As this series of articles on Wellness in the Remote Workspace comes to a close, I am so thankful to have heard feedback from readers who take our tips and try to implement them in their lives. At Rivvly, we strive to create spaces where these kinds of conversations are encouraged! We want people to succeed against the odds! DEEP BREATH. HOLD. SIGH! OKAY! SO! We already know that the three most common obstacles of working from home are: Isolation, Time Management/Boundaries, and Workspace. So, hopefully, article one prompted you to get out and work in a cute coffee shop with a buddy, perhaps article two inspired you to incorporate at-home-workouts into your day to release some work tension, and hopefully, this article will give you some starting points to curate your workspace! There is a reason I’ve saved this one for last, it is MY FAV! And honestly, it makes a HUGE difference and (usually) isn’t too much work!
PART 3: CURATE YOUR SPACE
Environment, whether we realize it or not, plays a major role in how we view our work and conduct our work. You are responsible for establishing and maintaining the space that you work in. There is no night crew or woodland creatures coming in while you’re asleep to make it perfect. How are you going to be productive if you can’t find what you need? How are you going to be creative if you work in a bare space with no energy? How can you focus on a call if your too busy thinking about how your eyes are dry from straining to see in the dark?
Take a moment to notice how your body FEELS while you work. Posture and positioning are going to save you some major chiropractor fees down the road. I personally use stretching bands and I keep them right next to my desk. I set reminders on my phone to check my posture and move around! You might need to adjust the height of your chair, get a standing desk (they sell extensions on Amazon), and learn and practice some daily neck and shoulder stretches. You also want to be wary of sitting on a couch all day or at a high-top coffee bar stool for 8 hours- both are going to leave your lower back pretty sore. And you’re going to be distracted and in pain.
Not everyone has the luxury of their own fully-functioning in-home office. But decorating and organizing your space (whether it’s the island of the kitchen or the corner of the guestroom) brings energy and personality to a space. Just like you would in a cubicle or office, hang pictures of your family, have your favorite pens, maybe a few inspirational quotes or a vision board for you to glance at when you need a pick-me-up. I opt for coffee mugs and photos from places I’ve traveled. They motivate and remind me that even if I’m not where I ‘need’ to be, that I’m not where I used to be either!
LIGHT AND PLANTS! This is a fun one that comes in two parts… Part one: Light! Plants NEED light, right? So do we! Working in a space with adequate lighting does wonders for our craftsmanship but also our bodies. So dramatically toss back those curtains and let the sun in! Bonus points if you work outside in nature by sunlight! Working by natural lighting boosts Vitamin D, wards of seasonal depression, improves sleep and reduces health risks associated with fluorescent lighting. And speaking of artificial lighting, save your eyes from the negative effects of screens and grab some blue-light blocking glasses. Part two: Plants! Working in the presence of plants has been proven to boost memory, concentration, and improves performance. Having some greenery nearby accelerates the healing process, generates compassion and empathy, and reduces stress. Flowers specifically generate happiness! If you’re like me and you don’t have a green thumb, grab a hardy succulent that doesn’t need a whole lot of care, name him Dave, and let him work his magic!
Rivvly values a healthy work/life balance and a huge part of that is health. I know that there are a lot of suggestions in this article, so the last thing that I want to leave you with is that change takes time. But the best thing you can do is invest in yourself so don’t give up! Be patient with yourself and start small: highlight one bullet from the three areas above and start there. What do YOU need most to thrive virtually? What does YOUR dream work life look like? How does that support YOUR wellness goals? Allow yourself to adjust and learn from what works for you and what doesn’t work for you. Ask a friend what works for them and steal some ideas! A year from now, you will not regret it!