Is your WFH setup starting to feel slightly uncomfortable? Sure, you enjoy a variety of advantages — saving money on gas, skipping a stressful commute, working a little more at your own pace. But the freedoms of a WFH lifestyle can catch up to you.
To keep things in order, you need the right setup. A good environment will free you up from interruptions, including those caused by chronic pain and uncomfortable conditions. Take the following steps today to supercharge your productivity and derive more enjoyment from your workday.
1. Go Ergonomic With Your Furniture
Your comfort matters when it comes to maximizing your productivity. Even something as simple as an improperly placed monitor can result in eye and back strain. The right chair offers lumbar support and rests your feet on the floor without raising your knees above parallel.
You might consider two alternatives to the standard desk. One is a variable-height model that lets you flow from seated to standing. Although research doesn’t support some of the claims, such as weight loss, some users report significantly less back pain when they can shift positions throughout the day. Using an anti-fatigue floor mat when standing can further ease the ache.
You can also try sitting on an inflatable fitness ball. The design forces you to keep your spine straight to maintain your balance and engage your core muscles by sitting upright.
2. Give Yourself the Space You Need
If you are an architect or graphic designer, building a large work table where you can spread out your materials can be a lifesaver. You don’t want to have to crawl on the floor to look at blueprints.
A creative use of space also benefits you if you tend to spread paperwork everywhere when you’re working. Maybe you’re a tax resolution specialist preparing proposals for the Internal Revenue Service, or maybe you’re just messy. Either way, think outside the proverbial box.
3. Let in a Little More Natural Light
You need to see your work, so consider removing dark blinds or curtains and installing window film to make use of natural lighting. You do have to check with the property owner, but many are amenable to minor tenant improvements. You can also invest in an adjustable desk lamp to illuminate those areas where you do detailed work.
Avoid overhead fluorescents and overly bright bulbs if you have migraine disease. Research shows that intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells contribute to the photophobia that sufferers often experience. Although these cells don’t help vision, they react to brilliant illumination with a flurry of unpleasant symptoms.
4. Be Mindful of Your Privacy
If you work with proprietary secrets or personally identifiable information (PII), you need to take additional measures to protect your documentation and computers. If your company doesn’t provide one, invest in a quality virtual private network (VPN) — otherwise, your internet service provider can track everything you do online. Keep your antivirus software up-to-date.
Invest in locking file cabinets for documents containing social security numbers and other private data. If you work in professions like tax preparation, codes of ethics require you to take measures to safeguard PII.
5. Safeguard Your Eyes
The blue light your computer screen emits can cause headaches and eye strain. If you find your peepers red and sore by day’s end, invest in a pair of blue-light-blocking specs that look stylish while protecting your vision.
You may find that doing so helps you sleep more soundly, as this wavelength can interfere with melatonin production, a vital slumber hormone.
6. Improve Your Indoor Air
The air can harbor germs that make you prone to illness. It’s challenging to work at your productive best when you feel hot and stuffy. You should change your air filters on a monthly schedule — time it to coincide with your rent payment, so you don’t forget.
Some people believe aromatherapy boosts creativity. If you want to try it, a USB desktop diffuser costs less than $30 in many locations. A few drops of orange or lemon essential oil can perk up your brain and help you focus.
7. Minimize Distractions
One of the top WFH productivity killers is distractions. Your kid wants to know what’s for lunch, and your spouse had to interrupt your creative flow to show off what they got at the market.
If possible, locate your home office behind closed doors and hang up a “Do Not Disturb” sign when you need uninterrupted time to concentrate. If you can’t isolate yourself, work out a system — like donning a “thinking” cap — that signals family members to quiet down.
Simplify Your Telework Office Setup With These Tips
You can work more productively from home with the right setup. Use these tips to create the ideal environment for success.
Dylan Bartlett, aka, “The Regular Guide,” writes about a broad variety of topics on his blog. Check out Just a Regular Guide for more, or follow Dylan on Twitter @theregularguide for frequent updates!