Well into the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing restrictions have forced companies to pivot to either a hybrid or fully remote work model, with over half of non-essential employees continuing to work from home in 2021. Whether your employer sees the benefit of remote work models, such as the increased productivity and emphasis on employee health and wellness, or misses the advantages of in-person settings like team building and boosting communication and interpersonal skills, the fact is that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we think about work. Many companies have adapted to a permanent remote or hybrid work model. While vaccines are continuing to roll out, it is safe to say we will be working from home for a while- why not make the most of it?
It is well known that physical environments influence well-being, this is especially true for the work environment. Having a clean, comfortable, and organized workspace directly influences employee’s work performance and productivity. If you have an extra room in your home or just a decent size space that can fit a desk and comfortable chair, designate this space to be your work-from-home (WFH) office. Whether your new WFH space happens to be an office of its own, or you are borrowing a functional space in the kitchen or laundry room, it is important to make the distinction in your mind that this space is exclusively designed for working. This is an important step in reinforcing routine into your subconscious mind to maximize productivity.
Once you have a designated workspace, time to give it your personal touch! In addition to making sure there is adequate lighting, airflow, and a comfortable tech setup (i.e., ergonomic keyboard, large screen to be able to read and reply to emails), trying adding some artificial flowers or functional knick-knacks for your desk such as a digital clock and pen cup to go atop your desk would modernize your work area and make you look forward to starting your day each morning. Constantly on Zoom calls and want to take your background a step further? Purchase a backdrop or wall art from Amazon or Wayfair to spice up your background and have all your coworkers complementing your workspace!
Working from home is not a new concept, many companies have been operating with either a partially or fully remote team for years, but thanks to the pandemic WFH is now widely legitimized and no longer stigmatized. In fact, look at WFH as an opportunity to refine your communication skills (there are a ton of applications used by companies of all sizes to keep in contact and collaborate on projects), expand your knowledge of technology and software designed to improve productivity and efficiency while working from home.
Have you been working from home for a while and cannot seem to hit your stride? Check out this article from Inc. on 23 essential tips for working from home to learn more.