Working from home can be a breeze, right?
If you’re settling in for a few more months of WFH (the newest modern-day acronym), here’s our best advice.
Seek Out Natural Light
You’d be surprised how natural light can boost your mood and cognition. Try moving your work space to a place where your eyes can absorb (not look directly at or blind your computer screen) natural light while you work away. Making sure your office hours are filled with natural light can also help to reduce eye strain and headaches that are associated with those long hours sitting at a computer, according to a 2018 study published in The Ergonomics International Journal.
Feeling Out Of Focus? Back Away From The Coffee
Caffeine is a great tool (if not the holy grail) for boosting focus when working, but don’t mistake the feeling of dehydration for a caffeine craving. Coffee and tea can be very dehydrating, and this can lead to that feeling of unfocus and grogginess. Before work, make sure to get a good dose of water, and set timers throughout your work day to continue getting that much-needed hydration. It’s an essential part of your WFH success.
Distracted By Even The Smallest Of Noises? You Need More Noise
Have you ever had those days where your brain is distracted by any small noise that passes by? It can be exhausting.
The trick to overcoming that feeling? A steady stream of consistent noise at a mid to low volume. It’s why coffee shops are scientifically proven to boost productivity: all those machines humming and muffled voices make for a soundtrack of steady, predictable sounds at a low level.
So next time you feel your brain becoming a runaway toddler, flip on an instrumental playlist and play it on low volume, not on your headphones, so that it becomes the background noise. It will absorb any of those surprise noises that, once upon a time, were your WFH demise.
Work Your Best Hours
There’s no proof of those golden hours that unlock max productivity for every human being. If you’re a night owl, and work better at night, then you’re with about 30% of the population on that (60 – 80% of people work best in the morning). But, studies have noted that our moods are predictable during the day. We tend to be in a better mood in the morning, with a better attitude about work that peaks around noon, according to the British Journal of Psychology. Your logic and reasoning skills are generally sharper in the morning, too, so it’s a better time for decision making.
If reason rules the morning, creativity is better at night. Keeping those tasks that require creativity to the afternoon is a good idea, and may explain the night owl
phenomenon. Cheers to you, creative types.
You Need A Closed Door Policy
A host of studies (according to the Globe and Mail) show that open-door policies not only stunt productivity, but lead to irritability and frustration at the workplace. Don’t let this happen at home. Being available for distractions can be almost as distracting as the distractions themselves. If you haven’t adopted this at home yet, try it out and see the results. If your home is too small for a closed-off space, then headphones and a do-not-disturb is the way to go.