For many, working from home is the new normal. So, creating a space that promotes productivity and wellbeing is key. We asked ULaw’s Human Resources Director, Katy Camidge, to share her top tips for getting the most out of your study environment.
When working from home, you will spend a large portion of the day sitting at your desk, so ensuring this is safe and comfortable is a must. Find your most comfortable chair and use cushions to add extra padding if necessary. Having a steady desk chair is important not only for comfort, but health reasons and ensuring good posture.
When at a computer for long periods of time, you need to make sure that you’re using your equipment and sitting in a way that minimises risk to your arms, back, hands, shoulders, and neck. You can research this by doing a DSE workstation assessment.
Allow yourself ample space to spread out comfortably, with enough room for your textbooks and folders, and some ornaments to brighten up your desk.
Don’t be afraid to add a splash of colour and personality to your workspace. Plants, photos, and other accessories will make your space feel more engaging and less intimidating. The ideal workspace has a balance of the academic necessities, with some vibrancy and personal touch.
It is important to separate the personal and professional areas in your home. Try not to have your work in the same room in which you sleep and relax. This will help you unwind during your downtime and increase productivity during work hours. Some people work best when studying in a variety of locations to enjoy a change of scenery, so might opt to work at home during tuition hours and re-locate to a coffee shop during designated study time.
Working in natural light is best for your eye health and your attention span. Where you can, work at a desk close to glass doors or in front of a window to stay more alert.
Sadly, we cannot always rely on the natural sunlight. Make sure you have lamp close by to cut down on eyestrain. In addition, you can also add dimmers and blue screen filters to your PC, laptop, or smartphone to cut down on light that can harm your sleep patterns.
Try to have a clear background
With many meetings taking place virtually, we’re all getting an insight into each other’s homes. This can cause last-minute panic upon the realisation that your background is looking less-than-perfect, or housemates happen to be walking directly behind you. Check your background prior to online lessons, this is also good practise for potentially working in remote roles in future.
Connect with people
No matter how perfect your workstation is, make sure you allow enough time to interact with others in your family or community – these relationships will provide perspective and the motivation for you to keep up the good work. You can do this by joining societies, making WhatsApp groups with peers, and making sure to arrange face-to-face interaction whether for studying or just to see a friendly face in person.
Interested in studying law, business, psychology, or policing from home? Visit ULaw’s Online Campus page: www.law.ac.uk/locations/online