9 Tips to Remain Productive While Working Remotely
The way you set up your desk can be both detrimental and beneficial to your productivity. The adjustments you can make to your desk setup are usually easy and inexpensive, while they have a significant impact on the quality of your work. Here are 7 tips on how to set up your desk, in order to maximize productivity.
1. Find a Quality Desk
Modular desks are more expensive than regular ones, but they are well worth it. When working an office job, you will be spending quite a lot of time at your desk, making it some of your most important equipment, almost as important as a good PC.
Modular desks will allow you to adjust the height and provide you with additional components that will make your work easier. Choosing the right desk depends on your planned setup – the monitors, size of the computer, and the accessories.
The height of your chair and desk should be set up so that you type with your wrist flat, or angled downward. You will spend a lot of time typing, and if you type with your wrists facing upward, it causes strain and can be the source of long-term health problems. The monitor should not be placed too close to your face to avoid eye problems. It should also be angled so that you avoid glare.
Before buying a desk, make sure that it has enough space to fit all of your equipment, and, of course, that it fits your office. While modular desks have removable parts and are easier to fit, having to hire a carpenter to modify your desk is an unnecessary hassle that you can avoid with simple measuring.
2. Go For a Standing Desk
A desk that allows you to work both sitting and standing is an excellent way to boost your performance. Spending eight hours, or more, in a sitting position is not only bad for your health, but it is also detrimental to your productivity.
When standing, you get your blood flowing and it helps with concentration. If you are feeling tired or sleepy, sitting will only make it worse. Standing up and remaining in that position for some time will give you a boost of energy.
Switching between sitting and standing every 30 minutes or so will help you concentrate and preserve your health. The modern office era comes with its own set of work-related health hazards; while they may not be as dangerous as some previous ones, why not alleviate any potential negative health effects you may experience, while maximizing your productivity?
3. Accessorize Your Desk
It is often best to keep your desk design simple, with just enough decorations and accessories to keep you relaxed and motivated. Think about what can help keep you motivated – is it pictures of your family, something symbolizing a previous holiday, or a hobby you partake in?
If images of your friends and family help you stay focused and give a goal to work towards, a couple of pictures of them will not take up a lot of room and may help you be more productive. A luau miniature or babushka doll can lighten up your office, be it at home, or at work.
Whether you are partial to a specific sport or like to play games, adding something that you associate with the hobby can help you feel relaxed. A basketball-inspired pen or a Star Trek figurine could do the job.
You could even put up a poster on the wall, just try not to make it too eye-catching; the goal is not for it to be a distraction, but to motivate you. Do not forget that you are still in a professional setting, even if you are working from home.
The accessories should not be explicit or overly indicative. You may associate certain meanings with them, but try to keep it subtle. Take the same approach whether you are working from home or from the company office. Consider what your colleagues and superiors would think if they entered it and saw the decorations.
In a company office, someone will enter it, while when working from home you will receive video calls. Keep the decorations friendly and appropriate for a professional setting. Maybe the decorations will reveal that you share an interest with a coworker, and you could form a bond over it.
4. Keep the Distractions to a Minimum
You should do your best to set up your desk so that it offers no distractions. If it’s positioned so that you are constantly looking at a window that grabs your attention, or if the accessories are aggressive and distracting, you will lose focus and decrease your production.
As was mentioned, decorations that motivate and relax you are a positive influence, as long as you don’t overdo it. People work best in clean and organized environments. If your desk is overcrowded with items, it will subconsciously affect your state of mind, making you less productive in turn.
Even if you have the right number of accessories, eye-grabbing ones will still distract you. Shiny items should generally be avoided. Imagine a rotating disco-ball right in front of you. If you do manage to ignore it, you have still spent mental effort trying not to look at it – effort that you could have put into your work.
Additionally, it is hard to find the items you need when the desk is cluttered, and you will eventually break something. Having too many items on your desk gives off the impression of an unorganized person, which can be detrimental in a professional setting.
5. Pick a Suitable Chair
A comfortable, ergonomic chair that improves your posture is of the utmost importance for your office. Uncomfortable chairs will make you adjust and readjust every so often, breaking your concentration in the process.
During long workdays, they can also cause you back pain, and may even be the reason behind the chronic back discomfort you are experiencing. Nobody likes to work while uncomfortable, and bad chairs are detrimental to your productivity.
You should get a chair where you can adjust the height and that you feel comfortable in. Be careful not to get a chair that makes you lounge – this is bad for your posture, and can make you sleepy.
A good chair helps you sit properly while making you comfortable. Spend that little extra time and money to get the proper chair. You will be surprised at how much it affects your productivity.
6. Adjust the Lightning
The quality of lighting in your office is very important – it can affect your mood and, in turn, have an effect on your productivity. You should avoid overly harsh or dim lights, and strive for a balanced setup.
Natural light is ideal, but depending on the location and layout of your office it may be a luxury. You have probably experienced that natural light improves your mood and reduces stress. You will be spending a lot of time in your office, so try to get as much light as you can. Avoid curtains made of thick materials that block the light.
While you can make only small adjustments to the amount of natural light you get, you can affect the way your desk is positioned. The monitor should not be directly facing the source of the light, to avoid glare. This will make your eyes strain and reduce your concentration.
Similarly, if you get direct sunlight in the office, you should not be sitting so that it hits your eyes directly. Place your desk in a part of the room that is well lit, but at such an angle that the light is not directly hitting you.
When it comes to artificial light, you should try to get the bulbs that mimic natural light. They are not very expensive and will quickly pay off. The light sources should be placed in much the same way as you did with natural light – avoid glare from the monitor and the light directly hitting your eyes.
Adjusting the light sources may seem like a simple thing that most people don’t think about, unless it directly causes discomfort. Experiment a little to find what suits you, and you may be surprised at how such a simple thing affects your productivity.
7. Choose the Right Color Scheme
The colors you are surrounded with have an effect on your mental state. Some are conducive for productivity, while others are detrimental. It may not be possible to paint the walls or change the entire design of your office, but you can influence the color scheme of your desk setup.
Your desk should contain multiple colors, but not so much that it is distracting. Try to make a soothing color, such as blue or green, the primary one you design around. Don’t make it bland, as it may lower your energy levels.
Put a few red items on your desk – red is energizing and stimulating, but too much of it can make you feel anxious. If you already have too many colors on your desktop, add some black or grey – they are neutral, and can help balance out your environment.
Experiment a bit until you find a color scheme that energizes and de-stresses you. These simple fixes will maximize your productivity, and you will be more comfortable in your surroundings.
Most of the adjustments you can make to your desk setup are simple, yet beneficial. All it takes is a bit of planning and effort. Tinker around until you find what works best for you. You will be amazed at how such small changes allow you to maximize your output, while preserving your health.
Interview with Elena Dimoska- Co-founder & CEO @ Ignite Global Media
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