Working from home is the new reality many of us during these uncertain times. While you may be feeling stressed and anxious about your new workspace, one of the best things you can do to keep your head in the game is to create a remote work setup you love. Let’s face it, sitting on your couch with the television on in the background isn’t going to cut it. But don’t worry, we have you covered!
All it takes to get into remote work mode is a little creativity and organization. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Assess Your Space
Take a few moments to look around your living space to determine the best space for your remote setup. Ideally, this is a location that’s away from heavy foot traffic and noise. A room where you can close a door is also preferable, even if that means you have to clean out the unused guest room you’ve been using as a storage space.
If this is not an option due to the limited amount of square footage in your home, get creative by setting up a room divider or make one yourself with a functional set of open-sided bookshelves and tall plants. The main goal is to prevent distractions so that you can stay focused and implement structure to your daily routine.
Embrace Natural Light
When considering where to set up your desk, aim for placement that allows you to get a little sun. Moderate rays are known to have mood-boosting benefits, which is exactly what you’re going to need when you’re spending so much time indoors in a new work environment.
Also with your eyes in mind, you’ll need an adequately lit lamp for when the sun goes down. Consider full-spectrum bulbs as they mimic natural daylight.
Invest in Remote Work Updates
This isn’t the time to pull in a dusty old kitchen chair, coffee table, or scuffed briefcase for your office setup. In order to maintain good posture and prevent neck and back strain, invest in a quality office chair and desk—ideally, something adjustable because you’re going to want to make sure your laptop or monitor is slightly below eye level to avoid eye strain.
Although you may not be going into a physical office, now is also a great time to think about updating your work bag or briefcase. Getting ready to go back out into the world with a new backpack or rolling bag will help you mentally prepare for life post-pandemic.
Make sure you have updated technology so you can continue to do your job professionally. Will your internet connection be able to take on the additional bandwidth of video conferences, email, large files that need to be downloaded, video streaming, and additional internet research use?
It’s also not a bad idea to invest in a network router than can help manage multiple devices within range of your working space. Other considerations if you don’t have them already include a quality webcam, a small set of speakers, and a microphone.
Add a Little Personality
Your remote office space doesn’t have to be all work and no play! Hang some of your favorite pictures or artwork, bring in a streaming device so you can listen to soothing music, keep a few knick-knacks on your desk that bring you happiness (a souvenir from a favorite trip perhaps?), frame a print of an inspirational phrase, bring in some flowers or plants, display any awards that make you proud—basically, anything that makes you happy, comforted, and perks up your space.
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t maintain a sense of normalcy. Start the day as you had an off-site job by eating a decent breakfast, showering up, and getting dressed in street clothes, not pajamas or sweats (we know, it’s hard!).
Take a solid lunch break, pick healthy foods you love, and avoid eating at your ‘work’ desk. Regular breaks break up the monotony of working without co-workers and recharge your brain at the same time. Schedule time for activities and hobbies throughout the week to keep you from sequestering yourself in your home office 24/7. Boundaries are key so you don’t become burnt out.
During these new and sometimes uncertain times we will be sharing some of our best tips for navigating work and travel situations. Check out our blog for more articles on how to stay safe and healthy!