With the continuing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, more Americans are working from home than ever before. This can pose a challenge for many individuals in terms of focus and motivation. Your home is usually a space where you can relax and tune out from work, which means it’s often tricky to manage work tasks or concerns without any crossover with your life at home. A new daily routine, an organized workspace, or maybe even a standing or treadmill desk can make all the difference when it comes to staying motivated and efficient while working from home.
The number one factor in increasing your productivity and motivation while working from home is reducing the number of distractions that affect your concentration. Next, you’ll need to make improvements to your workspace so that it’s easy to use and access but doesn’t cross over with your everyday living spaces. While it might at first seem nice to work from your couch, you’ll usually end up with better workdays if you have a dedicated desk or office. Here are a few of the key strategies you’ll need to implement if you want to avoid burnout when you’re working from home.
Schedule Your Workday
To start managing your motivation and exhaustion levels, you’ll want to set up a new routine and stick to it. First, consider setting your alarm for the same time every day, so your body knows exactly what to expect. It doesn’t have to be at the exact same time as when you would get up actually to go to work, but you should leave a good amount of time between when you get up and when you start working. On a day where you’re heading to the office, you probably have more time to get yourself mentally and physically into gear than you do when you’re working from home.
Next, set specific start and end times for the workday, where you’ll log in or log out no matter what. In addition, you should schedule at least 3 breaks in an 8-hour workday where you get up and away from your desk, whether that’s for a quick ten-minute walk outside or for lunch.
Unfortunately, many of us won’t take breaks if we don’t schedule them, which can negatively affect cardiovascular and muscular health. You may want to consider scheduling other aspects of your day after work, with regular exercise and cooking, so you can continue to look after your health on a more consistent basis.
Create a Dedicated Space
The ideal space for working at home is isolated or otherwise separated from your everyday living space, ensuring that there’s a minimal crossover between your work life and your home life. Your workspace should be well-organized and clean, with little to no papers on other clutter on your open surfaces. If you need to buy a better desk chair, or maybe even a desk that sits at a better height, don’t hesitate. Creating a space that’s solely for working from home is absolutely essential to avoid the feeling that you’re “at work” all the time.
Control the Volume of Your Area
Spaces that are too noisy, or in some cases too quiet, can negatively affect your ability to concentrate on your work. Noise from the street, your neighbors, or your kids can all break up your focus. Felt or foam sound-proofing panels may prove beneficial when setting up your at-home office, as they can help you control the acoustics of the space without too much effort.
If you can keep the volume down within your space, it will likely be significantly more conducive to working for several hours at a time. Sound-absorbing panels can also help to reduce echoes and reverberation in your space when you’re on a call or video conference and, by many accounts, have a calming effect that will lower your senses. In addition, don’t forget to silence your phone before you start working.
Get the Ergonomics Right
If you’re sitting at your desk and working on your computer for an extended period of time each day, it’s essential that you get the ergonomics of your space just right. This typically begins with selecting a new monitor or monitor stand that keeps the screen at eye level and prevents you from looking down all the time. A computer screen that’s too low can quickly wear out your neck, which can then pose health concerns. Adjusting the height of your desk is also an option for alleviating this concern.
Next, make sure that your desk chair and chair mat offer as much comfort as possible and properly support your back. Unfortunately, it’s easy to develop bad posture for an extended period of time simply because of the way your chair supports your back. A new keyboard can improve the ergonomics associated with your wrists and hands. If your keyboard is too flat or raised up too high, these small joints and muscles can easily become fatigued, which in turn can affect the rest of your system. Sometimes, it’s the small changes that matter.
Consider a Standing Desk or Desk Treadmill
A standing desk and a desk treadmill are fantastic for increasing your movement throughout the day, which offers substantial benefits for your blood flow and general cardiovascular system. Many standing desks are adjustable in terms of height, which means they offer significant functionality even when you’re sitting down.
A desk treadmill or desk bike provides you with a method for completing a simple exercise while you’re working. In many cases, the desk and the treadmill and bundled together as a single product. If you want to improve your motivation when you’re working from home, this equipment can prove a significant boost for your energy levels.