Designing a Cohesive and Productive Remote Work Space
Remote work is the order of business in the post-pandemic world. From settling in at a coffee shop to working from home to signing up for a cowork space, everyone is figuring out how to stay happy, healthy, and productive as a remote worker.
If you’re overseeing a cowork space or you’re setting up your own work-from-home operation, here are a few tips to help you design an environment that is as cohesive and productive as possible.
Start with Structure
Succeeding as a remote worker starts with controlling your work environment. If you’re talking about a home office, this begins with dedicating a space that is conducive to working.
Ideally, this should be more than a corner of a bedroom. Look for an area that you can truly claim as your own workspace. Then remove distractions and tend to the ergonomics.
In the case of a cowork setting, the general structure of the space is even more critical. After all, remote workers will be paying you to use it instead of their own homes or free coffee shops.
If you’re overseeing a cowork space, make sure to address the remote work basics. Invest in specific colors that help promote balance, boost energy, and improve mental clarity. Space things out well and look for ways to minimize as many distractions as possible.
Find Your Focus Areas
Once you’ve picked your workspace and addressed the basic aesthetics, layout, and function of the area, it’s time to consider where you’ll focus.
On the homefront, this tends to involve setting boundaries. Can you shut a door or at least hang a curtain to separate your workspace from your personal life? Let your loved ones know that you aren’t to be distracted when you’re in your focus area, as well. Being proactive like this can help you stay in the right mindset as you labor from home.
In the case of a cowork setting or virtual office space, you must nail the focus spaces. From creating sound policies to setting up day offices, do what you can to give those using your space the ability to hone in on deep-focus work when needed.
Address Meeting Spaces, Too
Focus areas are a primary part of remote work. But you also need to have a space where you can engage with others.
In the case of a work-from-home setting, this means finding an area where you can take phone calls and professionally attend video meetings. Along with finding a quiet, undisturbed space, you also want to set up a proper background for video meetings that addresses basic items such as:
● Proper lighting that enables attendees to see your face well.
● High-quality sound — in both directions — via good speakers and a solid microphone.
● Comfortable furniture that can help you stay relaxed and focused during meetings.
● A nice background that won’t clash with your face or be too distracting.
When it comes to cowork spaces, group meeting areas should be designed with a few things in mind. If you have individuals participating in in-person meetings, make sure that you have a designated space that they can use to discuss things without distracting everyone else.
You’ll also probably have remote workers who need to attend virtual meetings from time to time. Giving them isolated areas where they can focus without distractions or technical difficulties is also key.
Don’t Forget the Frills
Finally, there are the frills. At this point, you’ve set up a productive workspace that facilitates long-term work. It has focus areas and is equipped for meetings. Now it’s time to focus on making the space usable around the clock.
One way to do this is by making your space more comfortable. Both home offices and cowork spaces can benefit from things like incorporating natural elements or implementing good lighting.
You can also take things a step further by installing extracurricular perks. A pour-over coffee setup in the kitchen is a great way to stretch your legs when you’re working at home. Setting up a home gym with rented equipment or online video classes can also give you a great workout option to break up a long workday on the homefront.
In the case of a cowork space, you can embrace all of these concepts at once. Coworking and gyms have been integrated for years now. By creating work-friendly environments that also have coffee bars fitness options, you greatly increase the comprehensive and productive nature of your workspace.
Finding the Right Remote Work Space
Many factors go into a proper remote workspace. This starts with basics, like dedicating a work area and picking the right colors to set the right tone for your work. From there, set up focus and meeting areas. Finally, add a few frilly splashes to help your space remain engaging and interesting.
If you can approach your remote workspace systematically in this manner, you’ll end up with a remote environment that is cohesive, productive, and will serve you well far into the future.