More than 70% of professionals around the world telecommute one day a week, and 53% telecommute for half of their work week. What used to be a typical 9 to 5 work schedule that involved a commute to and from work is no longer the norm for many. Advances in technology allow more people to work from home, either part time or even full time. With the growth of global telecommuting, some people even work a night shift from home to sync with co-workers from different time zones.
If this is your work style, you may have adjusted your sleep schedule and social life, but have you adapted your home to suit your work? When your home and work space are one and the same, details such as good ventilation take on larger significance because you spend most of your time here. With some careful thought and creativity, you can adapt your home to your global telecommuter work style to great advantage. Here are some tips.
Getting a good days sleep
Working nights and sleeping days has its pros and cons. One advantage is that nights are quieter and you’re much less likely to be interrupted. But when it comes to sleeping in the daytime, the natural light from the sun may send signals to your body that prevent you from falling asleep. If your apartment is too brightly lit for a good day’s sleep, consider investing in some good light blocking curtains. Really good ones should make your bedroom as dark as night, which will help you sleep better. Taking such measures to adapt to working a night shift may take some effort, but it’s worthwhile. For instance, recent studies show that sleeping in total darkness not only helps you sleep well, but it also has a positive effect on your mental health and can even prevent you from getting depressed.
Enjoying the great outdoors
Working a 9 to 5 job in an office means you get to go outside every day, see the sky and the trees, and connect with nature in some way. But as a global telecommuter, you get outdoors less frequently. Research shows that time spent in nature makes us healthier, both physically and emotionally, and that it soothes our fatigue and enables us to be more creative. Your work style may prevent you from being out in nature as much as you would like, but it doesn’t stop you from bringing a bit of nature into your home. Decorating with plants, besides lifting your mood, is a great way to purify the air in your home.
Getting a work space that works
For some, telecommuting means an open laptop on the arm of a sofa, a corner of the dining table, or a table in a coffee shop. But this is not sustainable if working remotely is your full time work style. You need a work space that will enable you to produce your best work and keep distractions such as the TV away. A designated work area also allows you to switch off from work and relax when your work ‘day’ ends. Prioritize an ergonomically correct chair and desk that will help with your posture. Finally, make it an attractive space, rather than one that makes you want to escape. Plenty of light and bright colors, for instance, may help brighten up your work space.
As a global telecommuter, your work can be exciting. Working with diverse people in different continents opens up your mind and imagination. Your home and work space should support and enhance your exhilarating work style.