It has now been more than a year since a lot of us started working remotely because of COVID-19. Besides of occasional remote days, most office workers have not been used to working from home, and it may have been a big shock at first. The combination of missing your co-workers, perhaps not having a clear structure during workdays, just staying at home where there are a lot of distractions (pets, kids, the couch…) and working from the kitchen table with an unergonomic setting may cause your productivity to drop significantly. Some people thrive when working remotely, and by these tips you can become one of them!
Get good equipment
If you are forced to work remotely, it may be possible that your employer will participate on the costs of getting a proper setup for remote work. Either way, it is important to work ergonomically to prevent unnecessary stress for your body. The key components are a proper desk and a proper chair, preferably ergonomic ones, and ideally an electronic desk because standing up from time to time is very good for you. The couch is tempting, but in the long run it is much better for the mind and for the body to have a good setup.
Besides of those main elements, a strong Wi-Fi-connection, proper lighting, and noise-cancelling headphones make a real difference. The headphones are particularly useful if you work in a place where there is distracting noise. It is also good to have a pen and a notebook on hand if you prefer writing some notes on paper.
Manage your space.
In a dream situation you have your own (soundproof) office room at home, but usually that is not the case. Either way, it is good to have some space/desk reserved just for working. If you use the same computer for personal things, it could be a good idea to create separate accounts in your computer, so that you can really distance yourself from work stuff when you are not working. When working remotely, it can be hard to separate the office hours from your free time. Especially during this pandemic, where your options of activities outside of home are limited, it is important to take care of your work-life balance.
When you are sitting at your desk, it is separated in to three different zones. The primary working zone is the area you can comfortably reach when sitting fully back in your chair, and you should keep your most frequently used items there, such as the mouse, keyboard, and phone. The second zone you should be able to reach with your arms extended, and here you can keep for example your notebook and a pen. In the non-working zone, you should keep things you rarely use, like personal items. Reaching for them constantly can cause discomfort.
Working remotely can be even more efficient and suit a lot of people better than working at the office. Being ergonomic and taking care of your work-life balance are the key components on being productive and staying healthy. You will find the most suitable way to work by testing different things and ways. Let’s make the best out of remote work!