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The global pandemic brought a new way of working – from home! And this trend is likely to continue. In a Gartner Inc survey of CFOs, 74 percent of companies said they plan to have their employees work remotely after the pandemic.
Working from home definitely has its perks (PJs! Comfy couches!). But it also brings a lot of challenges. That’s why we’ve put together the best tips and tricks to make these days a little easier and more productive. Let’s start with your environment, right?
Look at your surroundings
A Key To A Productive Day? Keep your home at a moderate temperature. A study from Cornell University found that temperatures below 68 degrees Fahrenheit lead to more errors and lower productivity. So try to aim for a temperature between 68 and 77 degrees.
You should also turn to natural light, which can boost your mood, performance, and help you sleep well – crucial for keen focus the next day. A study by the Ergonomics International Journal found that working in natural light can reduce sleepiness by as much as 56 percent. Translation: Move the desk next to the window.
Even better: take your work outside with you and enjoy all the advantages of the great outdoors. Dealing with multiple monitors? A portable monitor can help bring the dual screen experience with you wherever you go.
Whether the neighbour’s barking dog or the temptation of a magnificent flat-screen TV just a few meters away, distractions are inevitable when working from home – and lead to lost time during the day. A 2008 report from the University of California found that it took participants an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task after a break.
So how do you stay focused? Great noise-canceling headphones can definitely help. Also helpful: disable notifications and block time to check emails. That way, you won’t be constantly distracted by incoming mail, which leads to a lot of wasted time.
Schedule simple tasks for later in the day
Use your body’s natural rhythm to get the most out of your work day. Circadian rhythms vary from person to person, but most people follow a similar pattern. In short, we are most vigilant and attentive just before noon and lose energy in the 3 p.m. break, which we all know only too well.
So do the tasks that require the most intelligence before lunch and schedule everyday tasks for later in the day.
Perfect your posture
Nothing says WFH like a good ol ‘backache. Ergonomics is key to proper posture, so note: you should sit 18 to 24 inches from your monitor, with your line of sight at or just below the top of the screen. To ensure just the right height, try a monitor riser.
To relieve the pain caused by sitting all day, opt for an acupressure mat – followers say it can help with back pain and even headaches.
Take a break
Make time for the day to do anything but work. Research shows that taking breaks can actually increase your productivity.
Do some exercise, too – a Harvard study reports that exercise can increase your body’s creativity, sharpen memory, and improve concentration. So go ahead and schedule a sweat session for lunchtime. On days when you’re too busy, it’s worth walking down the block even while on a phone call.
Okay, enough with all of the reading … get back to work!
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