Remote working is the dream for most people with digital skills. It allows you to work wherever you are and any time you want to. But along with this flexibility and versatility comes some responsibility. There’s no HR to complain to about your workspace and no management to message about your chair. You are in charge now.
But that can be a good thing. You get to design your workspace exactly how you need it to be for you to do your best work. Don’t hesitate to browse the net for inspiration. There are plenty of interesting setups to choose from including:
- Minimalistic —eg a chair and table in the corner
- Modern —a workspace under the staircase
- Private —a whole room converted into a home office
- Airy—a workspace by the window
Here are some tips that could help you set up your workspace and get the best value from it too.
Choose the best spot
When you can work anywhere it’s tempting to work nowhere. Or to open your laptop in any random spot around the house.
While this might sound cute, it could reduce your productivity. You could spend valuable minutes setting up and getting into the flow, which could have been used to work.
To avoid all this, choose a fixed workspace. This could be a place at home, in a cafe, or even on the beach. But make sure it has everything you need to work. You don’t even need to use it every single day, but it helps to know you have a dedicated place.
An ideal workspace has enough privacy, great lighting, and a power supply. It also gives you great vibes whenever you settle down to work. Find the best spot and make it yours.
Get the right equipment
Your needs may be different from those of others but most remote work will need some equipment.
The basics include
- A comfortable, ergonomic chair: This is non-negotiable. Invest in the chair with the best back support you can afford.
- A table or desk: It doesn’t have to be pricey but it’s a great way to demarcate your workspace from the rest of your home.
- A laptop: There are plenty of brands to choose from. It doesn’t have to be a Mac, but it has to be one you like, understand, and can afford.
- Internet access: The faster, the better.
But you could also add
- A couch
- A mouse
- Keyboard/wrist rest
- Additional monitors
- Walking or standing desk
Depending on your needs and your budget, you may also need
- Ring light
- Portable laptop accessories
- Desk exercise tools
Don’t worry about getting everything on the list, though. You can start with a mobile phone and internet access in a quiet part of your home and build from there
Create the right vibes
If you have the spot and the equipment, you want to make your remote workspace as pleasant as possible.
There’s a reason everyone hates the cubicles at the office, and you don’t want any of that negative energy anywhere near you.
Research shows that you are more productive in spaces with a touch of nature and greenery. Don’t hesitate to invest in a better view or a houseplant if that’s possible for you.
You can also invest in some art and get the colors right. Whatever investments you make on your remote workspace will repay you with better productivity and happiness.
Set the right boundaries
When you work from home, it’s easy to become lost in a never-ending cycle of 12-hour long work days. To avoid this, you need to set some boundaries around your work and how you use your workspace. Here are some of the ways you can do this:
- Dress for work. Most people don’t bother dressing for work, but having clothes you wear only for working can help you “log in and log out”.
- Have a well-defined start and stop time. It’s easy to keep working “till the job is done” but that can backfire. Instead, decide how many hours you want to spend in your workspace and stick to it.
- Have clear break times. Use the 20-20-20 rule (break every 20 minutes to stare at an object 20 meters away for 20 seconds). And have other breaks as necessary.
- Don’t play or chat in your work area. Keeping your workspace for business trains your brain to focus once you get there.
An excellent remote workspace is a foundation for a productive, happy, and healthy remote career. Your space could be simple and spare or a luxurious ensemble of the latest gadgets, what matters is having a place that works for you.
Don’t be worried about starting small and growing from there. Remember, some of the world’s greatest companies like Apple, Amazon, Disney, and Google started in a garage.