Working from home can create extra time and space for focus. But, working remotely also comes with its own set of challenges for you and your fellow employees. Distractions and communication gaps can make it tricky to accomplish goals. Fortunately, there are helpful work from home guidelines to keep you and your co-workers healthy and focused. Check them out below to make your flexible work arrangements as effective as possible.
Steps To Get The Most Out Of Remote Work
The suggestions below offer ways to stay healthy and efficient when working remotely. They focus on well-being and offer a solid remote work policy to keep you happy and productive. Follow these steps to stay your best, most efficient self from a new home office setting.
Create A Comfortable, Healthy Work Environment
Take the time to create a designated work area at home. This space should be designed with your comfort in mind.1 You don’t need a whole home office for that, either. Any area of the house where you feel focused and at ease can work. Check out a few of the tips below to make it as comfortable as possible.
Get A High-Quality Work Chair
Your new home office should have a proper and comfortable work chair. If you don’t have an office chair, add pillows or blanketing for extra back support. A rigid seatback and poor cushioning are uncomfortable and can distract you.
Plus, a comfortable chair can promote good posture at your workstation. Sitting up straight can have a positive impact on things like your mood and energy levels.2
Choose The Right Lighting
The basement may seem like a peaceful reprieve from the pets or roommates, but it probably doesn’t have proper lighting. A well lit space helps prevent eye fatigue and makes work easier to accomplish.3 If you aren’t near a window, provide yourself with plenty of lighting from lamps. This is good for your mental and physical health.
Also, do your best to limit exposure to blue light, especially in the evening hours. Electronic devices are a common source of this type of light which can disrupt sleep patterns.4
Proper Screen Placement
On your quest for comfort, you may also want to fine-tune your computer monitor’s position. The top of the screen should be just at or slightly below your eye level. And, it should be about an arm length away from your face. Use books or computer stands to make sure you don’t bend your neck or head to see the screen. The proper positioning of your monitor can limit discomfort and fatigue at your new home desk.5
Reduce Noise Levels
Sound and noise affect more than your focus. Loud or obnoxious noise may lead to unnecessary stress and even fatigue.6 Working from home provides a unique opportunity to limit noise exposure. Choose a spot to work in your home that has the least amount of sound. The peace and quiet will keep your stress levels down and your efficiency up.
Get Dressed Everyday
Change into a pair of “work clothes” to complete the sense of going to the office. This will help your mind switch out of relaxed mode and into work mode.7 Likewise, at the end of the day, it allows you to change into something comfortable to mark the beginning of leisure time.
Establish Healthy Work-Life Boundaries – Ideas And Tips
Remote workers literally bring the office home. This can cause the line between personal and professional life to become blurry. So, it’s important to establish guidelines to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Check out a few of the tips below to help you maintain a distinct personal and professional life.
Create A Schedule
A schedule gives your day structure and sets up clear goals. This can prevent you from feeling overwhelmed or stressed out with unmanageable workloads.8 When you finish your tasks you have a clear marker that it’s time to relax and end the work day.9
Another great thing about working remotely is that you can establish a schedule around your internal clock. Take advantage of the times that you are generally alert and build around those.10
Allow Yourself A Morning Routine Before Work
Create a healthy morning routine to replace your commute. Don’t jump straight from bed to the computer. Drink a cup of coffee, read the paper, or take the dog for a walk. Relaxing activities in the morning can keep those stress levels down all day long.11
Use Time Management Tools And Take Breaks
There are lots of helpful productivity apps that can help you manage your work schedule. Pomodoro is a popular tool that breaks your work day into manageable 25 minute bits of work. It also reminds you to take breaks to keep fresh and alert.12
There may not be anyone at the water cooler to chat with, but it’s still important to take breaks. Moments away from the computer allow your body and mind to relax and recharge. In fact, studies show that taking breaks can restore motivation and improve mental health.13
Only Use Your Workspace For Work
Your office is constantly in sight now. Sneaking in a bit more work can become tempting. A designated workspace can help you avoid this urge. Check in and out of your work area just like you would in the office. At the end of the day, power down the computer, and don’t return until it’s time to work again tomorrow.14
The Perks Of Working From Home
Remote working comes with unique health opportunities that most offices can’t offer. Check them out below and be sure to take advantage.
Extra Opportunities For Exercise
You don’t have to commute to the office anymore, nor do you need to travel to the gym. There are all sorts of great exercises and fitness activities that you can do from the comfort of your home.
Spread out the yoga mat for a mid-morning round of stretching. Spend 15 minutes on the treadmill or with the jump rope after lunch. Or, dim the lights in the afternoon for a quick meditation session.
All that time you save on commuting and travel can now be put to healthy use. Plus, you have the added benefit of privacy. Turn your living room into any sort of fitness arena you want.
No Need To Eat Out
Working from home allows you to have more control over how and when you eat. There’s no need to grab meals on the go. You have the freedom to select healthy food from your own fridge. And, you can spend your lunch break making food you know is good for you.
Be sure to stock your kitchen with nutritious and filling ingredients for life at the home office.15
A Whole New Work Frontier
Working from home can be incredibly liberating and enjoyable. You have time to walk the dog in the morning and can skip all that traffic to the office. But, the freedom that makes remote work so enjoyable can also hamper your productivity.
The good news is, there are tools and tips to make working at home, well, work for you. It requires a little self-discipline, but you can do it. Take the time to designate a home office, create a schedule, and make yourself comfortable.
Once you do, you can enjoy a healthy and productive life at home and at work (even though they happen to be in the same place now).
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