While certain businesses are gradually reopening and welcoming back employees to an office space with new health and safety guidelines in place, some people will continue working from home for the foreseeable future. Even though you may have grown accustomed to working remotely over the last few months, there are extra steps you must take to maintain a healthy and productive work environment as the outside temperatures drop. From upgrading your heating system to cutting costs on food and drinks, we have some great tips on how to prepare your work-from-home space for the winter!
Check Your Heating System
Make sure your home’s heating system is ready for the cold winter months. Properly heating your home creates a comfortable environment and allows you to focus on your work without temperature discomfort. When you are too hot or cold, you become distracted from the task at hand because you are focused on warming or cooling yourself. Make sure you complete any necessary maintenance or schedule professional inspections to ensure that your system will operate efficiently this winter. If you are looking to upgrade your heating system this winter, install a ductless mini split. These heating and cooling systems are the perfect option for those working from home this winter for several reasons. They are nearly silent during operation, so they won’t be distracting as you work or talk over phone or video! They’re also so efficient that they will lead significantly lower energy bills.
Mini splits can even purify and filter the air by removing harmful materials such as dust, bacteria dirt, dander, and more. They also remove airborne moisture to prevent mold and mildew buildup. This creates a healthier and more comfortable indoor environment, which leads to an increased focus and more productivity throughout the work day!
Much like the temperature, your work-from-home-area’s lighting is crucial to create a healthy environment. Lighting has been shown to increase energy, suppress melatonin, help with sleep, and help improve your mood, which will all lead to increased focus and productivity throughout the work day. This is especially important during the winter, as many suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. This depression is often worsened in the winter, but lighting is one of the ways to suppress symptoms and remain positive and productive.
If possible, situate yourself by a window to increase your natural light exposure and increase vitamin D levels. This can also help keep you warm throughout the day. If you are unable to work near a window, certain light sources can recreate the positive effects of natural light, such as LED light bulbs.
These bulbs can reduce stress, anxiety, and headaches while increasing productivity. This can be especially beneficial for those spending most of their time looking at computer screens. They are also very efficient and long lasting, meaning they reduce your home’s energy costs and consumption.
Check Your Home’s Insulation
Before the winter weather arrives, check your home’s insulation. In short, insulation seals your home and prevents outside air from entering while preventing air produced by your HVAC system from escaping. Insulation is very important in your home, as it helps increase comfort by eliminating temperature imbalances and unpleasant drafts. It also lowers your energy costs and consumption by maximizing energy produced by your air conditioner.
A home energy audit completed by either a professional or the homeowner will determine insulation levels and identify any areas of concern. While insulation is important throughout the entire home, it is especially important near your work-from-home space; the wind drafts and temperature imbalances will create an uncomfortable and distracting work environment.
Check the sealant on any nearby doors or windows for any leaks before the winter. Caulk, weather strips, foam tape, curtains, and other simple repairs can properly insulate the area and keep your work space warm this winter.
Food and Drinks
A proper diet is a crucial component of a productive work day, especially when working remotely this winter. Certain foods are not only delicious and healthy, but have been shown to increase brain function throughout the workday by providing important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Certain snacks such as trail mix and berries can be easily eaten at your desk, so you can stock your area with your desired snacks.
Some hot foods, such as sweet potato fries and roasted vegetables, can be meals or snacks and provide warmth in the colder months. Hot drinks such as coffee, coconut coffee, green tea, turmeric tea, cider, and dark hot chocolate are not only delicious and easy to make, but help keep you warm and focused as well.
Clothing and Blankets
Your clothes are a very important part of your work-from-home space. Over the last few months, many have ditched their suits and formal business wear for more casual outfits while working from home. Winter’s cold temperatures provide you with more opportunities to “dress down” while working.
You should buy snow pants, sweatshirts, flannels, fleeces, and more, that allow you to stay warm and comfy this winter, which can help keep you focused and attentive. You can even utilize blankets for extra warmth and comfort! Bundling up also means you can lower the heat and save on your energy costs.
A Breath of Fresh Air
When working from home this winter, be sure to allow yourself breaks for fresh air. It can be easy to fall into a lull when working long hours from home this winter, but stepping outside helps keep you alert and energized. Possible ways to step outside include errands, a walk, enjoying a cup of coffee outside, shoveling snow, and more. This is a great way to break up your day, and you’ll feel ready to attack the rest of your work with gusto afterward!
Taking these simple steps to create a healthy environment for your remote work space this winter will lead to increased productivity, stimulation, and a generally more positive mood. Time will fly by and spring will be here before you know it!