Optimizing Your WFH Space
Working from home became increasingly necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as vaccine rollouts continue and people adapt more readily to living and working through a pandemic, remote work remains prevalent. In fact, it may remain common for quite a while. For example, one Upwork report predicts that 22% of the American workforce will be remote by 2025.
Needless to say, while many organizations are eager to return to normal, the new normal will undoubtedly include more opportunities for working from home.
Whether your schedule includes part-time or full-time remote work, it’s crucial to optimize your WFH space. Here are some tips for creating a productive WFH space:
1. Create a Dedicated Work Space
Now and then, it may be nice to work cozied up on your couch, but this should not be the norm if you plan to be working from home for a while. To ensure you can be productive and focused, you should create a dedicated workspace. This will also help you to unplug after work and leave your work in its dedicated space.
If you have a spare room, that’s a great place for a home office! However, you don’t need a full room. Many other people have transformed a closet into their workspace. Even if you do not have a closet or room, you can create a nook in part of a room to use for your work.
2. Work Near a Window
Natural light is incredibly important and can help you stay “in the zone” as you work from home. If possible, place your workstation near a window. This way, you can get natural light while you work, and you can also open the window on nice days. You can also add plants to your space to bring the outdoors in and add fresh air.
3. Choose the Right Desk
Your WFH space all starts with the desk. You need a desk setup that can accommodate your devices and work materials. Don’t make the mistake of using a tiny side table and wondering why you cannot get anything done! Even if you don’t have room for a large executive desk, you should get a desk with sufficient workspace. The minimal look is great, but make sure your desk also has enough storage space for your work supplies.
4. Consider an Additional Monitor
While some WFH offices may have a desktop, many include a laptop computer. Laptops are great for portability, but they are not always the best for your posture or work. Consider getting another monitor. Having two monitors allows you to easier reference notes and material on one while completing work on the other. Many people who work from home find it beneficial to have an additional monitor, especially if they have a laptop.
5. Invest in a Laptop Stand
If you do not have room for another monitor, you should consider a laptop stand. A laptop stand will raise and position your laptop in a way that is the most ergonomic for working. This prevents you from having to look down and strain your eyes, shoulders, and necks. It also ensures your laptop is in the best position for typing.
6. Block Out the Noise
Chances are, you may not be the only person home while you need to work. One of the most distracting parts of working from home can be the noise. Those with an entire office room may be able to just close the doors, but even then noise can seep in. Noise-canceling headphones are a great way to keep your space quiet. You can play music or calming sounds, or you can simply turn on the noise canceling feature for silence.
7. Embrace the Ergonomic Chair
An uncomfortable, unsupportive chair will not help you work efficiently; fortunately, an ergonomic chair can remedy those uncomfortable seating situations. Such a chair will support good posture while still allowing you to feel at ease in your workspace. Many of the best chairs are adjustable so that you can ensure it’s in the proper position for your body type and desk height.
8. Maintain a Calendar/ To-Do List
Planning your work digitally is certainly convenient, but an old-fashioned to-do list can really help. Hang a whiteboard, large calendar, or bulletin board in your space. Then, you can plan out your to-do list in whichever way you choose. For example, at the end of each day, you could create a list of tomorrow’s primary tasks. You could lay out the main tasks for the week then fill in details for the days, or plan out two-week sprints in a calendar.
9. Add Lighting
Working from home often means video meetings. While you may not need to be extremely fancy for these, decent lighting is still important. You want to ensure that your face is well-lit during any video calls. Make sure that you get sufficient lighting in your office space, whether from a window or lamp.
Bottom Line: An Optimal WFH Setup Matters
Optimizing your WFH space makes all the difference for your productivity and work-life balance. Setting up your office the right way will help you work more efficiently and enjoy your space. Try some of the tips above to optimize your WFH space today.