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Remote work is a huge step forward for businesses and individuals. Workers gain more free time, spend less on car repairs and cut their contributions to global greenhouse emissions, a major driver of climate change. Telework is a win, but your workspace might need some updating.
How can you improve your productivity further while boosting your happiness on the clock? Simple changes can make a considerable difference in hitting your work-from-home performance goals. Here are six easy ways to revitalize your remote workspace.
Remote work means you no longer have to tolerate harsh, fluorescent overheads, but adequate lighting is crucial to productivity. It also prevents headaches from excess eyestrain.
Natural light is best, so remove heavy curtains or invest in ties. Unless you regularly meet clients at home, consider turning your desk to face this light source. You’ll see more clearly and reduce stress with a pleasant view. Studies show even gazing at nature scenes reduces tension and boosts productivity.
Desk lamps and track lighting direct illumination where you need it most. Opt for LED bulbs closer to the blue end of the light spectrum but skip overly bright ones that create excess glare.
2. Climate Control
You may have left the office thermostat wars behind, but working in a garage, basement or attic can result in climate control issues all the same. Thanks to the dampness, you could freeze all year in some locations or alternate between sweating and shivering.
The solution is to add climate control. Begin by calculating the BTU requirements by multiplying the length times the width of your space in feet. Divide this figure by 200 and multiply it by 6,000 if the room has good insulation and 9,000 with poor.
If your space lacks insulation, add some. This rule applies if your remote workspace is above your garage — insulating the space beneath will keep your toes from freezing. Then, select the appropriate heating/cooling device to keep yourself comfortable if insulation alone doesn’t do the trick.
Kick one-size-fits-all office chairs to the curb. They rarely work for all bodies. Instead, get mindful. What seating makes you most comfortable and productive? It might be a well-fit, overstuffed office chair that fits your body’s proportions and offers superior lumbar support.
Other people prefer variable-height desks that transition from sitting to standing. Health studies from Japan show these reduce the health risks of remaining sedentary while boosting productivity.
If your back and neck ache by day’s end because of poor posture, only you can fix it. Ensure your setup doesn’t leave you in pain.
How much time do you waste in an average day searching for important documents, the right file or URL, or needed office supplies? If your remote workspace looks like the aftermath of a hurricane, you could easily lose an hour or more of productive time because of poor organization. Get on top of it by doing the following:
- Investing in a filing system
- Organizing your computer files and icons
- Adding a lazy Susan or handy shelves to hold frequently used supplies
- Cleaning your desk drawers
Doing these chores might take you a day — but you’ll earn those eight hours back with increased productivity in no time. Remember the little things when restocking your supplies. For example, a small cleaning kit with a mini USB vacuum and some absorbent towels keep you from running to the kitchen whenever you eat at your desk and spill something.
It’s sometimes adorable when your 2-year-old makes a surprise cameo on your webcam, but your boss will probably object if it happens too often. What can you do if you don’t have a remote workspace with a separate door you can close? Here are some steps to improve your privacy — doing so could be a requirement of your profession.
- Erect a physical barrier: A room divider can be invaluable for separating work and family while protecting privacy, especially if you are a single parent living in a studio apartment.
- Create a do-not-disturb signal: Kids too young to read can understand that when the “thinking cap” hangs on the divider, they should only interrupt in emergencies.
- Invest in quality noise-canceling headphones: You should be able to connect to meetings even if your landscapers fire up the leaf blowers.
One downside of remote work is that skipping break time becomes easier. After all, you’re already at home. What’s wrong with starting a load of wash in between assignments?
Your brain needs the rest to keep productivity high. Keep a few fun toys in your remote workspace, like a mini putting green. Instead of tackling chores, let yourself destress before returning to the grind.
Revitalize Your Remote Workspace
Telework can supercharge your productivity and give you more energy when the workday ends — if done right. Follow these tips to revitalize your remote workspace and get more done with less effort.
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