Staying productive when the office is your home and your home is the office
Not that long ago, the prospect of working from home seemed unrealistic to professionals across a wide variety of industries. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all of us to adapt and evolve in ways we had never even thought of before. It affected how we interact with our friends, family, and peers. It changed the way businesses operated, and it changed the way in which we work. For many of us, that meant suddenly making the switch to working from home or working remotely.
Working from home—like most other things involving jobs and careers, and well, life—has pros and cons. This is especially true when you consider all of the different environments and personal situations we all have.
Some of us have been working from home for the better part of the calendar year now with no end in sight. Some of us returned to on-site work only to be sent home again for another stretch of remote work, and some of us have been bouncing back and forth.
Regardless of your situation, there are certain things that can help make working from home easier, healthier, and, dare we say, more enjoyable!
Keepin’ Things Light
Creating a remote work space that includes as much natural light is possible should be a top priority. Why? We’re so glad you asked.
A happy worker is a productive worker. This feels like a no-brainer, sure, but you’d be surprised how many employers and people often overlook the base elements required to ensure a workforce feels happy. It’s been proven time and time again that natural light helps boost morale and keep people in positive moods, which results in (you guessed it) greater levels of productivity, efficiency, and even quality of work.
The amount of natural light that you receive on a regular basis actually has a large impact on your quality of sleep. Basically, the more natural light you receive the more likely you are to develop healthy sleep cycles. This leads us to the main takeaway here, so please, get ready for a hot take: the better rested you are, the better you work.
Doesn’t it sometimes feel like you are just surrounded by screens all day long. Yes, we understand the irony of the fact you are reading this on a screen, but one way to combat eye strain due to excessive screen use is to simply balance it out with lots of natural light. The more natural light you’re exposed to, the less your eyes will have to struggle, and who isn’t more productive when they DON’T have a headache, right?
The fewer artificial lights you need to have running all day, the better it is for your energy bill. Working in a space that allows you enough natural light to avoid flipping on a lamp or overhead light will go a long way in cutting down on your energy costs.
Now, if only you knew where to get industry-leading, innovative windows that are specifically designed to help bring you major, meaningful benefits in terms of performance, cost, and quality of life…
When you arrive at work—whether that’s an office, a job site, a factory, or whatever—you know that it is time to work. You feel this way because you have been conditioned to associate that space with work. The same is true for when you arrive home and feel ready to relax and unwind. So, now that your home must play host to both play AND work things can get a little confusing.
A good way to combat this is to create a space in your home that is dedicated solely to work. For those with a home office, this is simple to do. For those who have less available space in their homes, it can be as simple as putting up dividers or using furniture to create a small, isolated work space.
Additionally, it’s important to mentally associate work with whatever physical space you have dedicated for it and to leave it there—don’t bring your work energy away from your dedicated work space! This will help you keep a healthy work-life balance, which is something we all need.
There are distractions everywhere, but for many of us, those distractions are amplified in a home office. This can be anything from family or children, noisy streets or neighbourhoods, etc.
Being able to focus means being able to block out those distractions. Windows and doors that offer superior soundproofing are an excellent way to keep noise from both inside and outside the house from knocking you off task and hurting your productivity. A quiet home office is also beneficial in terms of the peace and tranquility it can bring to your work space. Associating a sense of calm with work will definitely help.
Avoid the Dungeon Effect
Believe it or not, your home office or work space does not need to be your own little torture chamber. Yes, working from home is often a challenge, but you don’t have to make it unnecessarily difficult. Besides, who likes torture?
Decorate your space in a way that is pleasing to you and keeps your spirits high. This is your chance to design your ideal office, and your managers can’t stop you!
We recommend taking some time to study your space and developing a plan that uses it in an optimal way. Here are a few things to consider:
Open spaces with clear pathways allow energy to move through a room in an efficient and unrestrained way. Avoid clutter and let your space breathe.
Sitting for a long period of time can really harm your body. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety recommends alternating between sitting and standing, by investing in a sit/stand desk. If a new desk isn’t within your budget, you can find many ergonomic chairs, keyboards or even mousepads.
Including artwork, photography, or other decorative elements is a great way to put a personal touch on your space and make it feel comfortable. Choose what makes you feel best!
Certain colours evoke certain emotions—it’s true! Red, for instance, encourages passion. Blue is calming, yellow is energetic, green is friendly, and purple is proud. So, which colour is right for you?
Earth, wood, metal, water, fire: think about which of these elements are included in your workspace. They each have their own effect and influence on the space!
Working from home is different for each one of us, but one thing is for certain: it’s a part of our lives now, and we should make the best of it.
To learn more about how JELD-WEN products can keep your home office or remote work space as good as it can be, please visit us at www.jeld-wen.ca.