Dwell Well > How to Optimize Your Home for Remote Work

How to Optimize Your Home for Remote Work

Working from the comfort of your home is great, but it isn't always easy. When you're home, you have to push past many distractions – anything from devices to other human beings – to complete your work. While it can be difficult, finding the optimal way to work from home yields excellent rewards. Try these techniques to keep your work-from-home life less cluttered and challenging.

1. Set a Designated Office Space

Your kitchen table should only serve as your office on days you can't use your office. It's a backup plan, not the best idea. You should have a designated office space with a door so that you can be entirely alone to focus on your daily tasks.

Still, if you don't have any spare room with a door, you can make a common area your office for a few hours of the day. While a kitchen table isn't ideal, you can sit in the chair farthest from the source of activity and complete your work with few distractions. It may be more challenging when others are home, but you can get your work done with the right noise-cancelling headphones.

2. Surround Yourself With Plants

Decorating a home office is easier than you think as long as you know what to prioritise. Looking at greenery may help you feel less stressed, and plants can add humidity to a room. Without moisture, your skin can become dry and your body may suffer. Plants rectify that by releasing water vapour into the air. Additionally, they add some colour to an otherwise drab office space. They're the perfect multi-functional decoration.

3. Change Your Equipment

If you get aches from sitting too long, consider changing your equipment. Get a desk chair with the proper ergonomics to support your back and shoulders so you don't have to hunch over your computer screen. Great posture is vital in all aspects of your life but especially in work, where you stay in the same position for hours on end.

You can also buy a convertible desk. This desk can transition from a regular desk to a standing desk. If your body gets stiff easily or you just want to stand and work to be healthier, working at a standing desk with the appropriate footwear or comfortable mat underneath can help you perform well. Give yourself the option to work while standing or sitting, and you'll likely never feel too uncomfortable accomplishing your tasks.

4. Delete the Clutter

Nobody likes a cluttered desk. In addition to not being able to find anything you're looking for, you may experience more stress just by having clutter all over the place. You should aim to tidy up before anything else. Eliminate all clutter. Once you have a clear desk, you can focus on changing your habits.

Once you've eliminated all your clutter, start implementing an organisational system. You can find file folders and cabinets to keep your papers straight. You can store anything from work files to important personal documents in your office, but ensure they're stored safely so you don't risk losing them.

5. Plan for Breaks

You must give yourself time for breaks. If your employer hasn't built them into your regular day, you need to set them up for yourself. Staring at a screen too long without refocusing your eyes on something in the room can harm your vision. You can't sit down and work for hours without experiencing some sort of drawback.

Aim for a short break to get up and move your legs every hour. That way, you won't be sitting too long and you can give your eyes a rest from staring at the screen. Sometimes, a break is all you need to refresh your mind and help you look at a problem differently. All in all, breaks will help you perform better and avoid burnout.

6. Give Yourself a Commute

You don't actually have to get in a vehicle and commute to your office. You can set yourself up for a morning commute at home by simply getting ready for the day. You may not need to get fully dressed up as you would for a day at the office, but preparing yourself for any unexpected work calls can help you feel like you're actually at work rather than sitting in your office.

Don't forget to set a commute back home for yourself, too. After work, shut everything down and leave the office until the following day. You may choose a daily activity to do at the same time every day after you log off that signifies your transition from work life to home life. Maybe it's brewing yourself a cup of tea or walking around the neighbourhood. Whatever helps you unwind from work mode is a routine you should continue.

7. Use Light Strategically

When in doubt, opt for natural lighting. Fluorescent lighting can cause headaches and stress you out, making it hard to function at work. Natural lighting illuminates the room just as well, plus it can make you more productive and help you sleep better at night, thanks to the way it promotes your circadian rhythm. Plus, getting sunlight during the day is healthy. It can help you feel more positive and motivated to do excellent work.

8. Get a Paper Shredder

A paper shredder might seem like a simple upgrade to your home office, but it’s a life-changer. If you need to get rid of documents that have your personal or sensitive information on them, a paper shredder is the best way to go. A small device can upgrade the level of your office so much. Instead of hoarding old documents you don't need, you can safely dispose of their remains after you shred them, which benefits both you and your workplace.

9. Choose the Right Furniture

Your desk chair isn't the only furniture you'll have in your office. During breaks, you may want to step away from your computer and sit somewhere else. You have to have comfortable chairs in your office space for you or anyone else who may wander in for a visit while warming up or winding down for the day.

Including rounded furniture may relax people more than their angular and jagged counterparts. You want to be alert while working, but a visual reminder to release stress can be helpful in many situations. Plus, rounded furniture just seems to be so much more comfortable sometimes.

10. Respect Office Hours

When you're done for the day, you're done. Unless there's an urgent matter that needs your attention immediately, you need to close the door to your office after you log off. Anything that hasn't been completed can always be finished the next day. Respect your time by setting office hours. Once it hits "closing time" for you, end your current task and spend time doing the things you love.

Setting office hours can also help others in the home understand when you are working and when it might be okay to interrupt you with a question. You can close the door during your deep-work sessions to signify that you shouldn't be disturbed. When you're working on lighter things, such as going through your email inbox, you can have your door open, welcoming anyone in should they have something to say to you.

Make Your Work-From-Home Life Your Best Life

Working during the day isn't always enjoyable, but you can make small changes to make it bearable and work up to loving what you do every day. Remember to take care of yourself even while you're on the clock. Good posture and protective eyewear, when coupled with breaks from your computer, can benefit you in the future. Try to design your office space around productivity and comfort, and you'll start to enjoy your shifts more and more.

Live well with Moving and Improving


Click below to start your quote

Structural Engineers

Sign up to our newsletter!

No matter if you are moving, or improving, our newsletter is packed with the best tips, tricks and ideas to help you dwell well.