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The Three Keys to Thriving While Working From Home

Working from home seems great at first. But many pitfalls of losing your routine won’t be noticeable until you begin suffering their effects. We want to share some insights that will help keep you productive, happy, and healthy in your new work situation.

Working from home seems great at first. Your commute can now be measured in feet rather than miles. You can wear pyjamas all day. You can sleep in a bit longer. The upsides are all immediately obvious, but the many traps and pitfalls of losing your routine won’t be noticeable until you begin suffering their effects. As many people around the world find themselves working from home for the first time, we want to share some insights that will help keep you productive, happy, and healthy in your new work situation.

Here at Muraflex, we’ve spent years developing a deep, science-backed understanding of what makes a work space optimal for productivity and employee well-being. Every detail from material science, to the need to minimize sound while maximizing light, to beautiful yet functional design is calibrated to create a workplace that people genuinely enjoy being in every day. For people working from home for now, we’ve compiled a few simple, yet critical tips to help you adjust.

1. Have a Schedule

The first, and most important, thing to consider is your schedule. Yes, at first the change in routine seems great, but maintaining your physical health, mental well-being, and productivity is all much easier when your day is structured. When you work from home, you have to create the structure yourself. Waking up and going to bed at the same time every day is a good place to start. Fill out your schedule by setting aside specific times to work, exercise, do housework, and eat. According to medical experts, the more aspects of your day you can integrate into a set routine, the less stress you’ll have and the more brain power you’ll have available for your other decisions. You may never get to the level of privacy, silence, and convenience of being able to close an office door when you need to concentrate, but having a set layout to your day can be the next best thing when working from home.

2. Stay Healthy

The next area you’ll want to focus on is your physical health. Start by scheduling work outs and meals. Having a set time to exercise will prevent you from skipping it and regular meal times will help reduce the cycle of snacking and overeating that can occur when you work a few feet from your refrigerator. If gyms are closed in your area, don’t despair, there are plenty of great ways to stay in shape when you’re stuck at home. Doctors also recommend that you get up every half hour so that you aren’t sitting for long periods of time. This doesn’t have to interfere with your productivity. For example, you can take your conference calls while standing or walking around the room. When it comes to your work area, try to find space near a window or other source of natural light since reading in low light tires your eyes faster and causes headaches.

3. Protect Your Mental Health

The final area you should focus on is your mental well-being. Though this is often overlooked, it’s every bit as important as your productivity and physical health. A set schedule will help here, as will exercise, but that isn’t enough. One of the advantages of an office is the human interaction. Not just for productivity, but because face to face social interaction produces many beneficial neurotransmitters that have positive health effects. If you live alone, the isolation of social distancing can negatively impact your mental health. To combat the loss of social interaction while working, try to have meetings with your webcam turned on to feel more connected. After work, reaching out to friends and family more often can also help reduce feelings of isolation and foster a sense of connection. A little effort in this area can help prevent huge problems.

On the other hand, if your home has children, roommates, or pets, finding peace and quiet may be tricky, but is worth the effort. Start by creating a designated work space. Whether it’s a desk, kitchen table, or couch, having a place where people know that you’re in “work mode” will help prevent interruptions. If possible, choose a quiet place, as noise can impair concentration, leading to frustration. Preferably, choose a place where natural light is available. This is especially important if you live somewhere with an active shelter-in-place order because exposure to sunlight increases the production of serotonin, which improves mood and focus. The importance of sound and light is something Muraflex takes very seriously, which is why we design glass walls for conference rooms and offices with better sound dampening properties, so you don’t have to choose between elegant style and functional acoustics.

A new work situation requires new habits. If you don’t put in the effort now to set the right habits, negative ones will form in their place, which will be difficult to overcome. Much like our modern office concepts, the tips above all connect with each other to support and amplify their benefits. You’ve already taken the first step by informing yourself about what you’ll need to get through the next few weeks. The next step is creating a schedule that includes the information above. It can be so easy to fall into a negative routine when thrown into working from home, but with a little bit of effort, you won’t just survive the next few weeks, you’ll thrive.

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