The Best Ways for Remote Employees to Manage Their Work Environments

The Best Ways for Remote Employees to Manage Their Work Environments
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What are some tips for constructing your environment as a remote employee to help eliminate distractions? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Mario Peshev, CEO at DevriX, on Quora:

Over the past 9 years I've realized that there is no ideal setup that is equally useful for thousands of people working remotely. It varies a lot based on personality, personal preferences, comfort at the working environment, proclivity for social interactions, and other aspects related to a company's policy and its workflow.

Which is one of the reasons why coffee shops and co-working spaces are so popular nowadays.

One of the key benefits of working remotely is the ability to establish more than one office setup while working on different activities. Here are several practical suggestions for constructing a work environment (or two) for the majority of your working hours.

Find or build a comfortable working corner

While allocating a designated room for your business needs is ideal, that's often not possible for most families. A second best is identifying a comfortable place that allows you to spend a full day of productive work with minimum distractions and impact on your health (such as posture or eye tearing due to room lightning).

A traditional desk may be a safe bet although studies have reported other preferable environments such as bean bags, couches, sofas or other comfortable areas that let remote workers focus on their work while reducing stress.

Boost your creative juices with creative desks

Stand-up desks are another popular trend in 2017. A bar table, adjustable (flex) desk or even a wide and tall surface in your home may be suitable for a couple hours a day. Switching your traditional desk or sofa may energize you and improve your posture, tone, or metabolism and increase your productivity for certain tasks.

Determine a productive view (outdoors, wall)

Varying assignments may call for change of scenery.

An outdoors view could be comforting and recreational, especially during brainstorming sessions and creating activities.

A desk facing a wall may limit your distractions and help out with focusing on mundane tasks or high-pressure activities requiring a minimum level of distractions.

Find out what works best for you in different cases and take advantage of your freedom while picking the right spot.

Sound environment

A home office could be absolutely quiet while working in a separate room, or annoyingly loud if you share a room with your family.

There are two essential components that you should consider with regards to sound:

  1. Creativity - people may be most productive in a quiet environment, or working in a loud space. A study by Ravi Mehta identified enhanced performance on creative tasks for workers surrounded by 70 dB of ambient noise. An average coffee shop provides a similar atmosphere which is why services such as Coffitivity have provided playlists resembling a coffee shop or a dining area for home workers who need the background noise at work.
  2. Business calls - a quiet environment is required while conducting calls as a laundry machine or a vacuum cleaner won't present you at your best light while aiming for a successful enterprise deal.

Prepare a setup for hands-on activities

Regardless of your ideal environment, make sure that you have a designated space with the right setup for best performance. Writing documentation or a blog post, carefully adjusting a pixel-perfect design, or programming complex architecture may very well need a solid desk with a couple of monitors, a comfortable mouse and keyboard, a comfortable chair or anything else that ensures that you are fully productive without any distractions or unneeded consequences for your health.

Gear up

In addition to the hands-on setup, consider an environment that maximize your efficiency.

This may include the best computer, monitors, mouse, keyboard, headset. Or a notepad and sketchpad for drawing and crafting mindmaps.

There are various gadgets that could be of use at home. A water cooler next to your couch, a USB-powered cooler for your cold beverage, or a whiteboard with sticky notes in front of you.

Smart home fans can purchase an Alexa which could serve as their virtual assistant and even connect it to Wi-Fi powered light bulbs which can switch colors or dim your lights with voice commands. Same goes for room temperature and humidity.

Ensure reliable connectivity

Most office environments are well equipped in the event of power or Internet outages (UPS networks, back-up Internet providers and so forth). Ensuring good connectivity and bandwidth at all times is fairly important for most online workers.

This could be implemented through a combination of a back-up Wi-Fi provider, a mobile plan with extra data, or a mobile router which could be used outside of your house or at a coffee shop.

At the end of the day, remote workers should focus on solid communication and professional attitude toward their clients or employer, managing work-life balance and keeping their energy levels in tact. Setting up the right work environment is a personal preference which could be fine tuned after trying out different environments and measuring productivity in various scenarios.

This question originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:

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