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The global pandemic shifted a lot of people into working remotely and that trend is predicted to continue. In a recent Gartner CFO survey, 74 per cent of companies plan to shift employees to working remotely post-pandemic.
Working from home definitely has its benefits and its very unique challenges, which is why we’ve gathered out top tips and products that can make your work from home life a little easier, starting with your work environment.
Consider your surroundings
To ensure that you have a productive day, one thing you can do is to keep your home at moderate temperatures. A study by Cornell University found that temperatures below 68 degrees fahrenheit lead to more errors and lower productivity. So try and aim for a temperature between 68 to 77 degrees.
You’ll also want to consider access to natural light, which can boost your mood, performance and help you get a good night's sleep which of course helps with focus. A study from The Ergonomics International journal found that working in natural light can even reduce drowsiness by 56 per cent.
If you want to take your work outside and soak up all the benefits of the great outdoors, using a portable monitor can help bring the two screen experience anywhere.
Distractions when you are working from home can be plentiful, leading to lost time throughout the day. A 2008 University of California report even found that on average it took participants 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on task after an interruption.
So how do we minimize those distractions? A pair of noise cancelling headphones can definitely help, but it can also be helpful to turn off notifications and block time to check emails. That way you are not constantly being distracted by incoming mail and spending precious time getting back on task.
Schedule easy tasks for later in the day
In addition to minimizing distractions and optimizing your working space, you can also hack into your body’s natural rhythm to get the most out of your work day. While it’s true that everyone can have different circadian rhythms, most people follow a similar pattern. That pattern shows that we are most awake and attentive just before noon, and we lose energy at the 3PM slump we probably all know too well.
What does that mean for you? Get the tasks that require the most brain power done before lunch, and schedule mundane easy to do tasks for later in the day.
Protect your posture
Nothing says WFH like back aches, as a mix of less than ideal office chairs paired with extensive sitting is never ideal. Of course ergonomics are key, since you should be 18-24 inches away from your monitor and your eye line should be at the top of the screen or just below. Getting your monitor to the right height can make a huge difference to your posture, and using a riser or monitor stand is one simple way to improve your desk setup.
When in doubt, take a break
Taking a break during the work day can make all the difference, with research showing that breaks can actually improve your productivity. If possible, you can even try and sneak in some exercise - a study by Harvard shows that it can boost creativity, sharpen memory and improve concentration.
If you find that breaks don't help with the aches that come from sitting all day, some people swear by using acupressure mats. There’s still a ton of research that needs to be done, but users seem to suggest that they can help with back pains and even headaches.
So what are you waiting for? Put on those headphones, turn off your notification and get better at working from home.