Daniela graduated Eastside in 2012 and received her bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley.
When I started working from home in March I quickly realized the importance of maintaining productivity and having a comfortable setup. Although my dream of working from home every day finally came true, it also meant that work picked up and somehow got busier! Throughout this quarantine, I’ve picked up on tips and incorporated them into my routine.
At the beginning of each month, I look at my biggest upcoming deadlines and projects on my calendar and make note of smaller tasks I need to complete in order to meet those deadlines. At the beginning of each week, I set aside time specifically to plan out my weekly goals and tasks. I transfer items from my to-do list onto my calendar and block off time to dedicate to them - this includes setting aside blocks of time just to review and respond to emails. This helps me stay focused throughout the day by reminding me of the tasks that need to get done in order to stay on track. Working from home can blur the lines between work and rest. To combat this I physically and mentally try to detach from work by building time to accomplish things outside of work into my routine. I like to build in time for cooking, exercising, and enjoying a good Netflix show.
Building a comfortable workspace also contributes to a productive workday. Rather than being bothered by an uncomfortable workspace, an ergonomic setup helps instead focus on the work that needs to get done. The key items in my workspace are an ergonomic chair, a vertical mouse, and a monitor riser. Back in March, I was using a regular wooden, foldable chair that was originally used as part of my vanity station - it did not have the support my body needed throughout the workday. I soon switched to a basic office chair with cushions strapped to the seat and back of the chair for ergonomic comfort. However, it soon became uncomfortable and in the way. I finally decided to buy an ergonomic chair that not only makes me feel more “at work” but also makes for a more comfortable place to sit throughout the day.
Since my desk at home is not adjustable, I bought a monitor riser as well. The monitor riser allows for a comfortable monitor view and helps prevent slouching. I chose a desk-length one to save space and put my keyboard and mouse underneath it when not in use. The last key item I suggest for a comfortable workspace is a vertical mouse. I chose this style over other ergonomic mouse styles because it relieves strain on my wrist and allows a more natural position of the wrist and forearm.
Working from home has taught me the importance of sharing our tips and experiences with each other. Though we are quarantined apart, we are going through similar experiences and can still learn from each other as we work to get through this pandemic!