By now the entire world is aware of all the ways that the global pandemic can affect everyday life. At the beginning when nobody had answers, insights, or solutions, companies and colleges took a break to digest the situation and work towards how to create a new normal. Enter, remote environments. It is quite common at this point for many professionals to be exclusively working from home, and many college students to be attending their classes all online.
Formally, your company, or your school, would provide you with most of the items necessary to set up your experience and your environment in a way that fosters success, but now that is almost exclusively up to the individual. What was once rows and rows of cubicles and desks, is now kitchen tables, nooks carved out in living rooms, and even park benches on some occasions. The great thing about remote experiences however is that you are now able to think about what you need to cultivate your own best workspace and what that means to you personally as opposed to what was decided for you by an institution.
Identify Your Goals
Before you can create a space that best suits your needs, you must identify what those needs are. This time in history has encouraged many people to reassess how they are dedicating their time and energy and to simplify their outputs. For many, that means a career shift, or all together change. Seeking out a higher level of education, starting from scratch, or completing a degree that has sat unfinished is now an attainable option for individuals with other commitments or hurdles like logistics, family, or funding.
Making the decision to invest in yourself and your future by taking advantage of remote opportunities to attend college is easier than you may think, especially now that schools have some experience in operating remotely. If funding is one of your main concerns study up on the ROI associated with a college education. You can explore your options and take out a student loan from a private lender to pay for college and find terms for repayment that are aligned with your long-term goals.
Get the Right Gear
Your work from home environment is just as important as your former office space was, if not more so. The need to be professionally productive within the same space as all your personal distractions can be a challenge. Investing in work from home technology and creating a designated workspace is essential for not only your productivity but your mental and physical health as well. When your job expects you to spend multiple hours in one spot trying to be productive, you will quickly learn that if you do not have the right setup, that is never going to happen.
Examples of items that are universal for work from home setups are laptop stands, noise cancelling headphones, a large monitor or screen, and Bluetooth keyboards. Each of these items serves a specific purpose that can alleviate many of the challenges of converting a space in your home into your office. Aesthetics can be equally important for productivity and one of the perks of working from home is you are free to do things like burn candles, open windows, and play music throughout your workday to support your efforts to complete tasks.
Keep it Moving
Get up and move might seem like the antithesis of being productive in your work and studies, but when your professional and personal spaces become one, daily movements can plumet. Remain mindful of the need to be away from your desk throughout the day, and away from your desk, but back to your bed does not count. One of the luxuries of working from home is the opportunity to take advantage of intermittent breaks in a way that an office environment may not have fostered, like a walk, mid-day stretch session, or even a full workout. It can be easy to get lost in your tasks and before you know it realize you have been sitting down for hours, so adopting the practice of using equipment like an interval timer has become a common way for people to be reminded throughout the day of the need to move around.
For the days that movement breaks are just not as easy to come by, there are some options for movement that can coexist withing your workspace. Height adjustable tables and under-desk bikes are two examples of ways to engage your body while remaining on task. Another way to force movement on even the busiest days, is to refrain from brining everything you need for the day to your desk. By not keeping every single extra, like large water glasses, tissues, or snacks within an arms reach you will be forced, if even for a moment, to get up from your chair and use your legs.