Hackernoon logo5 Ways Your Home Setup Could be Hurting Your WFH Productivity by@milespmurray

5 Ways Your Home Setup Could be Hurting Your WFH Productivity

Some people are having difficulty adjusting to working from home. The ideal temperature for productivity is said to be between 70 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature is too warm, the body works hard to keep itself in homeostasis. When you bring your work to bed, the brain gets confused on what space it should associate with focus. multitasking is a great skill to hone but multitasking while working does more harm than good. To avoid this, carve out specific times for work and stick to specific times.
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@milespmurrayMiles Murray

Tech nerd. Start-up dreamer.

Since the pandemic, work from home is more prevalent than ever. More and more people are starting to adopt remote work as a part of their schedule even after things begin to return to normal. While it has its perks, more flexibility, working in sweats, and better hours, among others, some people are having difficulty adjusting to the transition. The biggest challenge is learning to be productive in a completely different space. And while it is a matter of adaptation, you could be doing some things that are hindering your productivity.

1. Your House Is The Wrong Temperature

The temperature of the room we work in affects us far more than we think it does. When the temperature is too warm, the body works hard to keep itself in homeostasis. The result is lethargy, fatigue, and even dehydration. When the temperature is cold, studies show that cognitive ability goes down. The ideal temperature for productivity is said to be between 70 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on one what type of thermostat you have, you may be able to set temperature schedules. This way, when you need to be productive, your room can reflect that as well.

2. You Work In Clutter

With a busy work schedule, it can be difficult to fit in cleaning the house. But the clutter that accumulates on tables and counters can be to blame for a lack of focus.

When your brain sees a mess, it begins to feel stress. Researchers have found that clutter affects your sleep quality, anxiety, eating habits, concentration, and even your relationships with those around us.

The stress hormone, cortisol, increases when in environments filled with clutter. The brain can recognize when things are out of place. When it is distracted by the clutter in your space, it can't focus on the tasks it needs to focus on. Taking just 15 minutes a day to tidy up your environment can help your brain focus more on the work you need to do and less on the mess around you.

3. You Stay In Your Pajamas

Let’s face it, the best part of working from home is never having to put on real clothes. But staying in pajamas all day may have adverse effects on your productivity.

Often our productivity is linked to how we are feeling both physically and mentally. When we don’t make the switch from house mode to work mode, we become lazy, complacent, and overall unproductive. Getting dressed in the morning helps the brain understand that the workday is beginning and thus it should be focused on the tasks at hand.

This being said, you don’t have to throw on your fanciest suit or squeeze into uncomfortable high heels for this to take effect. Putting on an outfit that is different from the one you lounge and sleep in is enough.

4. Your Bed is Your Office

Similarly to your outfit, your choice of a workspace can affect your productivity. It can be tempting to never leave your bed when working from home.

But doing so can hurt not just your productivity, but your sleep habits as well. When you bring your work to bed, the brain gets confused on what space it should associate with focus and what space it should associate with sleep. When it’s time to go to sleep, the brain thinks it is still in a “focused” zone, making relaxing a lot harder than before.

In turn, decreased sleep affects energy levels, energy levels affect focus, and lack of focus leads to lack of productivity. While the ideal solution is to create a home office, if your only option to work is in the bedroom, try to carve out a distinct space for all work-related activities.

5. You Try To Multitask

While multitasking is a great skill to hone, multitasking while working does more harm than good. When working from home, it is easy to think about all the chores you can get done while on a call.

But this type of mentality can hinder your productivity. When you try to multitask, chances are you’re not multitasking at all. Your brain processes tasks in two steps, shifting and activating. During shifting, the brain switches its focus from one thing to another.

During activation, the brain turns off its thoughts about the first thing and turns on its thoughts for the second thing. While these steps happen subconsciously, the delays in focus that occur start to build on one another until you aren’t paying attention to either thing at all. To avoid this, carve out specific times for work and chores and stick to them.

Bottom Line

Working from home has its perks. But lack of productivity can hinder your ability to do a good job in your workplace. A lot of the issues with work from home are associated with your mental state more so than your physical state. Having a routine of getting out of bed, getting reading, and heading to your at-home workspace can put you in the right mentality to take on the day. These tips are a few of the many out there that can help make you your most productive self.

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