With the global spread of COVID-19 keeping people at home, many employers in the UAE continue to encourage remote working. However once just a requirement from the World Health Organisation for the safety and protection against the pandemic, working from home has today become a sustainable solution that has helped drive the economy forward during the roughest periods this year. Many would say it has even changed the nature of how we work and live.
While remote work became the new normal, many people quickly realised that it's not always so easy to pick up your laptop and work from your couch, kitchen table, or bed. For optimal results, work-life-balance and peace of mind, changing some of your habits and finding the right space at home to accommodate your workday can set you up for success, mentally, physically and emotionally.
Here are some tips for creating a home office space that makes you feel energised and productive:
Location, location, location
When it comes to working from home or from any place for that matter, a decent setup is very important. Having a specific space that is dedicated to working will help you a great deal. Not only will it help you get into the mood of working, it will also help by limiting distractions – this space must be as far from the TV as possible.
Consider choosing a relatively quiet corner in your space that has enough natural lighting, or near a window. Position the desk where you can stare at something more interesting than a blank wall. A window's natural light is ideal, but if you're in a windowless space, hang a pretty picture above the desk, or position your chair to face the door. Then set the space up to be functional, with desk space and a comfortable chair, as well as all your needed materials to work.
A dedicated workspace will enable you to keep yourself oriented to your work by providing a nook that tells you it's worktime as soon as you step foot in it. At the end of the day, concentration is the key to productivity.
- Don't underestimate the power of a tidy space
A clean, airy and fresh space does wonders for the mind, body and soul – especially when it comes to productivity. Having a clean space to work in puts your mind at complete ease, and helps you to focus on your tasks, rather than being distracted by subliminal annoyances like dust, dirt or clutter. While OCD-levels range from individual to individual, not having a clean and inviting space to work in really makes it more challenging to get things done.
Vacuum and dust surface frequently, and use a nice coaster to avoid desk damage when drinking hot coffee. Most importantly, reduce the amount of clutter around your workspace – go the extra mile and rearrange your desk items each morning to set yourself up for a successful day. When you start your day organised, it's more likely to stay organised.
- Make your space healthier with cleaner air
Now that we are spending up to 90% of our time indoors, it's worth considering investing in an air purifier. Indoor air pollution is real, and it is made up of not only dust but also particles and gases from everyday household products such as cleaning supplies, paint and varnish to floors, carpets and upholstery treated with stain protectors, not to mention our a/c units.
If you're not breathing in clean air, you will not enjoy being in your home office no matter how much you love your job. That's why you should consider investing in an air purifier that will keep the air in your room clean and fresh 24/7. For example, Blueair's air purifier draws in air through its filtration system and can clean a room up to five times every hour. Its unique HEPASilent™ technology removes at least 99.97% of dust and harmful particulate matter as small as 0.1 microns in size – quietly and using hardly any electricity.
Certain plants can act as air purifiers too!
- Don't forget to move!
Being stationary for long periods is not good for your health – and working from home does not help! Even if you've done your exercise routine for the day, sitting at a desk for hours on end can put you at increased risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.
So, what's the solution? Set a timer that will remind you to get up and move for a few minutes every hour. Many smartwatches and apps can be configured to ring once every hour or prompt you if you haven't taken a certain number of steps. When it goes off, get up and grab a healthy snack, walk up and down the stairs, or even do some quick jumping jacks to get your heart pumping and boost your energy.
Movement is important for both your physical and mental health, so remain active as much as possible, even when working from home.