How to Optimize Your WFH Workspace for Better Productivity?
While working from home is a dream-come-true for some people, others may find replacing their office with an at-home desk and a virtual workspace difficult to adjust to at first. If you belong to the latter category, changing your work environment may have a negative effect on your productivity levels until you get used to working remotely.
That being said, everyone can benefit from a designated and well-organized WFH workspace. Taking the time and making the effort to optimize it to meet your needs will go a long way in boosting your efficiency and balancing your work and personal life.
Below are 7 lifehacks any remote employee can use to make working from home a great experience.
Get the Equipment and Tools You Need for Remote Work
Make sure your at-home office is equipped with everything you need for work – this includes both hardware and software. Your company may be willing to provide you with some essentials like a company laptop and subscriptions to the digital tools you are going to use, however, the rest of your home office equipment may be up to you.
Once you’ve got your pc and desk, it would be a good idea to invest in a quality office chair. After all, you are going to spend most of your time sitting in front of a screen, so make sure it is comfortable and allows for maintaining good posture. Next, you should also invest in some quality headphones with a mic if you attend online meetings often.
When it comes to apps, you are probably already familiar with some of them more than others, and your company is likely to provide you with everything you need in this sense. Of course, if there are certain tools that help your productivity and you are used to working with, such as a virtual workspace app, there is no reason why you shouldn’t ask your company for a subscription, or get one yourself.
Keep Your Desktop Clean
A cluttered workspace will do you no favors whatsoever, especially in terms of productivity. Working in a disorganized environment can seriously hinder your efforts to maintain focus and keep your efficiency levels up. After all, the number one reason why people find remote work challenging at times is the sheer number of distractions they are surrounded by.
In order to minimize potential distractions, make sure to declutter your workspace and keep only the things you need for work on the desk. If there is still a lot of paperwork, do your best to organize it, instead of needing to shuffle through it every time you are looking for something. Sticky notes can be very helpful for keeping track of what’s where if there is too much to remember.
The same goes for your PC desktop. Try to keep it as neat and distraction-free as possible. Some people even go as far as creating a separate work account on their computer, where they can focus solely on work.
Set Your Workspace Somewhere With a Nice View
Working in a cramped space with little to no natural light can negatively affect your productivity levels. Of course, an ideal at-home office is not a realistic option for everyone, however, you should certainly try to make your workspace a pleasant one. After all, you are going to spend a considerable amount of time there every day.
Having access to a window with a nice view (over a green area, preferably) will both give you some natural lighting and fresh air, as well as something pleasant to look at when taking a break from the screen. Prolonged screen time can be quite strenuous for your eyes, and the natural green color has a soothing effect to counter this.
You have probably heard about the 20-20-20 rule for people who work in front of a screen. In essence, it comes down to looking away from the display every 20 minutes and focusing on an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Natural lighting, fresh air, and the option to rest your eyes from time to time will all help you stay productive when working from home. This should be reason enough to consider placing your work desk next to a window, even if it requires moving some furniture around.
Introduce Some Greenery into Your Workspace
Staring at a computer screen hour after hour can get dull and put considerable strain on your eyes. While you don’t want to increase the number of distracting elements around you, bringing a plant or two into your WFH office can be beneficial both for your health and productivity.
Green plants brighten and add some freshness to any room they are placed in. If you can’t set up your office somewhere with a view, the next best thing you can do is bring some nature in. Apart from having your workspace look more soothing, a plant will also provide you with some greenery to look at when you want to take your eyes off the screen and have a positive effect on your productivity.
When it comes to choosing the type of plant, it’s all up to you. Depending on how much spare room you have and your personal taste, you can go for anything from a small cactus to a zebra plant.
Invest in (or Improvise) a Stand-Up Desk
Sitting in a chair for several hours every day doesn’t work for everyone. If you are one of those people who are used to being on the move and spending time on their feet, remote work may take some getting used to. However, you can make this transition easier for yourself by having a stand-up desk where you can place your laptop and continue working when you feel the need to get out of the chair before your work is done.
Even if you are comfortable with spending most of your working hours seated, a stand-up desk can still be a useful addition to your WFH workspace. Hunching over a desk can cause back and neck strain, as well as poor posture, so it’s good to have the option to stand up and stretch your legs from time to time, without having to take a break. It will also allow you to change your surroundings a bit, which can help your creative thinking when you feel like you’ve hit a brick wall.
Create a Planner
Keeping up with your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks can be troublesome from time to time, and while there are many digital tools that have a planner feature, sometimes simpler can be better. This is not to say that you shouldn’t use your digital calendar, but consider making a physical planner that you can keep on your desk or hang on the wall. This way, you will have a clear overview of your assignments at a glance.
You can use sticky notes or a piece of paper to keep track of your daily tasks and might want to opt for a calendar or a whiteboard planner for your weekly or monthly schedule.
Not only will this help you keep up with your work assignments, but it will also help you stay organized and motivated. Making a schedule and trying to stick to it is a great way to stay on track with your responsibilities and avoid procrastination, and checking off finished tasks can be both satisfying and motivating.
Separate Your Workspace From the Rest of Your Home
Repurposing an entire room into a WFH office may not be an option for everyone. While it would definitely be the most convenient solution, if you don’t have the spare space, you will need to improvise. However, when choosing the part of your home that’s going to serve as your workspace, you should keep in mind that being able to shut-out everything else in your house or flat is a priority.
Having a separate, distraction-free space you will use for work only is going to boost your productivity in two ways. Obviously, you want to be able to concentrate on your work without any noise or people passing through, since once your concentration is broken, it will take some time to get back on track.
The other reason why you want to divide your office from your home is that it will help you separate your work from personal life, which can be hard enough when you work and live in the same place. Being able to “leave” your workspace like you would an office will go a long way in keeping your work out of sight and out of mind, allowing you to truly rest at the end of the day, and prepare for tomorrow.
Your workspace is probably the most important factor that’s going to determine how productive you will be when working remotely. While these tips can help you get started, you will likely need to try out several different setups and find what works best for you. It may not always be simple and may take some time, but once you get it right, you will notice the results immediately.
The bottom line is that taking the time to optimize your workspace for productivity is well worth it, considering how much time and effort you can save by working in an environment that positively affects your efficiency. Give some of our tips a try and start reaping the benefits of remote work!
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