Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented number of Americans are working from home. The prospect of working from home sounds ideal – no commute, easy kitchen access, and no dress code to follow.
However, many employees have found that working remotely presents some challenges. With all of the distractions at home, such as smartphones, TVs, and even the kitchen, employees may struggle to focus on important, work-related tasks.
WFH setups play a significant role in an employee’s productivity, well-being, and efficiency. Even if you’re working from home only part-time, optimizing your setup is essential to your success.
Below are five ways to create an optimized WFH setup in your living space.
1. Consider Workspace Ergonomics
Workspace ergonomics is a broad field. A proper ergonomic setup can make you and your joints comfortable while working for hours on end. A good place to start is purchasing an ergonomic chair, preferably with several adjustments. Your feet should rest flat on the floor and your armrest should allow your arms to rest gently.
You can also buy an ergonomic keyboard, desk, and footrest, depending on your needs and the size of your workspace. If you use a computer monitor, it should be an arm’s length away and placed directly in front of you.
The Mayo Clinic has a useful how-to guide for workspace ergonomics, so consider reviewing it and making ergonomic adjustments to your work-from-home setup.
2. Tidy Up Messy Cables
Most modern work desks have several cables attached to various pieces of equipment. Charging cords, monitor cords, HDMI cables, and lighting cables are necessary to keep your tech charged and working properly. However, it can be a nuisance when your cables get tangled or they clutter up space on your desk.
Cables hanging from your desk can also be tripping hazards. Keeping your cables organized will help you keep your workspace clutter-free. For example, the Tokye Cable Management Kit is an effective, affordable product that can help keep your cables organized at your desk. Also, consider buying surge protectors because they protect expensive devices from experiencing power surges.
3. Add Plants or Greenery
Adding natural elements such as plants or greenery can help you optimize your WFH setup. Research shows that adding indoor plants to your setup can:
- Improve air quality
- Improve health
- Enhance your mood
- Increase your productivity
Snake plants, peace lilies, Boston ferns, Chinese evergreens, and air plants are all suitable indoor plants to consider adding to your WFH setup. If you’ve never cared for a plant, it’s best to choose one that requires low maintenance and one that fits comfortably in your space.
4. Invest in Noise-Canceling Headphones
Many remote employees listen to music or relaxing ambient sounds while working on their tasks. Suppose your neighbor’s dog is barking or your toddlers are playing in the next room. In that case, investing in a pair of noise-canceling headphones or earbuds can help drown out distractions and keep you focused on your important work-related tasks.
Some noise-canceling headphones or earbuds are more expensive than others. Whether you choose AirPods, Bose over-the-ear headphones, or something else, they’ll help you tune out the world and improve your focus. Additionally, ensure the headphones or earbuds you choose have a decent microphone. It’s common for companies to hold virtual meetings when they employ remote workers, and you’ll want to communicate with them easily.
5. Use Diffusers or Candles
Well-known institutions such as Johns Hopkins Medicine and Cleveland Clinic argue that essential oils offer benefits such as improved health and mood. Cleveland Clinic states that studies show that using essential oils properly can improve job performance through increased attentiveness and reduced stress.
There are many essential oil diffusers you can purchase at stores or online. Some are more expensive than others, so browse through different options to see which diffuser fits into your budget. You can also use candles with your favorite scent to optimize your WFH setup.
Working from home comes with pros and cons. Depending on the size of your apartment or house, it may feel challenging to optimize your WFH setup. However, taking time to create a healthy, productive environment for yourself will benefit you in the long run.
Update and Optimize Your WFH Setup
Consider making some small changes to your current WFH setup, especially if it’s feeling stale or you’re having trouble focusing on work projects. Even changing the location of your desk could make a world of difference.
Take regular breaks during the day, eat enough meals, and drink water, as these are key components of any WFH schedule. The suggestions above should help you optimize your WFH setup so you can be as productive as possible.