Now that almost everyone is working remotely, it is unavoidable that the boundaries between work and life become blurry, acknowledges William Taylor, Senior Recruitment Advisor at VelvetJobs. Working from home means professional and recreational spaces intertwine.
It is important to designate a work space at home, preferably not inside your bedroom because this space is for rest. Having the same area for work and leisure will definitely affect your productivity, which sometimes results in some people overworking themselves, because the WFH setup makes work very accessible.
This makes remote employees more prone to burnout, because they tend to work even beyond office hours—resulting in low levels of productivity and energy. You have to set boundaries by simply sticking to office hours. Once it’s over, turn off your computer. In addition to that, you don’t have to respond to messages that aren’t urgent and can wait until tomorrow.
Need additional advice? Read on for more!
Stay Away From the Bedroom
I used to work in my bedroom. I would set up a table and chair on the corner and do my thing. I thought I was productive as long as I can finish my tasks on that day. However, I always caught myself trying to catch some rest by lying in my bed a couple of times. My excuse was I needed to break off the eye strain from looking at the computer for prolonged hours. But in reality, I just wanted to take a nap—that’s it.
Upon that realization, I needed to untangle myself from that bad habit because I always imagined napping while working. I got up and hunted for a space outside my bedroom. I made sure this space didn’t have any clutter—only my table, chair, computer, lamp, notebook, and coffee machine. That’s all—no other decorations to distract me from time-to-time.
Now, I start and finish work without feeling drowsy and restless. I was able to detach myself from bedroom sickness that lured me into coming to bed during my working hours.
- Hazel Santos, Writer at Skill Success
Aim for Natural Light
Have you noticed that your office’s fluorescent lighting makes you feel tired and irritable? That’s not all in your head—fluorescent lights drain your energy and actually reduce your productive hours. It can also give you a wicked headache, if you’re prone to them.
Instead of making the same lighting mistake in your home office, try to set up your desk near a source of natural light. It will boost your circadian rhythms, helping you sleep better at night, and expose you to healing Vitamin D. If natural light isn’t an option, choose an LED lamp or another fixture that mimics natural lighting.
- Yuvi Alpert, Founder, Creative Director, and CEO of Noémie
Stay Inspired; Stay Hydrated
Seen as an extension of what inspires you to be both creative and productive, your remote workspace should reflect just that. Do you have certificates or even awards? Display them as a reminder of what you can achieve when you accomplish your goals. And get online and select an appealing water bottle so that you’ll never forget that staying hydrated is not only great for the mind and body, but it’s a must to stay healthy and happy. Place it on your desk, and refill it regularly. There are also studies that show good hydration pairs with an alert mind. Take every advantage you can get!
- Alexandra Zamolo, Head of Content Marketing at Beekeeper
Keep Essentials Within Reach
The only things that should be within reach on your desk are items that you use regularly. If you notice a thin layer of dust on anything, that’s a sign it needs to go. Reducing desk clutter will make it easier to find important items in a pinch, and it will reduce the distractions within your view. Related items should be kept near each other and grouped by task, and you can find somewhere other than your desk to store piles of paperwork and miscellaneous necessities like hole punches.
- Elias Janetis, CEO and Founder of Squeeze
Add Some Indoor Plants
One of the things that I always like to have around me while I work are plants. Plants not only help purify the air, but it has been proven that people who are surrounded by plants feel less anxious and tired and are more satisfied, relaxed, and ultimately productive. I certainly feel these effects and I couldn’t imagine my home workspace without my potted plants.
- Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto
Making a concerted effort to carve out a conducive workspace for yourself can do wonders. It will not only help you be more productive, but it is also a great form of self-care. A few small changes can make a big difference—you will see the results before you know it.