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How to Improve Your Remote Work Environment for Better Productivity

Although some remote workers haven’t been to an office in years, most of the people working from home today have only been doing so for a few months. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 30% of workers employed in March transitioned to remote work by the first week of April. In the hasty switch to working from home after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people may not have spent enough time figuring out what at-home environment makes them most productive, even if companies have invested a lot of time determining which remote communication technologies work best. In this article, a variety of improvements to remote work environments are discussed. 

Physically Separate Work and Leisure

One of the primary psychological benefits of working in an office is the spatial separation between work and personal life. Employees are expected to be working most of the time in the office since most jobs don’t require employees to perform work-related tasks at home. In general, this separation improves productivity. When people work and relax in the same space, it can be challenging to prevent interruptions during work time. It’s also difficult to set a specific schedule this way; work-life balance can be challenging for many people. 

For this reason, employees with large enough living arrangements should consider moving their work areas away from where they relax and do other activities. 

Try Working Outside

Since laptops work well both indoors and outdoors, working outside some of the time can be a good way to get a change of scenery and a breath of fresh air. The mental benefits of working in a new and interesting environment should not be dismissed. In fact, a variety of studies have found conclusive evidence that working outside can significantly improve employee well-being, according to a Forbes article. For professions in which writer’s block is a concern, a fresh environment can provide much-needed inspiration and break up the monotony of working during a pandemic. 

Invest in a Quality Desk Setup

A comfortable desk chair, keyboard, and mouse can make a huge difference in productivity, not to mention reducing repetitive stress injuries. Even without purchasing any new computer peripherals or furniture, simply adjusting monitors and chairs to better meet ergonomic requirements can be a major improvement.

Split ergonomic keyboards are a popular choice for opening up users’ arms and tilting their wrists in a more comfortable position. Vertical mice or trackballs can decrease wrist injuries associated with mouse use. While most ergonomics-focused chairs and furniture include lots of lumbar support, some people opt for exercise balls, which allow users to fidget and can help strengthen core muscles. Remote workers should try a few different kinds of furniture to determine which is most comfortable and productive. 

Always Continue Experimenting

The move to remote work has been a large change for many people. For this reason, it’s important to continue experimenting with various strategies to make working from home just as comfortable and productive as working in the office. Although much of the focus on remote work productivity has centered around technologies for collaborating and communicating, considering the environment in which employees work at home is equally important for ensuring that companies maintain a productive remote workforce.

 

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