As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many employees into working from home, we’re being inundated with messages about staying productive.
There’s a lot of good information out there — but it can be confusing to sift through dozens of sometimes contradictory tips. Should you move around throughout the day? Should you stay in the same place? Does getting dressed make that much of a difference?
Endless Knot is here to help you break down what really matters to design the right remote workspace for you.
Start by looking at yourself
Before getting too focused on your space, start by looking at yourself. It’s important to think about what environment you work best in as an individual — not what environment you think you’re supposed to work the best in.
Here are some questions to ask:
- How do you feel about noise in your workspace? Does it distract you, or do you like some “white sounds” in the background?
- Are you energized by bright light, or does it have a tendency to give you headaches?
- Does staying in the same location give your mind time to relax and process, or does a change of scenery lead to inspiration?
- How active are you usually throughout the day?
- Does your creativity thrive in a “busy” environment, or do you prefer clean organization?
- Do you feel more put together when you dress up, or does physical comfort help you think clearly?
Depending on your answers, you might choose to embrace some conventional work-from-home tips while ignoring others.
Use biology to your advantage
With that said, there are a few pieces of remote workspace wisdom that hold true for nearly everyone, because they’re rooted in our biology. Let’s take a look at two main ones.
Bring the outside in
In our tech-heavy society, we crave a connection to the natural world. Biophilic (or nature-inspired) design is a growing trend in corporate and hospitality spaces — and you might see some productivity benefits if you bring it into your home, as well!
Fresh air through an open window, green houseplants on your desk, and earthy accent tones can all make you feel more energized.
Embrace natural light
Exposure to natural light helps reset our circadian rhythms, which improves our sleep at night and our focus during the day.
What’s more? Sunlight also gives you vitamin D. This fat-soluble vitamin isn’t present in many foods — and it’s particularly common for people to miss out on it during the winter months. That means spring is a prime time to bring natural light into your workspace!
Understand the “why” behind your setup decisions
Now is a particularly great time to learn what a productive space looks like for you. As we adjust to this new normal together, it’s undoubtedly a challenging and stressful season — but it’s also an opportunity to pay closer attention to our preferences.
No two remote workspaces will look exactly alike, and that’s how it should be. The most important thing is that your space works for you.
If you do your best creative work in a bustling environment, don’t be afraid of settling down at the kitchen table in the center of your house. If wearing work clothes makes you feel stiff instead of professional, don’t hesitate to keep your leggings on. Find what makes your days easier — and let go of the comparisons.