More than a year since the pandemic began and some changes appear as if they’re here to stay. People turned to bikes to go to and from work due to reduced operations of public transportation. Several cities have encouraged this trend by introducing more bike lanes. Another daily habit that’s been changed by COVID-19 is shopping. Naturally, consumers went online to shop for food, clothes, and other goods during lockdown periods. According to a survey by the United Nations, the sudden shift may have changed retail forever. Results show that shoppers around the world would continue buying online even after the pandemic.
But one of the biggest adjustments in the past year was workplace flexibility. Sure, there may have already been companies that offered employees to work from home (WFH). But, not to the current extent. Figures show that only 12% of WFH employees have experience working remotely before COVID-19. And it looks as if this shift is here to stay, at least for a while. Several companies have announced that they have extended their decision to allow employees to work from home.
Whether you’re a recent graduate or a seasoned veteran, working remotely can take some getting used to. To help you cope better, here’s how you can build the perfect working conditions at home:
When it comes to comfort, it’s not just about the softness of your chair or the height of your table. It’s also about your surroundings. It would be difficult to work in freezing temperature during the dead of winter. It’s the same during summer. How can anyone focus on their tasks if they’re dealing with the humidity and heat? This is why it’s important to invest in space heating and cooling. Whether you live in the Northeast or in the South, summers can be cruel. No matter how many windows you open or glasses of water your drink. Nothing can replace a good air conditioner to raise the temperature.
There have been studies about the perfect temperature at work. Some say that women prefer their workplaces to be warmer while men want it cooler. The good thing about working from home is that you don’t have to compromise. You can set the temperature according to your preferences.
A study has found that 70% of people who often use their phones, tablets, and TV suffer from eye strain. It’s not just a minor annoyance. It can also cause headaches and losses of concentration. Work is stressful and difficult enough without these disturbances. It’s especially irritating because you can’t avoid using screens because of your work.
The good news is that there are other ways to prevent eye strains. One possible solution is to set up better lighting in your home office. Avoid working against the main source of light, whether it’s a lamp or sunlight. Rearrange your desk so that it’s by or far from your window. Don’t forget to check the lighting at different times of day. If you rely on artificial lighting, place them by your side or direct them on your desk. Make sure there isn’t a glare on your computer screen so that you won’t have any problems during work hours.
The workplace has evolved throughout the years. In the 90s, it was common to have cubicles and divisions between other employees. Lately, more and more companies are adopting the open workplace. Its intent is to encourage collaboration and interaction between colleagues. But the problem is that it doesn’t work for everyone. While it does prompt more conversations, it also fuels noise. In turn, the collective noise can cause stress and impairment of information processing. Instead of improving the employees’ performance, it could hinder their productivity.
At home, it’s a different beast. The sources of noise could be anything. It could be your child, the neighbor, or even works across the street. But on the bright side, there are several solutions for you to try. You can always get a babysitter while you work so you’re not juggling two responsibilities at the same time. You can also play some music to drown out the noise from next door. If you’re not the type to work better when there’s music, you can always use earplugs.
The concept of working from home looks good on paper. You don’t have to commute to work or dress up in corporate clothes. You can also get more sleep and eat better, healthier meals. But, it’s not always so easy. Your home is probably not intended to become your home office but it’s possible to transform it into an ideal workplace.