With many of us forced to work from home in the wake of the Coronavirus epidemic, you may still be trying to figure out how to set yourself up so that you can be productive and try to keep some divide between your work space and living space.  Here are some tips for figuring out where in your home to work and how to set up your workspace.

Let’s start with where to set up your workspace:

  1. Make sure you’re working in a well-ventilated space. Try to situate yourself someplace where you can get some fresh air.   Poor ventilation can decrease your work performance.   Workers placed in well-ventilated offices with low levels of indoor pollutants and carbon dioxide have shown  significantly higher cognitive functioning scores  in crucial areas such as responding to a crisis or developing strategy. 
  2. Figure out what kind of background noise you need.  Some people need to work in a nearly silent environment so that they don’t get distracted.  Others prefer a constant hum of background noise.  Figure out which works better for you and situate yourself appropriately.  If you’re somebody who prefers background noise, also consider playing sounds like the sounds of rainfall, waves, or night sounds, rather than music. 
  3. Keep the temperature as close to 71°F as possible.  Studies have shown that when working in optimal temperatures, workers improve the speed and accuracy of their work. 
  4. Select a workspace with lots of natural light. Workers in windowless offices spend 15% less time staying on task  than workers in offices with windows. 

 

Now that we’ve found a spot, let’s figure out if you need some additional furniture or devices: 

  1. Order an ergonomic chair. An uncomfortable chair can decrease your productivity and increase your aches and pains.  With limited ability to step outside, you’re not going to want to have to get up frequent to stretch out. 
  2. Consider investing in a standing desk.  If you have a standing desk at work, consider investing in one for your home.  This might also be the time to try this out if you get restless sitting down.  Standing desks can lead to  improved productivity, well-being, and concentration
  3. Two screens are better than one. Using two computer monitors has shown to increase your productivity.  Utilizing two screens gives you a larger visual field, enabling you to perform tasks more efficiently. 
  4. Consider task lighting. Task lighting provides improved illumination to a specific workspace or task area. Desk lamps, reading lamps, and under-cabinet lights found in many offices are all examples of efficient task lighting. 
  5. Get a plant.  Not only are they aesthetically pleasing,  but indoor plants can help keep the air in a room clean and well-oxygenated. 

 

For those of us who are working out of smaller apartments, not all of these options will be available.  But, try to consider as many of these factors as you can to maximize efficiency.