Around the globe, the spread of the formally named COVID-19 has led to many companies mandating work-from-home (WFH) policies. This massive shift to a remote working style has become the new standard, and as efforts to contain the pandemic unfold, many employees are experiencing a daily schedule of remote work for the first time.
Consider taking the time to set up your new work environment to optimize your workflow. A quick makeover, a little rearranging, and tidying up can truly help you stay on top of tasks, promote maximum motivation, and encourage you to produce some of your best work. Here are some quick tips to create a personalized workspace with stuff you already have at home.
1. Location, location, location.
They say it’s everything in real-estate and inside your home it should be no different. Whether you have a house, an apartment, a room, or a nook, it is important to consider your new work location carefully.
Try to choose a place that is familiar and comfortable.
Try not to work in the same room where you sleep. If you have limited space, do not work from your bed and try not to face it either. It’s important to draw boundaries between work and personal life, even at home. Working in the same area that you sleep is linked to bad sleep.
2. Make sure you shine.
If you have natural light, move your desk over there right now! Not only is natural light easier on your eyes, but you might even get a great view of the forbidden outside world.
Overhead or hanging lights are great for lighting up a room and your workspace but should be used in combination with other lighting sources.
Task lights, like the mighty Pixar desk lamp are a classic and can help set focus. But careful – when used alone, they could end up hurting your eyes.
Ambient lights soften the atmosphere. Find that spare lampshade, a little colored night light, add a lighted candle into a colored glass. Experiment and repurpose items that can soften the harsh lighting of your screen, improving your mood.
Employ that handy ‘night mode’ setting on your devices if you’re having to work once the sun goes down. It’ll prevent your eyes from straining, and cutting out the blue light will improve your sleep.
3. Use your wall.
A blank wall represents the perfect tabula rasa. Take advantage of the blank slate by using sticky notes to mind map or manage your projects.
Another pro tip is to place your desk facing an empty wall to help with concentration.
4. Tidy up.
Are you going to be frequently making video calls? Make sure that your camera has its sight aimed at a clean space.
On your desk, you should only keep your essentials around and some personal items that could inspire or motivate.
In general, try to keep your house tidy before sitting down to work. A tidy house leads to a tidy mind and will either take that mess off your mind if you’re a neat-freak or remove that age-old procrastination technique from the equation.
5. Get greener.
Bring some of your houseplants into your view. Indoor plants can improve concentration and productivity (by up to 15%)!