*by Industrious, the largest premium workplace provider in the country.
With so many people staying at home, online learning has become the norm — at a time when rates were already high. In 2017, 77 percent of American companies implemented some form of online learning, with 98 percent planning to do so this year.
Whether you’re taking advantage of the time at home to develop professionally or personally, online learning has a number of benefits. It’s more convenient and less time-intensive than in-person courses. And it can have significant results: in a recent survey of 1,000 online students, 91 percent said it improved their professional lives and 93 percent, their resume.
But to get the most out of your studies, you need a setup that will help you focus. As a flexible workplace provider, part of our mission at Industrious is to design spaces that actively encourage productivity. In the office, that means anything from having different rooms optimized for different kinds of work modes to creating a beautiful environment that members are excited to spend time in.
Here’s how to translate some of the lessons we use every day in our offices to your home study space.
Identify the Right Study Spot
Resist the urge to plop yourself down on the couch with your laptop when you need to focus. Your work — and your work-life balance — will improve if you take the time to designate a specific area for your studies. Otherwise, it’s all too easy to get distracted when you’re trying to concentrate. The opposite is also true; it can be harder to switch out of study mode when you’re working in the exact same spot you watch TV in. Especially if you’re a troubled sleeper, you should avoid working in your bedroom or even leaving your study materials there.
You want a calm place where you study in peace. But what if the bedroom or living room is your only option? You can create visual distance between your studies and your home life by positioning your desk or table so that it’s removed from the sightline of your couch or bed and vice versa. For example, face a window overlooking a quiet street. Or, put up a barrier like a curtain, screen, or even a bookshelf.
Pay Attention to Your Comfort
When you first sit down, you might not even notice that your setup is uncomfortable. But if you give it time, you could start experiencing lower back or neck pain. Don’t let it get to that point — make adjustments with items you already have and by making small investments in equipment.
The top of your monitor should be at about eye level. To achieve this, you could purchase in a laptop stand, or use books to raise your screen. Then, get a second keyboard so that you can rest your hands at or even a bit below a 90-degree angle. Your monitor should be positioned directly in front of you — to prevent twisting — and at about an arm’s length distance away. This will prevent you from overextending or craning your necks to reach it.
Sweat the Details
Make your study spot a place you want to be in. Keep your space clean and tidy, and fill it with objects you love, but won’t find too distracting, like a pretty notebook or photo of your family. Plants are another great choice. Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress, give you energy, and even help you feel happier.
Working by a window isn’t just pleasant — it’s good for you. According to WorkDesign, Natural light can make you more engaged, and reduce headaches, eye strain, and blurred vision by as much as 84 percent.
Finally, quiet is essential in order to be able to focus; distracting sounds can cause performance to drop by as much as 66 percent. So make sure your study spot is somewhere you can actually concentrate.
Industrious is the largest premium workplace provider in the country, with professional atmosphere and thoughtfully-designed spaces to accommodate companies of all sizes and stages — from startups to Fortune 500s. With more than 95 locations spanning 50-plus U.S. cities, Industrious is everywhere you do business. Learn more at IndustriousOffice.com.