During the COVID-19 pandemic, many jobs have transitioned into a remote or hybrid work environment. While this protects us from spreading any harmful viruses, it may present a plethora of obstacles for remote employees. Thankfully, there are many ways to help optimize working from home – from blue-light canceling eyeglasses to sound dampening wall tiles, working from home is easier and more comfortable than ever. This article discusses 10 steps to streamline your work-from-home experience.
- Set Up a Remote Workstation
Having a designated workstation can make a huge impact on your productivity and concentration. We recommend setting up a cozy nook for your desk, computer, and other supplies, which will allow you to zero in on your work without interruptions. With all your materials in one place and within an arm’s reach, your focus will be sharper than ever, allowing you to get your tasks done more efficiently.
Setting up a remote workstation is beneficial in other ways, too. For remote employees, it may be difficult to separate work from home. Having a specific workspace can promote a healthy work-life balance by creating a distinct place for all work-related responsibilities.
- Dress Comfortably
Dressing in comfortable clothes can make working from home a lot more enjoyable experience. Leaving behind the pre-pandemic work attire, remote employees now have the freedom to dress casually – even if that means working in their pajamas. However, if your job requires you to attend meetings, make sure you are dressing appropriately, even if that means from the waist-up only!
- Get Organized With a Felt Bulletin Board
Organization is key when it comes to working from home. Having a place to pin up important notes and reminders can really help you keep you remain on task. Everyone is familiar with the panic of losing important documents – having a bulletin board will make sure you never lose sight of those docs! Additionally, approaching deadlines can earn a spot on the bulletin board, ensuring you remain on schedule and without any last-minute mishaps.
- Make Sure Your Home is Free of Distractions
It is nearly impossible to work in a noisy environment. Constant distractions can really disrupt your train of thought, delaying important tasks and projects from completion. If you have roommates, partners, or family members staying with you, make sure you’ve communicated to them that you need quiet time to focus on your work.
Additionally, snooze any non-work-related notifications on your phone or computer. Checking notifications can pull you out of your zone, making it difficult to refocus. You can also install sound dampening felt tiles around your work area. These reduce outside noise and minimize echo during virtual meetings, making them the ultimate addition to your remote workstation.
- Make a Daily To-Do List & Schedule Out Your Workday
Outlining exactly what you need to do during your workday can help you focus your energy on important tasks. As a bonus step, you could rate your tasks in order of priority level to make sure big projects make their deadlines. Mapping out your schedule will help you coordinate when things need to be completed, but also give you a chance to plan out a lunch break and time to stretch your legs – which leads us to the next step.
- Schedule Breaks & Time to Stretch
Sedentary jobs can be detrimental to muscles and joints, so it is especially important to find time to stand up and stretch. Even if you can only find time to stretch once or twice throughout the day – it can really make a difference. (Bonus points if you can take a 5 min walk!) Many of us have trouble pulling ourselves out of our workflow, so setting up specific times to take a break can be very helpful. Plus, structured break times can really boost productivity and reduce mental fatigue. Having ample opportunity to rest allows us to throw 100% of ourselves into our work, knowing that we’ll have a chance to catch our breath.
- Reduce Eyestrain with Blue Light Blocking Eyeglasses & Screen Shaders
The blue light emitted by our computer screens can disrupt our circadian rhythm and cause headaches and eyestrain. Thankfully, there are ways to combat this. Blue-light-blocking lenses can prevent tension and eyestrain, making the hours we spend in front of the screen much less harmful to our eye health and sleep schedules. Additionally, you can change the settings on your computer to display the screen in warm-toned shades, which will naturally block out varying degrees of blue light. Alternatively, there are many screen shader extensions (like this one!) you can download for your browser.
- Keep Water & Snacks Nearby
Uninterrupted workflow is great! However, for those of us who throw ourselves into our work, forgetting to eat and hydrate may be a common occurrence. Make sure to have a glass of water near your workspace and set up reminders to help you stay hydrated. Additionally, quick, simple snacks to eat during your breaks will make working from home much more enjoyable and better for your overall health.
- Take it Easy on the Caffeine
For us coffee lovers, it may be hard to moderate how much caffeine we consume. Before we know it, we’re 3+ cups deep and jittery. Watching how much coffee or caffeinated beverages we drink will help us regulate our anxiety levels and avoid the energy crash later in the day.
- Get Some Fresh Air
Fresh air does wonders for the mind and body! If you can sneak in a break for some fresh air every so often, this can really help you stay motivated and in high spirits. Especially during the warmer seasons, fresh air can give you a small boost of energy that will carry you through the rest of the day.
Conclusion – 10 Steps to Make Working From Home More Efficient Than Ever
By working from home, we can face many challenges that we wouldn’t otherwise. Luckily for us, there are many ways we can optimize our work-from-home schedules while boosting our productivity, motivation, and well-being. With these 10 steps, your workday will be more focused, efficient, and overall enjoyable. Share them with your virtual coworkers today!