As the pandemic began, many professionals quickly switched from working in the office to working from home. What started as a tentative few weeks turned into a few months and now over a year later, many people are still working remotely. Furthermore, at increasing rates companies are transitioning indefinitely to hybrid or full-time remote work.
Perhaps realizing the convenience for employees and the cost savings for organizations, leaders at companies nationwide are making the move permanent. In fact, an April 2021 report from Garner found 74% of CFOs intend to shift some employees to remote work permanently. This appears to be a welcome change for most workers. A Harvard Business School survey found 81% of professionals either don’t want to go back to the office or would prefer a hybrid schedule going forward.
If you’re part of the movement and will be working from home more permanently, it’s smart to take a fresh look at your work environment. Many people transitioned quickly to working at home last year and makeshift offices became the norm. Now that you know you’ll be working from home regularly, making strategic updates to the work environment can support productivity, professionalism and overall success.
Create a designated work space
Even if you don’t have the luxury of a designated office, you can still make changes to make remote work a bigger part of your home life. If you have a flex room, designate it as an office during work hours. Some people renovate a closet or corner nook into an office with a desk and other necessities. If space is limited, consider a mobile office such as a desk on casters so you can bring your desk into the kitchen or living room when working, and tuck away at close of business. Monitors, such as LG’s unique Ergo models, can replace a conventional monitor stand with a desk clamp to free up even more room in your work space without sacrificing performance or screen size.
Upgrade your old laptop with technology that keeps up with your professional and personal needs. For example, the LG gram lineup is a top choice among premium Windows laptops. LG gram laptops are sleek, lightweight and powerful, with a vivid display. They feature a 16:10 aspect ratio screen which is larger than the typical 16:9 screens found on most laptops, and maximizes work efficiency, whether you use it for your job, side gig or passion project. With a long-lasting battery, you extend time between charges so you never miss a beat. Plus, the lightweight design makes it easily portable, so it can roll with your daily routine.
Assess the light
Proper light when working benefits you more than you think. First, adequate light prevents eye strain and helps you work more efficiently. Good light can also help you look your best on video conferences now that you’ll be meeting digital more often. A good overhead light is a must, so upgrade bulbs if necessary. Natural light is also beneficial, and by setting a desk up to face it, the light will illuminate your face, which is great for video. If no natural light is available, a desk lamp can be helpful. Avoid being backlit as it can cause shadows on video and reflect off your computer to cause visual discomfort.
Implement good ergonomics
Forget the uncomfortable kitchen chair or the too-comfortable bed — it’s worthwhile to invest in some ergonomic office equipment to support your well-being and streamline the work day. Some of the most beneficial include a comfortable yet supportive office chair and a hands-free headset for ease of communication. Be mindful how you type and interreact with technology as well. Ergonomic navigation is essential, which is why LG enlarged the gram’s keyboard and touchpad for extended comfort and efficiency without compromising the portability.
Set some rules
Working from home can come with many challenges, from distractions and interruptions to the temptation to work through lunch and extend the work day into evening hours. Set some boundaries for everyone’s benefit, including designating times for breaks and start/stop times on your digital calendar. To focus, add white noise or use noise-canceling headphones, depending on your preference. Talk with roommates or family members about respecting office hours and your workspace, and never underestimate the value of an old-fashioned do-not-disturb sign on the door.
Most people have excelled at working from home throughout the pandemic. With permanent shifts to remote work on the horizon, many are making updates like these to help them thrive in a remote working environment long term.