Working from home comes with many benefits, but there are plenty of downsides to staying out of the office on a regular basis. Unfortunately, with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us don’t have a choice between working in the office or staying at home. Part of improving your work-from-home habits comes down to making a routine and sticking to the schedules you create. Another major part of improving this experience is upgrading your space, whether it’s with a new ergonomic desk and keyboard, a house plant, or a set of sound dampening war panels to improve your workspace acoustics.
Working from home doesn’t have to be a challenge. In many ways, improving your work from home experience comes down to reducing distractions. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the ways you can improve your routine and space when you’re working from home, so you’ll feel more comfortable in your workplace and work with greater efficiency.
Set a Start Time and an End Time
Working productively from home begins with setting up a daily routine that you’ll actually stick with. First, choose a set time that you’ll check into work each day, and build the rest of your mornings backward from this time. Consider everything you need to do before work on a normal day where you’re going into the office, and you’ll end up with a start-of-day routine that’s easy to work with and fits how you operate. Next, you’ll need to choose a set end time for your routine. Sticking to these set start and end times gets you into a rhythm when working from home, which can go a long way in improving your productivity.
Use Your “Commute” Time as Personal Time
Before the pandemic, you probably spent a considerable amount of time getting to and from work. In many ways, this commute time was probably a form of personal time, in which you could unwind and distance yourself from either work or home life, depending on which direction you were heading in. To reduce the stresses of working from home, you may want to consider reclaiming this time as personal time, for listening to music or audiobooks, as you might have while working in person.
A well-organized workspace is often a critical factor in improving your productivity and reducing stress while you’re working from your home office. Organizing your space comes down to so much more than setting your papers in order- it’s more about creating a dedicated space that you’ll use solely for work purposes. Hide cables and excess computer components to keep your desk space clutter-free, limit personal items, and invest in a solid filing cabinet or office storage solution if it feels like things are really getting out of hand. Check out this guide for creating an organized workspace for more information.
Add Greenery To Your Desk
Adding houseplants to your workspace comes with a range of health benefits, including a reduction in fatigue and anxiety. They can oxygenate your space, increasing concentration and focus while improving your area’s air quality. In addition, they simply make for an excellent decorative addition to your workspace. While this might seem like a small change, it’s often a surprisingly effective one for making remote work more manageable.
Invest in an Ergonomic Desk & Computer Terminal
Working from home usually means that you’re working from your computer for up to eight or nine hours at a time. For this reason, it’s critical that you improve the ergonomics of using your computer to reduce back and neck pain, minimize cramping in your hands and legs, and even improve your increase your productivity levels.
To begin with, the height of your computer monitor should be at your eye level; you should never be looking down at your computer. You may also want to upgrade your desk chair if you’re planning to work from home for the foreseeable future- it’s usually a worthy investment that keeps your back happy and healthy. And if you’re ready to get serious about improving your workplace ergonomics, you may even want to consider a standing desk or desk treadmill, so you can stay active and improve cardiovascular health with ease.
Schedule Time for a Walk
Taking the time to get some fresh air should be a dedicated part of your daily routine, as a part of one of your breaks, or immediately following the end of the workday. This is a straightforward, easy-to-implement change that will pay you back in terms of both health and productivity. The benefits include burning calories, strengthening your muscles and bones, reducing joint pain, and even lowering your risk of developing more severe health conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure.
Step Away from the Computer for Lunch
If you have a normal lunch break, don’t forget to capitalize on the opportunity to step away from your desk for a short while. For many people that work from home, it’s all too easy to either snack throughout the day, or forget to eat entirely rather than eating a regular lunch. Unfortunately, neither of these habits are particularly healthy, particularly when you’re already spending eight hours in a row sitting at your desk. If you have the time and space for a break, don’t forget to use it.
Reduce Acoustic Distractions
When you’re working from home, it might feel like there’s far more in your surroundings with the power to distract you from your work. Sound dampening tiles or acoustic felt can help you tune out the auditory distractions around you, such as noise from your neighbors, sounds from the nearby street, or the conversations your family members are having in the other room. These products are often an inexpensive yet effective way to upgrade your space to increase productivity.
Don’t Forget the Benefits of Working from Home
Working from home offers plenty of benefits- don’t forget to take advantage of these benefits in your new routines and habits. You have more time to yourself, more flexibility when setting up your day, and easier access to all the comforts of home.