5 Essentials For Working From Home In The Autumn/Winter
Even though it feels like this year will never end, and we’ve collectively been through a lot, millions of us are still working from home.
While the idea of getting up on a wet November morning doesn’t sound fun at all, there were some advantages which the office had over whatever set-up you now call your home office.
If you’re going to be working from home for the foreseeable, you’ll want to get some things to make sure these months are going to make your work environment turn sour.
Here are five essentials for working from home at this time of year, all to make the change in the seasons more tolerable. It all starts with adding a little splash of green.
Having a plant near you is going to help boost your mood, but not for the reason you think. There’s a common misconception that having plants indoors helps purify the air. While plants can help remove some VOCs and other harmful bacteria from the air (in closed environments) they’re not going to suddenly see you breathing the cleanest air ever.
So why would I even recommend getting a plant? Well, it will help brighten up your little home office and inject some much-needed colour on these miserable autumn days. A plant will also give you something to take care of. And if there’s going to be more lockdowns on the horizon, it’s always good to have more hobbies at home.
If you want to dig into the big mystery around having plants indoors, I recommend this article at The Atlantic, which breaks down why everyone mistakenly thinks plants are good for air quality.
There are a lot of different house plants that you can choose from, and all require their own unique type of care. For first-time plant owners, it’s a good idea to opt for a plant that is durable, and that can survive without regular care. This is so that the plant doesn’t suffer if you forget to water it and that you can keep a plant without having to worry about complicated things like the acidity of the soil and water purity.
Some of the easiest plants to care for include the stunning monstera, the sansevieria, and the fun hedgehog aloe. Once you get the experience of looking after these basic houseplants, you can then turn your attention to looking after some more challenging foliage, with the ultimate houseplant being the stubborn bonsai tree.
Blue Light Glasses
Seasonal Affective Disorder hits people in different ways. The longer nights and dark mornings can really bring anyone’s mood down. With most of us needing to be on 9 am video calls when working on dark mornings, staring at bright screens the first thing is going to disrupt how our brains naturally process the day. And while it’s something a good cup of coffee can usually fix, when you’re staring at screens all day and it’s dark by 5 pm again, your eyes are going to be crying out for a break.
Furthermore, spending all day looking at a blue screen can mess up your sleep cycle, especially if you’re looking at those screens later on in the day. This is because our eyes and body associate blue light to daytime because it’s the same colour a clear sky will look like. Seeing this blue light will tell our brain that it’s not yet time for sleeping, which can then lead to multiple nights tossing and turning and not being able to drift away.
A decent pair of blue light glasses are going to help filter away the blue light laptops and phones are sending out all day long. I recommend visiting Kanturo’s website here to see some different blue light glasses at a decent price. They also ship worldwide for free, which is nice.
The Right Equipment
You’re going to struggle to be effective when working from home if you don’t have the tools and technology that’s going to help you excel. Most people working from home will be doing so from their laptop, and although this might have been a good way to get by for a few weeks, if you’re at home permanently, you’re going to need to upgrade.
Laptops are small and cumbersome and might not have the appropriate screen display size that you need. Instead, it’s best to invest in a desktop with dual screens. With this equipment, you’ll be able to perform multiple tasks at once a lot easier and better organize your workflow.
It’s also worth exploring your Wifi and broadband package. With more people communicating via video calls, it’s important that you have an internet connection that is stable and secure. Not all roles can be completed with basic technology these days, as careers such as virtual nurse practitioners rely on good network and internet technology to help perform their roles and succeed. Telemedicine is likely to only keep growing, so nurses need to be ready to handle the demand.
This advice isn’t just suitable for those working from home; it’s also sound for those who have partaken an online course and are then studying from home. Making sure that you have all the right equipment can help improve the way that you study. For example, some courses have a lot of interactive software and digital activities to complete that might be hard to do on a smaller laptop that doesn’t have the memory or software requirements.
To really excel when working from home, be sure to get the right equipment you need.
For many people working from home, those morning commutes where you get caught in the rain, or it’s just incredibly chilly, are one less thing to worry about. And while it’s great to have a more comfortable start to the day, you no longer have an office where the heating is on all day long.
I would recommend biting the bullet and having the heating on during the day if you can afford it. If you can’t, get yourself some new base layers now before you forget. Being comfortable while working at the kitchen table is more than having an ergonomic chair. If you’re not warm enough, you’ll be jittery and constantly fidgeting to stay warm. While I’m not too fond of the work from a home outfit of a nice shirt and pajama bottoms, some decent thermal base layers are going to help you stave off the cold. And don’t forget to get some fluffy slippers while you’re at it.
When following this tip, it’s important to ensure that you don’t favour comfort for professionalism. You’re still at work despite working from home, so you should refrain from sitting at your desk in your pajamas all day. Being sure to get dressed into a more suitable attire – such as jeans and a jumper – will also help you work to a better standard too.
This is because, when you change into different clothes, it can change your attitude and make you more focused and feel more refreshed. It can also help you better mimick the usual working day, which can provide a good deal of structure that many people miss when they’re working from home.
Are you missing pumpkin spice lattes because you don’t walk by coffee shops on the way to work anymore? While those sachets of dried coffee can suffice when you want something frothy in a hurry, the greatest home coffee hack is sitting in your spice rack.
If you make a pot of coffee every morning, add about ¼ teaspoon of a seasonal spice in with the ground coffee before you brew. I’m talking the likes of nutmeg and cinnamon, or even vanilla if you’re missing French Vanilla.
It’s such a simple little food hack you’ll ever wonder how you didn’t think of it before. Just make sure you err on the side of adding less, as a full spoon of cinnamon in a pot of coffee can ruin the taste.
Doing this to your coffee at home can help bring it to life and can also help you give yourself a little treat when working from home. Plus, if you find a flavor combination that you adore, you can help get yourself motivated for work by instead looking forward to the coffee you get to have.
Doing this instead of spending money every day at your favorite coffee shop can help you save a fair bit of loose change, which can instead be put towards something more exciting and fun. Most people already have these interesting spices and flavorings at home, so there’s no need to head out to the shop to spend more, making this a great way to improve your working from the home situation during the winter.
Are you getting ready for seasonal shopping?
It’s almost getting to that time of year where you need to put your thinking hat on and start buying gifts. Once you’ve got your home office in order, check out the Winter Wonders section of the site for seasonal must-haves.