Some of us love it, some of us hate it—but it seems like working from home will be the norm for a while. This week, we gathered our top tips for making your WFH system the best it can be.
At Remarkable Life Memoirs, we’ve been working from home since way before the pandemic. For our kind of business, home set-ups are just as good as—if not better than—the typical office environment. Sure, mini-fridges stocked with fancy soda would be nice. But we’ve found that personalizing our spaces for comfort and fun helps us be even more productive. Here are five tips from our homes to yours!
1. Determine your needs. Everyone’s situation is different, so consider your priorities: Do you need a lot of empty space to spread out your projects? A table might be better than a conventional desk. Is natural light crucial? Maybe it’s time to rearrange your workspace. If most of your work is done on a computer, though, don’t position yourself directly in front of a window, which can lead to eye strain. Susan finds that having a second monitor is handy, so she can consult a book’s contact sheet while preparing pages.
2. Invest in your comfort. If you’ve been suffering in the same dining room chair since you started working from home, it’s time to prioritize your posture—and health! Buy a new one or consider just adding a well-placed pillow or two. Samantha just bought a laptop stand for all her client video calls, and it’s been a game changer. Tip: Make sure your camera is at the same height as your face. You’ll look your best, and your neck muscles will thank you.
3. Surround your space with things that make you happy. We like artwork, postcards, and photos of friends and family. Even a small glance at meaningful objects or decorations can give you the little boost you need in a long work day. You can also consider plants or flowers to brighten up your desk!
4. Be efficient. Some of us need reference books at arm’s reach, while others use Post-It notes and highlighters on an hourly basis. If you’re constantly trekking to another room to grab something, reevaluate your set-up! Repurpose a craft tote or even a cleaning caddy to keep your supplies close as you go from desk to sofa to bed. (Go ahead, we won’t tell!)
5. Move it! Ace proofreader Keisa Frugé swears by taking regular breaks. “A sweet spot for me seems to be a 10-15 minute break every hour. Or, when I’m proofing a court transcript, I’ll break after every 25 or 50 pages. Resting my eyes and getting refreshed certainly makes me more efficient!” Pace during phone calls, stand up to make your daily to-do list, and escape to the park (or fire escape, assuming those options feel safe) to get some reading or writing done. Take care of your body, and your work will follow!