As we’re inching toward the end of 2021 and reflect on all that has changed in the last 17 months, for better or for worse, working from home is the new normal. While many may be slowly returning to office life, some are not. Hybrid work models and remote work seem as if they’re here to stay, pandemic or not. Being at home for some people can prove challenging if you tend to thrive in a more structured, social environment, and for others, they’re perfectly happy and productive in a work-from-home scenario.
An advantage of working from home is that you can seamlessly change your routine/scenery. Everyone has their own work style and mixing up your routine/scenery at home is very easy to do. Whether the change is big or small, a change can help to break up the monotony and increase productivity and motivation. Regardless of your preference and the uncertainty of when offices will be fully open again, here are some things you can do to hit the refresh button on your work-from-home situation and boost remote work productivity and improve your well-being.
Change your office views
Take one afternoon a week to work from a coffee shop or simply take your computer to the dining room or patio for an hour a day. Studies have shown working outdoors boosts creativity, reduces stress, improves physical health, and more! Large companies like Google have even begun to create Bioliphic offices, which integrate nature and naturally occurring light into workspaces for employees to enjoy.
Sprucing up your space or making minor changes to your WFH office can have a huge impact on your overall well-being. A Human Spaces Global Report found that workplaces that incorporate natural elements, like greenery and sunlight, see a 6% boost in productivity and a 15% boost in creativity compared to offices that don’t. So, if your workplace is in a place that doesn’t allow natural elements or sunlight (a basement or living room), consider moving your space. Changing your environment can change your outlook and help you see things in a whole new light, leading to sharper focus, creativity, reduced stress, and higher productivity.
Find creative ways to take breaks
Paying attention to your well-being is as important as creating a change of scenery. What are you doing to break up your day when working from home? Are you giving yourself the breaks you need to stay focused in your home office? Research shows that working straight through the day without breaks can lead to burnout. It’s not always easy to find the time to take breaks while working remote but, if you do, it will only benefit your mental health and professional productivity in the end. Here are a few ideas of breaks you can try to incorporate in your workday:
- Meditate: In the workspace, even something as small as a five-minute meditation session several times a day has been shown to get you into a “state of flow” where fresh ideas can come to the surface more easily.
- Take a walk or do some type of exercise: It’s recommended that for every 30 minutes spent sitting, you should move for at least one minute to maintain your health. Try changing up the path you take on your afternoon walk or run or learn new exercise moves.
- Get creative with meetings: Next time you need to plan a meeting, change it up a bit. If it is safe to do so, invite your colleagues or clients to meet over coffee at a nearby café or lead a walking meeting.
- Plan time away for yourself: Organizations include paid time off in their benefits packages for a reason and it’s important to utilize it in a way that decreases stress and gives your brain the chance to reset.
If you are unable to change your remote work set-up or take the necessary amount of breaks you need every single day, try changing your environment every once in a while. It can make a big difference in your workflow and how you feel. Avoid work-from-home burnout or that afternoon slump by changing your remote routine with these suggestions! Let us know in the comments how it’s helped you.