Studying at home is a fantastic chance to enjoy the benefits of a flexible lifestyle while earning a valuable education. Postgraduate programmes from Sunway University Online are uniquely designed to enable home study where and when you want it.
It’s clear that studying from home isn’t the same as a busy library or office. You set your own times, create your own timetable, and crucially - design your own studying space.
Creating the right online study room or home office environment can be a huge influence on your studying success. So in order to power up your potential and boost your learning, we’ve put together some top tips on designing the right space for home study.
Balance comfort and concentration
You want a positive home study space that offers long-term comfort over short-term relaxation. A bed might be tempting, but it’s likely to reduce your concentration and create stresses and strains on certain parts of your body.
Students of Sunway University Online enjoy a flexible online approach that allows you to study anytime, anywhere, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ‘better’ and ‘worse’ options!
You should establish a dedicated study area that allows you to sit upright, with your device directly in front of you, and which also offers additional space for note taking and key equipment. If possible, make this a dedicated study area in your house that you can use when you want to. If you’re having to share a table or space, then establish a way to transform that particular area from ‘regular’ use into ‘study’ time in a way that signifies a change of use for you own mindset (and anyone else in the house!).
Establish positive ergonomics
Set up a desk or table which offers positive ergonomics—that essentially means a safe, comfortable environment that supports healthy posture and positioning. This is important to avoid back or neck pain which can be common from long periods of study in an unsuitable position.
Your chair should be at a height that aligns your knees as level with your hips. Feet should be touching the floor (or a foot rest). Wrists and elbows should be straight, reaching directly to the keyboard. The screen or monitor should be roughly a full arm’s length from your eyes.
Keeping to these simple health and safety guidelines can be a real boost to your long-term comfort and engagement while studying.
Consider the chair
A good chair is part of positive ergonomics, but it’s such an important element it deserves its own focus!
A comfortable chair can have a transformative effect on your study. It should be adjustable if possible to line up with the suggested ergonomics highlighted above. It should have a comfortable seat which supports you. Crucially, it should also have appropriate back support and headrest so your spine and lumbar regions are supported properly.
Investing in a good chair could really change your life… and it doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of places you can find a good office chair—you might even want to check out second-hand options as offices or home workers sell off old equipment.
Take a look at the lighting
Lighting can be a positive visual aid or a vicious strain on your concentration. Keep light levels high enough that you don’t become sleepy or lose concentration. An overhead light or good desk lamp can help.
Also make sure that the screen contrast of your device is at an appropriate level, and you’re not straining to make out the text. This is particularly important for a 100% online program like those offered by Sunway University Online.
Natural light can be a good balance to the ambience of the room, but it’s important to make sure it’s not shining directly onto the screen as this can also distract you and create unfavourable studying conditions.
Keep things organised
Stay on top of your studies with a well organised home office. Don’t let your study notes or resources overflow on the desk. If you’re using a table also used for other activities then make sure and clear items like cutlery, plates etc. away before you study.
Students of Sunway University Online benefit from a 100% online program that avoids many of these challenges. You study courses one at a time, so there’s no need to juggle notes from multiple courses at once. And since all resources are accessed online through a simple learning platform, you hopefully shouldn’t be overloaded by hasty printouts or mangled paper copies of lectures as you might be with other courses.
Select the right sounds
A great home study environment isn’t just about how things look, it’s about how they sound too. Make sure your study area is located away from noisy distractions where possible. That means far away from busy kitchens or a window that overlooks a noisy playground for example.
Find a quiet area where you can establish your own space, and your own sounds. Listening to music can be a perfect way to get in the mood to study, but be sure and select the tunes that uplift rather than distract. That can often mean instrumental music that provides a backing ambience without vocals that drag you away from your thoughts.
Aesthetics are important for ambience
Finally, don’t just focus on a cold, hard office ambience for your study. A relaxing environment is a huge motivation boost for your studies. You don’t just want to remove items until there’s nothing left in your space!
Design a space that makes you feel happy and willing to study. That can include pictures of loved ones, pleasing decorations like flowers, or even motivational images! At Sunway University Online we want you to enjoy your study, and that means designing a studying space that you genuinely find encouraging.
Taking time to think about and design the right environment for studying from home might seem like a small thing, but it can have a big impact on your study, and ultimately your success in your online postgraduate programme.