To suddenly find yourself working from home can be quite jarring, especially in these unsettled times.
In a time when our health is so important and at the forefront of our minds, we can’t forget that the way we hold and move our bodies plays an integral role in keeping us healthy. If you haven’t already read our previous post about creating a work space or you’d like a refresher, you’ll find it here: The Modern Home Office. Maybe you don’t have the space for a dedicated office or perhaps you’ve found yourself with multiple family members needing a work zone. This can create an added challenge to carve out and create a fabulous work from home spot.
Here are a few tips and tricks for setting up your temporary home office:
Ensure that you have proper lighting. Eye strain can detract from productivity and give you neck and head aches. Task lighting can help to ease your eyes and add some ambiance. A simple desk lamp, like the one shown below can help ease that strain. The key is to find a lamp that has built-in dimming capabilities and adjustable angles to help get the perfect lighting.
Add something that enjoy looking at and can make your space visually appealing. A bouquet of fresh flowers or a favorite piece of art can really brighten up a space.
Use a laptop stand, mouse and separate keyboard rather than your laptop’s built in track pad and keyboard. You’ll have more flexibility to get the right height for you to be looking at your screen. Ideally, you’ll be able to maintain as close as possible to a 100˚- 110 ˚ for your arms to your keyboard, and 20”-30” from your head to your screen.
Make sure that the chair you’re using is the correct height for your arms to be at the correct angle. If you aren’t using an office chair, try adding a pillow to sit on in case you’re like me, and find dining chairs to be too short. If you’re taller try putting a book underneath your keyboard to get the right height. Your posture is important! If you have the ability to work standing up, that’s a great solution as well!
Create a space where you can focus. The reality of suddenly finding yourself working from home may not allow you to fully separate from others but the more of a focus space you can create, the better. Whether that’s creating a desk area in a bedroom (try not to work from bed!) or at the dining table, create your space to be as private and distraction free as possible so you can be your most productive.
Make sure to get up and walk around every hour. Whether it’s a walk to the mailbox, or a quick jaunt around your neighborhood, walking for just 5 minutes every hour can help lift your mood and keep you focused.
One of the most important things is to stick to a schedule and routine. Working in your pajamas is fine once in a while, you may find that getting dressed (even if it’s just a nicer sweater on top of your leggings) and looking professional can get you in the right mindset for work. Plus, you get the added bonus of already being dressed appropriately for that last-minute video call you’re inevitably going to get.
Written by Amanda Kratochvil, who may or may not be in pajamas, from her home dining room office.