Work from home is here to stay: embrace it!

Overhead picture of a home workstation including wireless mouse and keyboard, laptop on a stand, external speakers, widescreen monitor, and wall mounted television, with a fancy blue office chair.

by Teagan Lisson, Video Editor, Innovate By Day

Almost two years ago, at the beginning of the pandemic (how is it two years?), many workers were asked to work from home temporarily, expecting to return to the office when the crisis was over. However, for many of us, we’re still working from home. For companies like Shopify, Pinterest and Dropbox, employees are now expected to work from home permanently.

In honour of National Clean Your Desk Day, we want to encourage you to take the time to make your home office a more thoughtful and sensible part of your home because let's face it, we don’t know how long work from home go on, but you deserve to have a space that works for you and keeps your body healthy and happy, especially if you’re spending 40+ hours a week in that space. Check out these tips and tricks shared by Innovate By Day team members who have been successfully navigating work from home since March 2020.

Find The perfect location

  • Pick a dedicated spot that works best for you, away from distractions like the TV
  • You want good lighting and a free outlet to power everything you need
  • Strong wifi. There’s nothing worse than a connection that threatens to drop when you’re in the middle of an important meeting or a massive upload
  • Fast internet connection. This may be a major upgrade, depending on how heavy your internet use was before the pandemic. If you’re working with large files (like video!) you may need faster upload and download speeds than your provider’s basic high-speed package.

It may take a little bit of trial and error but it’s so worth it to have a place that is just for working.

Make it as ergonomic as you can

We are past the point of thinking working from home is temporary, so treat your body right. Many workers started working from home by perching their laptop on a stack of books.

  • Get those screens at head height. One way to do this is to put your laptop on a stand and invest in a Bluetooth keyboard so you’re not contorting yourself just to type. Another option is to hook up a second monitor. It doesn’t have to be brand-new -- you might find friends or family who are upgrading their setups and have an older model that’s headed for the curb. Snap it up!
  • Get a good office chair. It doesn’t have to be top-of-the-line, but repurposing a kitchen chair won’t be good for you in the long run. You need the mobility, flexibility, and back support that a good office chair can provide. Talk to your boss about bringing home your actual office chair: nobody else is using it!
  • Avoid working from your bed or your couch. I know it’s so tempting to lounge out, but associating your rest and relaxation spaces with work will seriously mess with your mind while you’re trying to unwind later. It’s good to establish that boundary. You might make an exception for the occasional video call if you can take it on a mobile device. A change of scenery can be nice if you’re not chained to a computer.
  • Put your best face forward: If you need to do a lot of client-facing video calls, get yourself a ring light. You can find some that are really inexpensive that can clip directly onto your computer.

Manage your time

This isn’t as much about arranging your workspace as it is about taking care of your mental health:

  • Get away from your desk from time to time. Don’t eat lunch at your desk, give yourself a change of scene.
  • Set up check-in times or coffee chats with your coworkers. Make this a time to just catch up and create some of the social time that everyone misses when working from home. You will be surprised how energized you’ll find a short social call with someone and it will make you more productive without even realizing it!
  • Log off when your workday is done. Shut down your computer, turn off notifications and get out of your office chair! I use the iPhone iOS feature Focus Mode so that my phone doesn’t even show notifications from work emails or messages from coworkers.

I hope you found these tips helpful. We’d love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to email or comment on our social media channels.

You deserve a work-from-home space that works for you. Have questions? Reach out to us and we will be happy to help you with your setup.