6 Tips for Reorganizing Your Workspace for the New YearPublié le 6 January 2021
Everyone wants to start off the new year with the right mindset in order to plan for success and achieve important goals over the next twelve months. One way to reset and reorient yourself towards achieving your professional goals is to reorganize your workspace. Doing so can feel like a fresh start, and can be a great first step on the path to professional success in 2021. There are a few tips for reorganizing your workspace for the new year that will help you to create a space that will help you succeed.
6 Tips for Reorganizing Your Workspace for the New Year
- Let in some sun
- Make it ergonomic
- Have a strong internet connection
- Prepare for video calls
- Get a little peace and quiet
- Don’t be afraid to accessorize
Let In Some Sun
As much fun as it would be to kick off a new year with a huge party in the middle of summer, New Year’s Day always seems to fall in the darkest and coldest time of the year. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, January 1st is less than two weeks after the shortest day in the year, meaning that we are celebrating opening a brand new calendar while enjoying an average of just over 9 hours of sunlight. A limited amount of sunlight is not just bad for our tans, but is actually bad for everything from our eyesight and muscle strength, to our overall mental and emotional well-being.
A lack of sunlight and its beneficial properties, particularly vitamin D, has been linked to a host of unpleasant symptoms, such as loss of bone density, muscle cramps, and chronic fatigue, and may even contribute to an underperforming immune system which can lead to life-threatening illnesses. And these are physical symptoms. It also contributes to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a very real mental health issue with periods of depression and other effects that are linked to the changing seasons.
One of the best things you can do for your overall health when reorganizing your workspace for the new year is to ensure access to a window. Of course, this does not mean getting a sunburn everyday at work, but ensuring that both direct and indirect sunlight are allowed into your workspace. If you are still worried about getting enough sun in your workspace, you may consider purchasing a specific type of light that is designed to mimic sunlight as a form of light therapy, which a number of users attest to positively helping their symptoms.
Make It Ergonomic
Office and computer-based jobs may not seem like the most physically demanding work, but it can still have serious negative consequences for your bodily health. People who work in front of a computer or at a desk for hours at a time can develop serious health issues related to joints, muscles and the skeletal system. Carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, joint inflammation, bone spurs and chronic headaches are linked to prolonged periods of sitting, like at a desk for work, and how you position your body to perform.
Reorganizing your workspace for the new year should include creating an ergonomic workspace designed in such a way that it does not put unnecessary strain on your joints, muscles and bone. By adjusting the placement of your computer, chair and desk, it is possible to work in positions that lessen the negative physical side effects of desk work. For example, to make your computer monitor ergonomic you should take these basic steps:
- Position the top of the monitor at eye-level
- Place the monitor an arms-length away
- Tilt the screen slightly upwards
There are many different ways to set up an ergonomic workspace. It’s important to remember that each person’s body is different, so that positioning will be slightly modified to fit the unique needs of every individual worker. If possible, you can even consult with physiotherapists and other healthcare professionals who can provide expert advice.
Have A Strong Internet Connection
With many more people starting the new year work from home and in remote work job roles, staying connected to colleagues is more important than others. When reorganizing your workspace for the New Year, ensure that it is set up for the strongest possible internet connection. Ideally, your workspace should be in the same room as your internet router, but this is not always possible. When living with roommates also working from home, or with familiar members learning in virtual classrooms the internet will often be shared, wth the router in a different central location.
There are a few steps you can take to ensure that you receive a strong WIFI signal in your workspace, such as locating it on the same level or in close proximity to the router. You can also consider purchasing WIFI extenders for a relatively affordable price. These devices will mirror a WIFI signal and rebroadcast, greatly extending its range and improving the quality of the signal for those located further away from the router.
Get A Little Peace and Quiet
Many people need a quiet and distraction-free environment in order to remain focused and produce their best work. Even brief distractions can have serious consequences on productivity, with it taking an average of 23 minutes for a person to regain focus after an unplanned interruption. This means that even brief interruptions can increase pressure and cause delays for an entire team. For people working from home or in shared workspaces, getting a little peace and quiet is easier said than done.
There are ways to soundproof residential rooms, such as upgrading the quality of in-wall insulation and repairing any broken seals in doors and windows. There is also specialty soundproofing materials that can be purchased and installed if you intend if you are ready to commit to a longer-term upgrade. That being said, the simplest way to get a quiet workspace is investing in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones. Just pop them on over your years, and pesky sounds and background noise instantly goes away.
Prepare For Video Calls
Remember a time when we weren’t hopping onto video calls multiple times a week? No, neither do we. Video meetings are a very important communication tool that have experienced an unprecedented rise in usage levels for the obvious reason that it provides a safe way for colleagues to stay in touch and collaborate when working in different places. If you plan on making many video calls for the foreseeable future, you should keep this in mind when reorganizing your workspace for the new year.
You can place your desk in a well-lit area, but not in front of a window, to make sure that people can see you clearly. If you aren’t happy with the upward camera angle, you can purchase a separate camera or simply use a box or similar object to raise your computer. If you have problems hearing others or being heard by colleagues, a simple headset with a built-in microphone will significantly reduce echo, background noise and other audio interference. If video calls will be a regular part of your life, don’t hesitate to adjust your workspace to make them as efficient as possible while avoiding the dreaded “Zoom Fatigue“.
Don’t Be Afraid To Accessorize
With the quick transition to at-home workspaces that a great number of professionals experienced last year, it was commonly thought that it would be a temporary change. As a new year begins, people in all industries and fields have now seen the benefits offered by full or partial remote work and many have decided it suits their professional and personal needs. If you have no plans to return to a traditional office and you are reorganizing your workspace for the new year to make it a more permanent work environment, don’t hesitate to get the right tools and equipment to make it fit your professional needs.
These can mean adding a proper desk (or even a standing desk), an office chair with proper back and limb support, a bulletin board to keep track of current projects, an erasable board to quickly jot down ideas and visually work out problems, or a simple do-not-disturb sign to hang on the door and cut down on interruptions. There is no right or wrong way to customize your office, and you should not feel guilty putting resources into creating your ideal workspace as long as it helps you focus, do your best work and reach your professional goals for the new year.