Remote Work

Set Yourself Up for Success While Working from Home

Denali Sagner
December 18, 2020
3 minutes

Key Takeaways:

  1. In the new world of remote work, taking small steps can help guarantee success in your home office. 
  2. Setting up your space to include natural light and a professional video conferencing background is important in maintaining productivity and professionalism. 
  3. Keeping a routine will help you find normalcy in a rapidly changing world. 
  4. Staying connected with your team, through video conferencing and podcasting, will help you maintain a sense of community and teamwork. 

If you were sent to work remotely at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, chances are your “home office” wasn't quite ideal. Today, office workers everywhere are logging onto video conferences from their kitchen tables, bedrooms, and makeshift basement offices. Although your dog, roommates, and noisy neighbors may not make the best office-mates, there are still plenty of ways to improve your remote work experience. Here’s how you can make your space your own, find your routine, and set up the best of home office conditions. 

Make the most of natural light

As we move into a long winter, it’s more important than ever to make use of natural light in your office space. In fact, workers in offices with sufficient natural light report 84 percent fewer symptoms of eyestrain, headaches and blurry vision. Workers who sit by a window and take in natural light are even 2 percent more productive on average than those not exposed to sunlight in their office space. Situating yourself by a window will allow you to mitigate those unsavory side effects of staring at a screen, and will help you stay motivated in your home office. 

Maintain a routine

One of the biggest changes brought on by remote work has been a loss of routine. For many people used to waking up early, making their morning coffee, and commuting to the office, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a major shift. Although it might be easy to roll out of bed and hop onto your morning Zoom call in your sweatpants, chances are this won’t set you up for a successful day. Maintaining a routine in the mornings helps decrease anxiety, increase productivity, and keep your body healthy and balanced. Incorporating exercise, a healthy breakfast, a cup of coffee, and even mindfulness practice into your day will keep you on track, even in the midst of today’s craziness. 

Set up a professional background

In today’s workplace, the video conference is inevitable. Companies use video conferencing to share updates and collaborate on projects each day. In fact, in April, 2020, Zoom saw upwards of 300 million daily meeting participants per day. Avoiding reflective surfaces in your background like mirrors, investing in proper desk lighting, and setting yourself up in front of a neutral wall will help you stay focused and maintain professionalism on all of your calls. 

Stay connected with your team

Today, many companies are scattered across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Staying connected to your team, for work and for play, will help you maintain a sense of community, even while stuck at home. Schedule check-ins with your team members to connect on projects and assignments and to make sure they’re weathering the remote work storm. Host holiday and birthday parties, baby showers, and company celebrations through video conferencing, maybe even incorporating a game or special guest. Or, ditch the conference call and pick up podcasting, the newest and most effective way to stay connected while working from home. 

Remote work has transformed office life indefinitely, forcing workers everywhere to adjust to a “new normal.” Despite this change and uncertainty, making small adjustments to your workspace and schedule will help you stay productive and connected as we get through these unprecedented times together. 


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