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As we head into spring 2021, many of us may be working from home (WFH) longer than expected, and in some cases, permanently. Even though we’ve been doing this WFH thing for a while, it’s important to review our setups now to re-evaluate how we’ve been working and how well it’s been working for us.

Working with an optimal setup has been known to increase productivity, comfort and well-being, while lowering our likelihood of burning out or developing an injury.

How can we increase productivity and efficiency without burning out or raising our stress levels?

By making a routine and sticking to it. Many of us have developed new routines that are different from what the typical 9-5 workday was. Flexible schedules can improve work/life harmony, but only when you take control of your schedule!

Whatever you decide your workday routine is, push yourself to stick to it. Create a schedule, write it down, and work only within those hours. At the end of your workday, close your laptop to signify that you’ve completed that part of your daily routine.

What does your home setup look like?

Clutter on our desks can be distracting and reduce productivity, leading to burnout. Set up your workstation in a way that it is organized and clutter-free, so that you start every day with a clean and open workspace. And much like you would personalize your desk in a traditional office, customize your home workstation with pictures, plants, etc. to make it a positive place to be.

Where is your workspace?

Research suggests that working in a location typically meant for comfort and downtime, like your bedroom, can also lead to burnout, as well as reduced engagement. Set up your workspace in an area of your home that is different from where you relax at the end of the day. This way, when you’ve finished working for the day, you can move to the next room and tell yourself that it’s time to relax; the workday is over.

Is your workspace set up ergonomically?

This pandemic has reinforced to us all that proper ergonomics is essential for comfort and injury prevention—especially when working from home, where our cushy couches are right nearby. Ensure that your work chair is set up comfortably to accommodate you and your worksurface. Think about using external equipment, like a keyboard and mouse, which allow us to maintain neutral back and upper limb postures as we work.

Follow these guidelines to ensure that you’re providing yourself with the best work-from-home setup, so you can work productively and comfortably, and reduce the likelihood of burnout and developing injuries.

And, check out our Work-from-Home Toolbox for webinars, videos, infographics and more blog posts on working from home!