Even before the start of the pandemic, approximately 21% of public schools and 13% of private schools teach at least one course online. Online learning saves many people time and money, especially those who live in remote rural areas or work part-time while studying.
In 2019, some 57% of students in the United States were equipped with online learning tools. Meanwhile, in 2021, the use of remote management applications for study purposes has increased by 87%. Remote study comes with its own challenges, one being the perfect setting. Without the opening of an office or college campus, learners must make crucial decisions about their environment that best complement their way of learning.
Natural light is key
If you have more than one place where you plan to set up your study space, choose the one that has the most natural light. Studies have shown that natural light can boost productivity, mood, vitamin D levels and eye health. If you have a garden and a covered space, you can set up your office outside, provided you have power outlets outside to charge your phone or computer.
If you don’t have a permanent pergola, you can protect yourself from the sun and light rain with a simple shade sail. Your chosen location should also be as far away from commonly frequented areas of your home as possible, so that you have the peace and quiet you need to focus on study tasks.
Choose a small but efficient study space
Take a good look at the layout of your home to find a compact but comfortable workspace. A few places you may not have considered include a closet in a room with plenty of natural light, the area under the stairs, and your living room. Your living room can be made more private through the use of dividers such as bookshelves, temporary partitions or living “green walls”. If you don’t have enough space for a freestanding office, you can use a floating desk which is either placed against the wall or recessed.
If you opt for a floating desk, leave at least 30 inches between your desk and the wall, so that you have enough room for your knees. Install shelves to keep all your gear organized and easily accessible.
Make your study space attractive
As a student, you may spend several hours a day at your desk studying for exams and researching assignments and other projects. Invest some time and money to make your space attractive, so that it is comfortable and appealing. Consider giving your space a fresh coat of paint, set up a small comfy couch or chair by the window and spruce it up with some brightly colored throw pillows, and bring in some natural plants.
A study of University of Exeter on the effects of indoor plants in offices found that the correlation of plants in the office improved people’s concentration, productivity and well-being by 47%. During exam time, you can also fight nerves with an essential oil diffuser, opting for soothing essential oils like lavenderor energizing oils like orange or bergamot, depending on your mood.
Online studies are here to stay. If you’re new to online learning, it’s important to design a comfortable and functional study space. Key Strategies include prioritize natural light, find the perfect small study space, and add attractive touches that will make the space feel like it’s really yours.
Featured image: monkeybusinessimages, iStock.