks and look away from the screen to rest your eyes.

4. Keep It Clean

Imagine that it is your fifth hour working on Python code. Your desk is filled with cups, notes, and documents. In short, it’s a mess. Suddenly, you knock your cup and the coffee spills on the laptop keyboard – resulting in a hardware malfunction.

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Everyone has a desk style. You may like to keep it in artistic chaos like I used to. But when I started to build my home office, I figured out that keeping everything in order helps me concentrate. And if you don’t have a separate room for your office, a tidy work area will look better in your home. Try not to leave documents, empty dishes, or dirty tissues on your desk – and be careful with full cups.

5. Get Fresh Air into the Room (and Your Brain!)

More oxygen means better concentration and more efficient work. Open the window to let in some fresh air. If it is too loud outside or too cold, invest in an air filter and a humidifier. You will see that it really improves your environment.

There are a lot of things that can help you write better Python code, including non-technical tips. During warm days, you can take advantage of good weather and take your laptop for a walk. Why not write Python code in a park, on a city bench, or on the grass under a tree. Even if you really like your home office, sometimes it is worth going out for a while. Changing the environment and seeing some people can stimulate your mind.

6. Take Breaks and Exercise

Your deadline is approaching. Hour after hour, you work without a break. This usually doesn’t go well. To write good code in Python or any other language, it is important to stay focused. If you are not taking breaks, your brain is getting tired. It’s too easy to make mistakes your overworked brain will not be able to catch. 

That is why it is so important to take breaks. Plan short breaks throughout your day. Set an alarm in case you forget. While working at a computer, it is healthy to take at least a five-minute pause each hour. If 5 or 10 minutes per hour is too often for you, schedule your breaks to a rhythm consistent with your work tasks.

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During such breaks, add a bit of exercise. You can do squats or stretches or a bit of yoga. If you can, go for a short walk in the neighborhood or have lunch outside. Try to make exercising part of your daily routine.

Taking a break can also mean changing the type of work you are doing. For example, if you’ve been focusing on writing Python code for a while, try listening to work-related podcasts about programming. You will learn and rest at the same time.

Better Home Office = Better Python Code

The great advantage of working from home is that you can arrange your office the way you like. While you’re learning or working with Python, you may meet some obstacles. Getting to know what to avoid is one thing. Upgrading your home office also can help. You can have your own little rituals and habits without fear of criticism. So think of anything that can improve your work and will make your day nice and productive.

You can put up some photos, posters, or paintings to make your work space more inspiring. Indoor plants not only help you relax and focus, but some species are said to help purify the air.

Music can help some people focus, as well; try playing your favorite songs in the background and see if that gives you an extra kick of energy. There are also a lot of streaming playlists to help you concentrate or to find inspiration. If you get easily distracted by any little sound, you can use your headphones to block out your surroundings. Neutral or so-called white noise – such as the sound of sea waves or rainfall – can also help you de-stress and concentrate.

Working from home can be efficient and satisfying. Following the rules of a healthy home office will help you achieve your goals. If you have some experience working from home, please share your ideas on how to create a friendly space!