When working from home, you want to give yourself the best environment possible to get work done to the best of your ability. Although many people do their best remotely, they do so when the environment allows for it. So whether you’re diving into a semester of remote learning or you’re working full time from home, here is a guide to creating a healthy home workspace that allows you to thrive.
Set aside a separate space dedicated only to work.
When you’re working in the office, you have starting and stopping cues built into your day. You drive to work and sit in your chair, and do the opposite when you leave. You know when you get there, your mindset is in the right place to work. When you leave, that gets shut off and you’re able to focus on the rest of the day and the things that are important to you.
If you build those elements into your remote workday, it can function the same way. Set aside a room or part of a room where you only work. You don’t sit at that desk or in that chair for anything besides work. That way, you get that same feeling of a starting and stopping cue.
Try the 20/8/2 rule or the 20/20/20 rule.
Part of a healthy home workspace is allowing yourself the opportunity to move around. These two rules have to do with breaking up long periods of sitting and working in the same spot. The 20/8/2 rule suggests you sit and work in one spot for 20 minutes. Then, stand and work in that same spot for 8 minutes followed by two minutes of taking a walk around the house, stretching, grabbing a bottle of water, etc. This keeps your mind and body fresh and prevents burnout from sitting in the same spot all day.
The second of these rules is the 20/20/20 rule, and it helps prevent eye strain. Set a timer for 20 minutes, and each time it goes off, stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This helps “reset” your eyes in a sense, lessening the effects of eye strain and allowing a brief break to check in with yourself and your environment.
Watch the height of your workspace.
A lot of desks and tables are too low to comfortably work at for long periods of time. Most are too low, causing us to hunch over and have poor posture. Looking down at a computer screen rather than straight ahead is also hard on the neck and spine. Ideally, you should be looking as close to straight ahead as possible when looking at your monitor. Buy a laptop stand that can raise it to a better height, creating a more healthy home workspace.
Do a daily desk clean up.
Disorganization and clutter quite literally put us in a bad mood and affect our stress levels. You know how they tell you to make your bed every morning? Do the same with your desk space. Do a quick, two-minute tidy up and that healthy home workspace will translate to a tidy headspace, too.