4 Ways to Improve your Work from Home Experience
If you’re not comfortable in this new normal, that’s entirely normal. But you should do what you can to make your home a more comfortable place to work, especially if your home has become your 9-to-5 workplace.
Here are four improvements I’ve made:
Set Up a Second Monitor for your Laptop
You don’t have to endure a crowded computer screen when you can easily extend your visual real estate. You may not even have to buy a second screen if you’ve got a smaller ‘second TV’ around that you can repurpose via an HDMI connection.
I’m using my old 21” Sony HDTV that was already in my home office. No, it’s not quite as sharp as a computer monitor for this purpose, but it works just fine as a place for me to park some open windows that would otherwise clutter my laptop’s screen.
Buy a Better Chair to Sit In All Day
Pre COVID-19, you might have walked a mile or more throughout a work day between your commute, physical meetings and lunch. Now, your radius may not extend much beyond thirty feet. And so much more of that time is spent… sitting.
Having a good chair that provides proper support for your body and especially your back is critical.
My old chair just wasn’t cutting it, and my lower back told me it was time to upgrade to a more ergonomic solution. (But I didn’t want to spend over $1,300 for a Herman Miller Aeron.)
There’s actually a dizzying amount of choice in the $200-$400 range. I chose the ErgoChair 2 by Autonomous for $369 based on positive reviews and its solid lumbar support for my lower back.
If you don’t have a standing-desk solution, the right chair will go a long way to keep your body happy.
Create a Better Video Conference Shot
So many of us have been separated from our ‘work collective,’ and video conferencing has been the digital tether to help us stay at least visually connected. You should always take advantage of this opportunity by generating a bright and affirming image of your face. Receding into the shadows is not going to help you engage with your outside world.
I’ve spent the better part of the past few months blogging about how to improve your Zoom look. Let’s review my tips:
- Buy a Webcasting Light
- Choose an Authentic Virtual Background from your Home
- Position a White Screen Behind your Head
- Use the Zoom App on your Smartphone
Video meetings are here to stay. Resist the urge to just activate the audio. It’s time to find your Zen with Zoom.
Wear Your Zoom Shirt More Often
I know lots of folks talk about having their ‘Zoom Shirt’ hanging near their desk to throw on when needed. And then tearing it off immediately after the Zoom goes to black. But I would promote the philosophy of wearing your Zoom Shirt more frequently… just because. I’ve felt it quite grounding.
So many of our daily patterns have been shattered due to COVID-19. I’m not sure how psychosocially healthy it’s been to be able to stay in your pajamas or T-shirt for most of these past months.
A little self-imposed structure is important when everything around you is in flux. Wearing your Zoom Shirts more regularly is one way to help keep it together.
Create your Comfort in this New Normal
Our new normal isn’t so new anymore. And it’s clear that parts of it won’t be temporary.
You can make the adjustments you need at home to support both your body and mind experience when working remotely.