These are dismal times. Distress and disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic has caused some countries to close its borders and advise its citizens to follow strict quarantine orders. Companies, too, are also facing some implications on their end.
With employees encouraged to bunker down and work from home, many question the viability of such approach in the long run. Besides hampered communication away from a designated workplace, productivity, it seems, may become a huge concern — the adage “out of sight, out of mind” may be an apt explanation.
Even for those who are accustomed to working at home, working remotely is often challenging because loneliness and a lack of structure is likely to be the impetus behind a dip in productivity and motivation. Fortunately, not all hope is lost. There are measures to take to bolster productivity at home and often times, all you need to do is a little manoeuvring around your lifestyle or some changes to your home office.
Here are some tips and changes to your lifestyle or your home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
1. Establish a routine
Considering how advanced technology is today, we can still easily connect and communicate with our colleagues and superiors while working at home. Which could probably point to two things: overloading with work and ending up working beyond working hours.
Having a routine helps set up a boundary so that you can have some time-off for yourself. Here are some considerations to make:
- Start work around the same time and try to end work at the same time everyday
- Allocate time for breaks in between work
- Set some time for some physical activity (morning or evening jogs, coffee run, walking your dog)
- Interact with your co-workers online to stay in the loop and combat loneliness
2. Dress the part
By now, you’d know that impressions go a long way and wearing the part makes a whole lot of difference. What you wear to work reflect your commitment to your company and your professionalism, and with this same logic, it makes perfect sense that you should wear similar attire — we know getting out of your comfy PJs can be chore — at home too.
3. Allocate a designated workspace
If you have a spare study at home, chances are, work is going to take place here. But if you don’t, a small desk by the living room would suffice too. Remember, this is a place that prepares you mentally for work. We do have one suggestion though: stay clear from anything or anywhere that could be too comfortable to work at.
* Bonus Tip: Do make sure to check that this particular space has good internet bandwidth too!
* Bonus Tip 2: Ensure that you have a proper background for your Skype or ZOOM video conferences!
4. Finding the right desk
There are many ideals to look for while scouring for an ergonomic desk. Ideally, you should be able to type on your computer with your hands and arms roughly parallel to and with your feet flat on the floor. If the desk you are working on doesn’t allow adjustments, you can consider getting a footrest or adjusting your chair.
Costly at first glance, a height-adjustable desk will be a good investment, considering how we can alternate between standing and sitting to combat the detriments of prolonged sitting — think high blood pressure and spine damage.
5. Finding the right chair
What comes after an ergonomic desk is a “no-brainer”: ergonomic chair.
Knowing that you will be sitting over a prolonged period of time at home, it would be wise to invest in something sturdy, comfortable and ergonomical. Here are some considerations you should look out for:
- Lumbar support: Look for chairs that have backrest that follow the natural curve of your spine and support it.
- Chair Height: Chairs should be adjustable to any height.
- Arm Rests: This allows your arms and hands to be roughly parallel to the floor and prevents hunched shoulders too.
- Reclinable: Chairs with 135° reclinability are reportedly more beneficial for you.
Related article: Less Is More – Minimalism in Home Decor
6. Declutter your desk
A well-organised work desk can help foster an unobstructed mind, which can, in turn, increase productivity. For starters, we recommend keeping your desk free from clutter and practising efficient cable management.
Alternatively, you can get a desk with both a minimalist aesthetic and some compartments to store your tools. Plus, a clean and clutter-free desk helps bolster feng shui too.
Related article: 4 Feng Shui Tips To Embrace In Your Home Before The CNY Reunion
6. Let there be light
Having good lighting near your workspace is key to creating a good atmosphere to work in. If possible, try to set up your working space near the windows or at areas that receive plenty of natural light. Otherwise, purchasing a new desk lamp is well-advised.
7. Go Green
Having some potted plants in your home office is a great way to inject personality and freshness in the otherwise seemingly clinical space. Plus, indoor plants are transformative and have the ability to prevent fatigue. In fact, research has also shown that having an indoor plant on a desk can improve productivity by 15%.
Simply put, even while you are quarantined at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, you can still find some opportunities to connect with nature too.
Here are our low-maintenance, “green” recommendations:
- Mother-In-Law’s Tongue (Dracaena Trifasciata)
- Strings of Heart (Ceropegia Woodii Variegated)
* Bonus Tip 3: Do consider adopting faux potted plants if you are not looking to commit long-term in maintaining these plants at home.
If you, like us, are also working from home amid the coronavirus pandemic, we hope this guide will be able to offer some assistance in setting up or improving your home office.
We, the hoolahgans, would also like to urge everyone to practice social responsibility, such as social distancing, and maintain personal hygiene amid the coronavirus pandemic. Avoid visiting crowded places and adhere to local jurisdiction.
And to all the healthcare workers, who are working relentlessly on the front line, we thank you for the support you’ve given to all patients and the public.