Working From Home? Here Are 4 Tips to Improve Your Workspace

Two years have passed since the start of the Covid-19 virus and everyone has more or less gotten used to the changes they have made in their way of life. One of those changes was the shift to working from home — instead of having to be in the office all day, many employees now have the flexibility to work from the comfort of their own homes or virtually anywhere they choose.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, only about 10% of American workers reported being remote workers. However, since the global health crisis began, over 36.9% of American households have had at least one family member working from home due to the virus. This exponential increase has brought many changes in personal life and made it easier to achieve a healthy work-life balance.

Although it’s been a while since the remote work setup was normalized, some people are still finding it difficult to cope with the changes. After all, the transition from an office environment to having to do everything at home can feel challenging!

home office

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Are you one of millions of Americans or other people around the world working from home? If you’re looking for ideas on how to improve your workplace and avoid burnout, here are some tips for creating a remote work environment that’s more conducive to productivity and job satisfaction:

In the office, teams or departments have designated areas where they can work, collaborate, and exercise their brains. It can be difficult to do at home, especially as everything is done virtually and there is limited supervision.

For those with household responsibilities, it can feel almost impossible to find a job where they can get their work done—you’ll be working in different fields during the day, often on intermittent shifts.

As much as possible, try to have a single dedicated workspace when you work. This can help increase productivity as your mind is conditioned to be more productive in this work area and helps establish boundaries with the people in your home.

Working in different areas of your home can leave you prone to the temptations of multitasking, which can leave your mind feeling scattered. An exclusive workspace can help you focus better. So stop working from your bed or couch – treat your workspace and personal spaces differently!

Having ergonomic seating is also important when working from home. Poor posture can lead to stress and physical pain in your back, neck and shoulders! Why?

Some people tend to arch their backs while working, while others remain seated for long periods of time without a break. It’s important to get a seat that has your back (if you’ll excuse the pun).

However, sometimes this will not be enough. Be sure to stretch several times a day while you work to avoid recurring pain.

In addition to choosing the right seat and stretching a few times throughout the day, using a laptop stand can improve your posture and reduce back pain. This also helps improve your eyesight! Keeping your screen elevated can break the unconscious habit of craning your neck to look at your laptop.

So, for the sake of your back, work at a desk with a chair that supports you properly!

Pay attention to the small details

Among other things, you can improve your remote workspace by paying attention to small details. One of the most overlooked details in any workspace is lighting: dim or inadequate lighting can negatively affect your mood. This means that working in a room with insufficient lighting can make you irritable or tired; affect your productivity. Natural light is the best possible option for those working at home. Other alternatives are a desk lamp and a ceiling light.

(Pro tip: You can also invest in a ring light if you’re part of a meeting-heavy workplace. These lights will illuminate your face during online meetings and help you interact more confidently with your team!)

Setting up the home office

Photo credit: Pixabay

In addition to the lighting, the temperature also plays a role. This may feel like a no-brainer, but some people have limited productivity when their environment is too hot or too cold. Find a middle ground; Increase ventilation by opening doors and windows, or by purchasing a simple fan.

Any office will struggle when resources are lacking, and your home office is no exception. Have it tailored to meet all your needs, even if they may be frivolous. From tape dispensers and pen holders to paper and a printer, investing in things that help you work better can increase your productivity.

Cleanliness helps you focus

You don’t have to be a clutter freak to appreciate a clean office—in fact, research backs the fact that employees generally feel more productive and have higher employee satisfaction in clean workspaces. This is no different for people who work at home! Less physical clutter can certainly help reduce mental clutter.

You can keep your workplace clean by tidying up your cables. Cable management is an often overlooked aspect of a person’s remote workspace. Just a few cable ties or labeled boxes are enough!

It’s also good to have a regular cleaning schedule. Most households already do this, but in an area like your workplace it might require more attention, especially if you eat there or stay there for hours. Even small amounts of dirt and dust that accumulate every day can accumulate into LOTS if left untouched!

If scents help you focus, then you’ve got it! Invest in quality scented candles, room sprays, or even fragrance diffusers for your workplace. Whatever it takes to get into the zone, right?

Creating the best workplace doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Sometimes it’s about getting rid of both inner and outer distractions. If you cannot work from home, another alternative could be to visit coworking spaces in your area. But if your company was kind enough to give you an allowance for remote work purposes, then by all means maximize it.

Some of the changes you can make won’t cost you a dime, but even if there’s a cost involved, consider it an investment in your future success.

After all, it can sometimes feel impossible to focus on a remote work environment, but it’s not—connecting with your remote teammates and being productive is still perfectly possible despite all the advances in technology. Creating a productivity-enhancing remote work environment is a step in the right direction to successfully adapt to this new way of life.

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