Last month, Twitter chief executive officer Jack Dorsey publicly announced that his employees are free to work from home permanently, stating the inevitable: Remote work is the future. This announcement has now set the bar for businesses all over the world, shifting thousands of companies’ core business models from a customary office to a modern home setup. What was initially a temporary work environment will become a new norm, drastically changing the traditional 9-to-5 to a more flexible and modern work structure.
Though this new way to conduct business has been met with mostly positive feedback, remote working can take a dramatic toll on one’s ability to sustain productivity and motivation. In order to avoid the proverbial burnout and to find ways to easily adapt to this new world of work, remote employees should focus on creating a sustainable home setup, starting with finding a comfortable, well-lit area to establish as their new office.
The Secret to a Viable Workspace? Invest in More Than One.
Having more than one setup does not require investing in multiple home offices but, rather, rather changing up the scenery as often as possible. A prime, dedicated workspace is key, but establishing a routine in which more than one area can transform into an office is ideal, both in keeping the creative juices flowing and in elevating energy and mood levels.
Any setup should include as much light as possible, maintained in an area free from distractions such as TV, and be surrounded with furnishings or a decorative area that creates an open-minded and serene vibe. The mood this environment creates will set the precedent for the quality of work, the use of time and the overall workday experience.
Adjustable Stand-up Desks Have Health Benefits
Interchanging between standing and sitting increases blood flow; loosens back muscles; and even increases productivity, with one study suggesting that employees achieve more while standing at their desk than they do when sitting. While there are an abundant number of affordable picks on the market, any home-working professional can be creative with a few boxes and a table.
We should view office chairs the same way as we do any intricate piece of furniture; just as experts insist on investing in a good mattress, for example, so should we make an investment in our desk chairs. An individual’s well-being affects his or her learning and efficiency.
Temperature, air quality and good lighting are a few environmental factors that also impact concentration and productivity. Remote working allows for more control of the outside world, heavily benefitting the worker’s value and overall job performance.
Create a Personalized Routine to Make Remote Working Sustainable
Aside from a custom-made home office, a day-to-day routine is just as important in keeping employees on task and accomplished. While they may still adhere to traditional business hours, working steadily through them is not recommended. Although many parts of the world are still observing social distancing, there is no reason employees shouldn’t take a mid-day walk for fresh air and a mental health check-in. Reports indicate that short, intermediate breaks produce better retention rates, improve stress levels and aid in an individual’s emotional health.
With the summer months quickly approaching, soaking up some much-needed vitamin D while answering emails or conducting meetings will do wonders for the brain and body. Incorporating elements of nature into everyday work has been shown to boost the immune system, aid in better sleep patterns and even contribute to weight loss.
The Power of Paid Time off
It may be difficult to imagine the need to take a vacation day while working from home, but burnout happens to remote workers as well as employees who work in a traditional office environment. Email pings throughout the course of the day and night, frantic calls from co-workers for assistance with a client, and difficulty differentiating when the day begins and when it stops are all challenges. Using paid time off, vacation time and even mental health days are more important than ever in sustaining a healthy work environment.
Whether an employee capitalizes on a luxury home office or finds solace in working from his or her car, one truth remains: The outcome of employees’ work isn’t a reflection of their environment but of their capabilities. The future of work is clear, and it isn’t a place; it’s a way of life.