As third level institutions across Ireland begin the process of confirming timetables and finalising details as to the logistics of college in the world of COVID-19, one thing that remains clear is that we are going to be spending a LOT of time WFH (working from home). While makeshift laptop stands composed of copies of your favourite teen romance novels served their purpose during the early days of Zoom lectures, why not take the last days of this crazy summer to organise your study area for the semester ahead? Here are a few tips to turn your bedroom or spare room into a space where you can think clearly and make studying from home a little bit easier!
Working in a well-lit environment is essential to reduce straining your eyes looking at a laptop screen. If you can, set up your desk in an area facing a source of natural light, and install ambient lights around the room to give a cosier feel to your space! You can find inexpensive rope LED lights on Amazon which can be wrapped around your walls, paintings, or ceilings to add another pop of colour to your room.
Invest in a comfortable chair
Picking the right chair for your study space is an important element to creating a comfortable work environment, as you don’t want to be spending the vast majority of your day in an uncomfortable position. Pay attention to arm, back, and neck support and check out the wide range of desk chairs in shops such as IKEA to find one that matches the style of your room!
Adding some greenery to your WFH space is a great way to add colour to an otherwise muted room, and studies show that plants can even boost happiness and productivity by up to 15%. Succulent plants such as Boston ferns, chrysanthemums, aloe vera, and spider plants are perfect for the home due to their air-purifying qualities and can be found in most garden centres, so pick up a couple of cute plant pots and you’re good to go.
It goes without saying that access to the internet is a crucial element of studying from home as the vast majority of your courses will take place online. Before the beginning of the semester ensure that you are studying in a place that has reliable internet access. If you live in an area which does not support high-speed internet, consider buying and installing a WiFi router or switching to a different internet provider, or try to find a place in your house where the connection is strongest. If the problem persists, contact the head of your course in your university to find the solution to the issue of slow internet
Clean your space regularly
A cluttered desk will result in a cluttered mind; you should ensure that your WFH space is neat and tidy to minimise distractions and give you a more comfortable work environment. Invest in a wastepaper basket or bin for your desk for scraps of paper etc., and try to leave your work area tidy at the end of each day so the next morning you are not faced with the mess of the night before! Use baskets, drawers, and a filing system to ensure that all of your study material is easy to find and kept out of the way
Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through when designing your study space! You will be spending a lot of time working from home during this college year, so to make it a pleasant place to study you could paint your walls, hang posters, prints, and paintings that you like, and have fun with decorating your room!