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Home Office New Year’s Resolutions

At the start of each year, we may feel motivated to turn over a new leaf, change a bad habit, or set self-improvement goals. Unfortunately, January 1 of 2021 did not bring back the normalcy we knew prior to the COVID-19 pandemic; in fact, most of us are still working from home and struggling to create the work-life balance while in the same environment all day long. So if you’re motivated to make a few changes, here’s a list of work-from-home New Year’s resolutions to conquer in 2021.

Create a routine.

While it’s difficult to work alongside family members, pets, and household chores, create a routine to maintain structure and bring balance to your day. Wake up, begin work, eat lunch, go outside, end work, and exercise at the same time each day.

Man working in a laundry room while at home. Create an “office.”

Set aside an exclusive workspace in your home using, for example, a guest room, walk-in closet, or even the dining room table. This allows you to physically walk away from work at the end of each day like you would if leaving the office. You’ll actually enjoy the other areas of your home more because you won’t find work-related accessories lying around like notebooks, documents that need to be signed, or to-do lists.

Take walking meetings.

For meetings that do not require you to be at your computer or take notes, plug in your headphones and go for a walk outside. You’ll maintain productivity and get your blood pumping!

Time-block your calendar.

It may feel silly at first, but time-blocking your calendar can keep you on task, increase your productivity, and remind you of important tasks to complete.

  • Block 15 to 30 minutes on your calendar before a meeting that requires prep time to prevent back-to-back meetings.
  • When you have 2 to 3 free hours and you have an important task to complete, block off “focus time” to avoid the last-minute meeting invite.
  • Add reminders to your calendar to alert you to important tasks or dates, like a coworker’s birthday.

Ask your supervisor if you can schedule an office ergonomics consultation.

This will help ensure your home office is properly set up with the recommended tools and equipment. A proper setup will improve your overall health.

Rearrange your workspace.

If you’ve been working from home for almost a year, it may be time to spice up your workspace. A change of scenery can bump you out of the work-from-home slump!

  • Move your workspace next to a window, on an opposite wall, or into a completely different room.
  • Decorate as if you’re in the office.
  • Add some plants, flowers, or candles.

Close your computer while taking breaks.

Most of us have eliminated breaks; working non-stop for long periods can cause burnout in the long term. To avoid it, close your computer and walk away from your workspace, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. You’ll come back refreshed and perhaps more motivated to check things off your to-do list.

Read more from this author: "How Ergonomists Work from Home."

EHS Best Practices, Ergonomics, Office Ergonomics