Have you and your employer decided to make your work-from-home situation permanent? If so, take additional measures to ensure your work-from-home setup benefits your productivity and health.
You want to perform at your best to impress your boss and move forward in your career. However, seemingly small details, such as an improperly placed monitor, can hinder your progress. Additionally, minor health hazards in your environment can spur chronic conditions, and it’s challenging to perform when you don’t feel well.
1. Clear the Clutter
Maybe you mistakenly believe, like many, that most falls happen in your bathroom, but statistics don’t support that notion. While most injuries occur outside, falls happening inside the home happen most frequently in bedrooms, kitchens and dining areas, not the throne room. If you clutter your home office with stacks of client files and miles of computer wires, you could end up tripping and getting hurt.
Take the time to bundle up wires and tack them out of sight — and away from your feet. Invest in filing cabinets and desktop organizers to keep everything in its place. You’ll walk more freely and save time. You don’t have to go on a wild goose chase for lost items when you know where everything is.
2. Eliminate Toxins
Hopefully, you stepped up your hygiene measures to protect yourself during the pandemic. However, the coronavirus isn’t the only hazard presented by your workspace. When was the last time you checked for mold growth under your kitchen sink? If you’re working at a table a few feet away, you could suffer severe symptoms without understanding why.
3. Get Ergonomic
If your monitor is positioned so far back on your desk that you have to squint, you could develop a headache before your lunch break. If your feet dangle off a too-tall office chair, you can endure muscle fatigue, swelling and chronic back pain.
Adjust your workstation to suit your body by making it ergonomic. If you already have pain issues, you might find relief from a variable-height desk that allows you to move from sitting to standing. Another option involves sitting on an inflatable fitness ball to keep your core engaged and avoid slumping.
4. Light It Up
Too much digital light exposure can lead to headaches and migraines and make it challenging to fall asleep at night. Investing in a pair of blue-light blocking specs can ease discomfort if you’re prone to head pain or insomnia.
Light also impacts mood, as anyone who has seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can attest. If possible, take down heavy curtains in your home office and install window film. Exposure to natural light can improve your mood and boost productivity.
5. Set the Tone
Distractions render it challenging to complete everything you must in a day. Set the tone for productive work by leaving your cell phone in another room or locking it in a drawer. Try to establish a private work area, even in a studio apartment, by using a dividing screen to separate your desk from the surrounding living space. This division also helps you unplug at the end of the day by giving you a “commute” after work.
Maximize Your Health and Productivity While You Work from Home
Unless your company provides you with tools, consider investing in an affordable, quality work computer so you can do your job more effectively and efficiently. A slow computer can disrupt your pace, increase your frustration, and affect your productivity. You don’t have to get a new laptop or PC. There are plenty of high-quality refurbished laptops that work as well as brand-new ones do but retail for lower prices.
If you want to succeed at working from home, you need an office setup that protects your health while maximizing your productivity. Following a few simple guidelines will set you on your way to a successful telecommuting career.
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