The new year is a perfect time to make positive changes that will lead to a happier, healthier you. Since you likely spend a good part of your week working, why not take this opportunity to spruce up your remote office space? With some strategic rearranging and a few clever tools like office backgrounds, you can boost your productivity and infuse a little more joy into your work day.
Decluttering Your Desk
Clutter-free workspaces are functional and visually appealing. Sifting through coffee cups, sticky notes, and stacks of books or papers creates stress, wastes valuable time, and impedes creativity. When you’re in a virtual meeting with clients or colleagues, an organized workspace conveys that you are professional and competent.
Depending on the current state of your desk, the decluttering process may take some time. After an initial sweep, though, you should be able to maintain a tidy space with minimal effort.
Getting the Right Lighting
Office buildings are notorious for installing harsh fluorescent lights that always seem to buzz. Fortunately, in a remote office space, you can set up lighting that best meets your needs and style. Choose lighting that provides enough illumination to comfortably focus on your work. Lighting levels should be set to minimize eye and muscle strain and reduce the risks of slips and falls.
An effective approach is to layer your lighting. Combine multiple light sources so you can adjust levels according to task and time of day. Make use of natural light and supplement with well-placed table and floor lamps.
Using a tool like a ring light provides you with optimal lighting for virtual meetings. Even if you use an office background, you want to avoid glares and other poor lighting effects.
When working remotely, you have endless distractions to contend with. To be productive and maintain a proper work-life balance, it’s necessary to set boundaries for yourself and others. Start by creating a work schedule. Set consistent working hours or carve out blocks of time dedicated to work tasks. Post your schedule in a visible location.
If you don’t have a separate room for your office, use a room divider or curtain to create a barrier around your work area. Establish an understanding with other household members that your workspace is an interruption-free zone during designated times.
Utilize phone and computer features that enable you to silence notifications and block social media. Schedule times to check and respond to messages.
Simulating an Office Environment
When you have a meeting in a traditional office setting, you can typically leave your office in whatever condition it’s in to go to a designated space and no one is any wiser. If your remote workspace isn’t presentable in time for a meeting, using an office background is an easy solution to display professionalism.
Working from home affords you greater freedom and flexibility, but you still need your environment and mindset to prepare you for work mode. Reimagine your workspace and utilize tools and strategies that will make this year your most productive yet.