Working from home is more than sitting at computers and sipping coffee every day. It also means juggling with personal life such as taking care of kids, getting distracted by pets, and battling with background noises at home.
Adapting to the new work setting is a continuous journey–creating task list forms, work forms, notes, and to-do lists are not enough. Since our homes are our place to relax and chill, it’s difficult for others to adapt to the new work-from-home setting.
In this article, we gathered some tips on how to create a healthy workspace and maximize productivity while working from home.
Table of Contents
1.) Creating a Healthy Work-From-Home Office
A healthy workspace is not all about fancy laptops and pricey ergonomic chairs. It also means creating a space that can maximize productivity, creativity, and good well-being. Since most companies will implement an option to work remotely, building a healthy workspace is important–but how do you achieve a healthy one?
To avoid back problems and incorrect postures while working, here are some tips on how to create a healthy workspace:
- The computer monitor / Laptop needs to be at eye level
Though it is easy to put a computer monitor at eye level and within arms reach, this can be quite challenging when you’re a laptop user. Using a laptop especially when put on a desk can be a bit uncomfortable not just posture-wise, but also in terms of having neck, shoulder, lower back, even wrist pain. To correct this, consider getting a laptop stand. Designed not just to help proper back posture and ease neck pain from long hours of typing and working, this equipment works wonders in bringing the laptop’s screen to eye level.
- Choose a chair and desk that can provide ease and comfort
Working for long hours sitting on a chair can cause several back problems. To lessen this, Think of choosing a chair that supports your spinal curves. An adjustable height of the chair can be a big advantage as well, for it is better to let your feet rest flat on the floor while working. Additionally, choosing the right desk is important–make sure to pick a high-quality desk that can suit your needs.
- Think about getting natural light for better vision
A study once said that natural light is the best selection while working. While too bright fluorescent light can cause headaches, dim lights can be struggling for the eyesight. Contemplate having a natural led desk lamp for the betterment of your visual experience while working.
- Complement your desk with a houseplant
Making your workspace livelier and healthier not only means getting techy gears and essentials but also promoting and increasing productivity.
A study in 2015 confirms that a physical office environment that has a natural view or elements (This includes greenery and natural light: Plants or sunlight) has a big impact on employees and their level of creativity. Exposure to these natural elements has been found to increase the employees’ productivity than those people without exposure to greens.
To increase the liveliness of your desk, think about adding a low-maintenance plant to your workspace—but remember to do your research before acquiring such plants! It is important to choose a plant that requires little care and no direct sunlight. Many will be surprised with how fascinating it is to have a plant around while working: It cleans the air, promotes happiness, and can strengthen focus.
2.) Create and get used to a routine
Creating and following a routine is one of the little tasks that can do big wonders not just in working from home, but also in general. As we get used to our routines, we exercise our brains to do something repeatedly every day. Sounds boring? No, not really. Aside from enhancing productivity, did you know that routines can help you develop your creativity? Since your brain is more familiar with the tasks you are doing every single day, it allows you to relax, and think more. Make sure to set a schedule and jot down the tasks that you need to finish for the day.
3.) Balance work and life
While it is tempting to answer every single email during personal hours, work and life balance are still important. Because working from home takes a big part of our lives, this doesn’t mean we have to work 24/7. Got an email during the weekend or holiday? Remember to sit back and pause if you need to–do not forget to take a breather and chill!
4.) Get some sun
Working from home can lead to a sedentary life. Make sure to stand up from your desk, stretch, and get some fresh air outside! Our bodies need to move for better blood circulation–and better mental health. Move your body! Go for a walk outside. Exercise. Do something active. Movement helps keep your muscles strong. Blood flow keeps them healthy. And plus, you’ll feel better when you’re outside than if you were inside. It would be best if you stepped out for some fresh air every once in awhile throughout the day.
Walk with your dog, troll to a coffee shop, or just take a minute to get some natural light. Nature always brings the best of us—including productivity!
5.) Stay connected
Let’s face it, working from home is a bit sad, too.
Remote working enables us to focus more—but the traditional mini conversations, laughter, and meetings with colleagues at the office are also fun and engaging. Do not forget to stay connected with your teammates by conducting Zoom catch-ups, games, or just ice breakers during the meeting. Keeping in touch helps us to ease a little, and forget about the stress that work sometimes brings us.
Stay connected with friends and colleagues by using social media apps. When eating out together, if you usually eat at different times than everyone else, consider calling them during their meal time so they can see you’re doing well too. Scheduling regular meetings with clients helps them feel important and keeps you from working too long into the night. You need to lean on your friends for emotional support, but also be willing to hold them accountable to their own goals and priorities.
6.) Use Online Productivity Tools
While notebooks and to-do lists are great, they aren’t enough to manage our tasks very well. I used to be so intimidated with using CRM and other project management tools, but now, managing projects and tasks is easier than it was before. You can use a lot of collaborating tools to maximize your productivity—keep track of projects, manage business expenses, assign tasks easily, and monitor everyone’s progress.
Since remote work is here to stay, all business and company transactions became entirely online–that’s why choosing a tool that can deliver excellent services should be well thought of.
You may be used to bringing approval documents to your colleague’s desk for a signature—but now, the old is finally gone. Because working from home would be the “new normal”, you need software that can help you digitize those papers and take every transaction online. Here at PlatoForms, we know how difficult it is to send documents manually to your colleagues in the midst of a pandemic. We provide awesome features that will allow you to take your forms to the next level by making PDF fillable online, converting PDFs to web forms, or even submitting PDF forms online. This way, you don’t have to be stuck with the manual–embracing the advanced and more efficient way!
7. Take a break
Working at home may seem slow because you don’t feel rushed to get things done. However, if you keep yourself busy throughout the day, then you won’t notice how fast time goes by. Some days will be slow, but others will fly by. You might even wonder why you didn’t get any lunch today! It’s because of this reason that it’s so important to take regular breaks during the day.
You could choose between taking short, daily five-minute breaks to stretch or throwing some clothes into the washing machine, or you may prefer to take longer walks throughout the day. Keeping yourself physically fit by staying active and exercising regularly is important if you want to keep your energy levels high while at home.
Set an alarm or use a timer so you don’t forget to take regular breaks during long sessions. If you want to be able to get away from your desk for an hour or so without feeling guilty, you could schedule a meeting at noon where everyone knows they won’t see you until 1 p.m., then go out for coffee or lunch together after that. Staying focused, feeling productive, and not feeling too stir-crazy by the time the end of the day comes around requires taking regular breaks throughout the day.
8. Set your to-dos everyday
Setting your mind for the upcoming day ahead would help you to get things organize. To do so, it’s important to grab your sticky notes and list the things you have to accomplish for the day. To keep yourself from being overwhelmed, you can also list things according to their priority—which to-dos need to be completed first? Which tasks are smaller?
To add flavor to your to-do list, you can also try using different types of to-dos. There’s a lot of to-do lists that you can choose from—it varies from “Don’t forget to read”, “Always remember”, “Reminders for tomorrow”, and more. This helps you to specify your tasks and prevents confusion with other assignments.
9. Eat right—don’t skip breakfast!
You will be surprised on how different your mind can be if you don’t skip breakfast. Take time to prepare a healthy breakfast to start your day right. If you’re going to be busy the next morning and won’t have time to cook, you can also do it before you sleep to save time. Eating breakfast will help you be more productive throughout the entire day—and preparing one doesn’t have to be so time-consuming!
It might sound to hear cliche to hear about the importance of exercising—but it never gets old. Surely, exercise doesn’t guarantee you’ll become smarter; however, exercise will improve your brain function. It doesn’t really matter if you’re not familiar with fitness training; just get started! You’ve got an entire year ahead of you.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), there’s evidence that shows that exercise improves cognitive function. A group of students was asked to learn a set of words by reading them aloud. One half of the participants were then told to exercise for 30 minutes by running at their fastest pace, lifting heavy weights, etc., while the other half stayed seated. After they had been tested on their memory skills, it was found that the people who exercised did significantly better than the others.
Truly, working from home can be challenging—but with the right mindset and balanced productivity, it’s never impossible to reach success. Make sure to make time for yourself and take breaks every once in a while—it can help you to replenish your energy, making you ready for a busy day ahead.
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