As families continue to work and study from home, staying productive within the confines of our personal spaces remains a challenge. However, inasmuch as productivity is a goal, it has also led to burnout. One factor? Putting on more hours at home. In fact, a JobStreet Philippines Report found that 48% of remote employees are working longer hours during the pandemic. The same report cites other stressors such as missing face-to-face contact with colleagues, a function of the work-from-home setup.
That said, are there healthier ways for us to be productive at home so we can better manage our well-being during quarantine? From giving more thought to the way we organize our work and study spaces to structuring our routine, we share useful tips that you can easily follow today.
Create a dedicated space
Since remote work and distance learning has become part of the new normal, individuals have been setting up home offices and study spaces at home. However, where you set up this space is another matter altogether. If you have appointed your bedroom or your child’s room for work or study, consider locating that office or study nook elsewhere.
In fact, in this resource from the Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine, bedrooms should be limited to rest and relaxation only. When you begin taking Zoom meetings or finishing homework in the bedroom, you may begin to associate typically calm spaces with these activities. Not to mention, the blue light emitted from our devices can disrupt restful sleep by suppressing the release of melatonin.
As a result, your bedroom will become a less conducive space for sleep as it becomes a repository for office and schoolwork. This is certainly something we don’t need at a time when sufficient rest is vital while working from home amid a pandemic.
If you have a spare room, set up your home office there instead. An unused guest room is a good option for this. A designated spot in the living room works as well. If space is at a premium, you can find several space-saving furniture options in the market. Rising desks which are great options for minimizing back pain usually have a small footprint.
Alternatively, you can look into some surprising spots in your home. Consider the spacious landing at the top of the stairs or perhaps a wide hallway. Wherever you choose to place your home office, sometimes all it takes is some creative space planning.
Spruce up your work or study desk
Now that you have a defined spot for your home office, don’t forget to add design elements. Nothing can be more off-putting than a messy, disorganized work desk in full view from your living room! Remember, a visually appealing space applies to all parts of your house. And if you want to be productive at home, your work space needs to inspire thinking and creativity.
First of all, choose furniture pieces that will complement your home’s interior design. If your home features Scandinavian design elements, a mid century modern desk and chair will fit right in.
Second, organize essential items with flair. There is no need to feel limited by utilitarian office accessories. Woven baskets, pottery, and even colorful storage cabinets all lend visual interest. Placing artwork on walls or mounting a mood board that you can constantly edit with various inspirational items also encourages creativity. Even books and office documents can be organized on shelves in a more stylistic manner by incorporating bookends, potted plants, framed photos, and other decorative elements.
Use routine to manage productivity during quarantine
Having a strict work routine–and sticking to it–cannot be emphasized enough. Routine imparts a sense of control and predictability at a time of collective stress. Moreover, routine is a tool for ensuring that your needs beyond work productivity are met. This includes time for a daily exercise session, eating with the family, coffee breaks, or the occasional virtual hangout with friends.
If you still find yourself struggling with routine, don’t be hard on yourself. You can certainly build better habits over time.
For example, if you end your work day at 6pm, avoid answering those late night texts from officemates. For the most part, a response can wait till morning. Writing a list of what you need to accomplish is another way to structure your tasks so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Even something as simple as getting into the habit of dressing for work can put you in a productive mindset.
Including exercise into your daily routine is another great way to create better work-life balance, which in turn affects productivity. If you live in a community with generous access to green spaces and recreational facilities, take advantage of these amenities. Go for an after-work jog or set aside time to play a sport or work out at the gym. Or use the space in your home to follow an exercise video, or opt for an outdoor yoga or meditation session in your backyard, where the lush environs can help aid in relaxation.
Don’t forget to rest
Finally, be kind to yourself and get sufficient rest. The pandemic has led many individuals to fall into the productivity trap, towing the line between efficiency and workaholism. In research done by Professor Ten Brummelhuis of the Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business, Brummelhuis says the pandemic has contributed to work intensification, no thanks to a lack of social activities we may have previously engaged in after hours.
Brummelhuis further recommends that boundaries and limitations be clearly communicated to both your family members as well as your work team. And more importantly, to know when to take a break and call it a day. After all, your home should still feel like the sanctuary that it was meant to be.
Build a refreshing home at Terreno South
You can create a home where you can be productive while maintaining a good quality of life built on balance and regard for well-being. At Terreno South, you and your family can enjoy inspired living amid lush green spaces by way of two hectares of open spaces and pocket parks.
Located in Lipa City, Batangas, Terreno South is strategically located near key locales offering the comforts of urban living while keeping you and your family close to nature. And with 46 hectares of land, you are sure to find an ideal lot on which to build your very own sanctuary.
Contact Rockwell to learn more about Terreno South.