The Ultimate Guide for How to Work From Home
Working from home used to be something only a small group of people did. Many companies said remote work for their employees wasn’t in the cards because it was too big an undertaking. Enter the COVID-19 pandemic and working remotely from home has become the norm, with 71% of workers surveyed by the Pew Research Center currently working from home. Not only that, but more than half of the people working from home want to continue to do so after the pandemic.
Maybe you have found yourself working from home and trying to figure out how to make it work, whether you live alone, have a spouse or a roommate, or have a family full of kids. While working from home has many benefits, such as increased productivity, it can also come with challenges that don’t exist in your regular workplace.
With this in mind, it is important to know how to work from home so you can make the most of your time. Here are some tips to make that happen.
Set Up a Comfortable Work-From-Home Workspace
Just because you are working from home, doesn’t mean you should be sitting at the kitchen table or trying to spread out on the sofa. You need a functional and comfortable workspace so that you can be at your best during work hours. Here is what you need to do to make that happen:
- The ideal is a completely separate room in which to have your office. If that isn’t possible, then having an area of a room designated as office space is the next best thing.
- Have a good desk and chair and make sure you have a proper ergonomic setup.
- Make sure you have good lighting. This includes a window with natural lighting if possible and a good desk light or overhead light.
- Make the space personal using plants, artwork, and DIY home décor to enhance it and make it a place you enjoy being in.
Make Sure You Have the Work-From-Home Technology You Need
Chances are you already have a computer at home. But if you are working from home for the first time and you have to keep functioning as you would if you were at the office, then you may need a better computer setup, as well as a good headset, a printer, and other hardware. You may also need the proper apps and software to make working from home easy.
If you work for a company, they are likely to set you up with all the apps you need to access company resources, complete your work, and communicate and collaborate with your colleagues. This includes technology such as software, meeting and collaboration apps, and work scheduling and organizational apps. If there is something you need that you don’t have, ask for it.
Work Regular Hours
When working at home, it is easy to let the lines between work and home life become blurred. For this reason, it is important to keep regular work hours, ideally based on the work schedule you are accustomed to at the office. It may be that you are required to work those same hours and still need to check in with people and attend meetings and calls. But if you don’t, it will be up to you to be disciplined, something that is closely related to the next tip.
Set Boundaries While Working Remotely
You need to set boundaries with the people you live with and with yourself. Make sure the people you live with understand that just because you are at home, it doesn’t mean you are available to chat, do chores, or run errands. During your work hours, you are at work, and you are not to be disturbed.
This goes for you, as well. The pile of laundry that needs to be done and the dirty dishes in the sink can wait until you are off work. Media distractions such as Facebook, the show you’re streaming, and the latest YouTube video from your favorite guru can also wait. Stick to the work hours you have set and maintain a consistent schedule before and after work.
Take Breaks from Work
Maintaining a consistent schedule includes taking work breaks, just as you would if you were at the office. Take your 15-minute breaks. Take your lunch. Go for a walk around the neighborhood and stretch your legs. And if you do decide to do some housework while you’re on a break, make sure you keep it to your break time and don’t let it eat into your workday.
Dress for Work
It’s so easy to sit in your pajamas all day when you are working from home, especially if you don’t have any video calls or Zoom meetings. Don’t do it! Get yourself dressed. You don’t have to wear a suit and tie or a fancy dress, but you should be workplace casual. Keep it looking nice and feeling comfortable.
Make the Most of Working From Home
Working from home has become the new reality for so many of us. It is up to you to make the most of it, even if you prefer to be at the office and expect to go back to it once the restrictions ease up. By taking the time to set up your office area, your schedule, and your expectations, you can remain productive and even enjoy the peace and comfort of working from home. After all, there is no commute, no one stopping off at your desk to chat, and no work chatter disturbing your concentration. Enjoy it while it lasts!
Contact us today to learn more about how you can set make the most of working from home and how you can find a home that allows for a better home office.
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