5 tips for working effectively from home. How to stay positive and productive

A well-organized, biophilic workspace at home, proper planning of your day, and correct body posture are key elements that contribute to your well-being when working from home.

In the current climate of uncertainty, many of us are being asked to shift our workplace to our home. Despite this disruption to work norms, there are ways to make your time at home equally productive and positive. Informed by Haworth’s workplace research, here are some tips for thriving in this age of remote work.

Curate Your Workspace

Introducing elements of biophilia to your work area—natural light, clean air, plants, pets, natural materials—has been shown to reduce stress and increase productivity and focus.

  • Move a vase of flowers or a potted plant to your desk, worksurface, or a nearby table
  • Work in areas with access to natural light
  • If possible, have indirect or direct views of trees or the outdoors

Plan Out Your Day

When working from home, distractions can make it is easy to fall into a workday without structure. Having clearly defined goals for the day and blocking off the time required to focus on them is important.

  • At the end of each day, write down a list of everything that needs to be accomplished during the next day
  • Break these items down to specific tasks
  • Allot timing for each one of these tasks, and consider tackling some of your biggest, ugliest tasks first

Change Posture, Position or Location

Throughout the workday we should be regularly moving for optimal health, well-being, and to improve cognition for problem solving. At home, it should be no different. Identify—and employ—ways to keep moving through changes in posture, position, and location.

  • Work standing at your counter or breakfast bar in 15-minute increments
  • Walk around your house while on conference calls or waiting for your coffee to brew
  • When sitting, find a chair that supports your lumbar region and the natural curve of your spine

Harness Available Technology

Don’t cancel meetings. Use digital technology and platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WebEx, and Bluescape to collaborate on files, present content, and connect with one another.

  • Use video chat whenever possible for more personal and engaged meetings
  • When brainstorming, use collaborative platforms like Bluescape to put together digital pinboards of documents, concepts, and links
  • Build in time during your meeting to do a brief overview of how to use the platform, as some might not be comfortable or familiar with it

Take a Walk

Spending time outside has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce stress, while increasing concentration, productivity, and creativity.

  • If you need to have a call-in brainstorming meeting, suggest you all take it while walking outdoors
  • When trying to problem-solve, take a stroll around a nearby park to work through your ideas
  • Instead of having another coffee when experiencing the afternoon slump, walking around the block will give you a better energy boost

Photographic material: Haworth