Remote work can have its own perks. You get to choose your office view each day, which could be the waves crashing in the ocean, a bench in the park, or the sun hitting a skyline just right, leaving you inspired. Now that most of our nation is working from home, you should stock your workspace with all of the items you need to be productive and efficient. Not only can your workspace have significant impact on your mood throughout the day, it can effect your productivity too. Here are a few simple ways to spruce up your remote workspace to optimize function, productivity and appeal:
1. Light: Your first priority in your workspace should be ample lighting. Research shows that a lack of windows in an office space can negatively affect sleep and productivity. Make sure you’re working in a bright, naturally lit room. If your house doesn’t have great lighting, try adding a lamp! Adding ample light will keep you focused and help you de-stress. If you’re in need of a little extra natural light, take a walk outside during your breaks. Exposure to light throughout the day is essential for good sleep and it will supercharge your productivity.
2. Pictures: Nothing says personal quite like adding pictures to your workspace. Whether they’re photos of your family and friends, your last vacation, or your goals, these photos will keep you visually interested in your workspace. On a day when you’re not feeling inspired by your work, these visual motivators will produce positive thoughts and help you get back on track.
3. Reduced Clutter: A messy desk can derail productivity. When stacks of papers and various junk over stimulate your eyes, it will be harder to concentrate. You may find yourself switching between tasks at random and becoming frazzled more easily. Keeping your workspace free from clutter will help your productivity immensely. Visual distractions can become a nuisance when you’re trying to focus, so take the time to clean your workspace at least once a week. A lack of clutter is not only aesthetically pleasing, it will keep you calmer and more comfortable throughout the day.
4. Ambiance: Sights, sounds and smells, they’re capable of altering our moods and our productivity. Make sure you aren’t ignoring the sounds and smells of your workspace! If you find the scent unappealing, try to change it up. You can purchase air fresheners and candles that are pleasing to you. As far as sounds go, some people just love being surrounded by a constant hum of activity, while others would rather use noise-canceling headphones to block out sound all together. Whatever suits your mood, use it to enhance your productivity.
5. Functionality: The average employee spends at least 40 hours working per week, and potentially even more with remote work. So, make sure your space is functional for your needs. If you’re sitting all day in an uncomfortable chair you’ll dread heading to your workspace. Try getting an exercise ball to sit on to switch things up or a standing desk. If you have a lot of video-chat meetings, make sure there is a space where you can move your computer so that the background behind you is minimally distracting. Functionality is all in the details—make sure you’re paying attention and adjusting as you see fit!
Don’t dread remote work every day just because your workspace is less inspiring than you’d like it to be. Get rid of the clutter and the stressors, personalize and add the right functional elements like ample light to reinvigorate your workspace into an area you love!