If you’re new to the work-from-home lifestyle, along with relishing your ten-second commute and ability to wear pajama pants to meetings – you may have a few real concerns. ‘When and where do I work best?’ ‘How can I create boundaries between work and personal life?’ ‘What equipment do I need to be successful?’
Working remotely, especially for the first time, means figuring out solutions to these unique challenges and others. You will need to change some habits and create new routines in order to adapt well.
Here are our best tips for helping you create a home-office environment that works as hard as you do.
Whether you're working from a desk or the kitchen table, it’s important to create a functional, organized workspace. Identify exactly what you need to have at your fingertips and eliminate any other desktop clutter. You may not have the luxury of a dedicated home office, so consider using products that provide portability, such as IRIS portable project cases. Documents and supplies can be moved easily should you need to go to another room or pack everything up at the end of the day so your family can have the kitchen table back.
Stick to a Schedule
Decide on a daily routine and stick with it … for the most part. Flexibility is a perk from working at home of course, but pay special mind to the way you spend your time before and during your day. This can help kick-start you into work-mode in the morning and keep your focus strong throughout the afternoon. Whether that means eating breakfast at a specific time before turning on the computer or scheduling routine breaks throughout the day, a framework for your day is always a good idea. Set some ground rules for the household regarding your working hours as well, so that everyone knows what to expect you are less likely to be disturbed.
Consider all the elements that contribute to your comfort and health, such as lighting, a good chair, and fresh air. Find a comfortable chair that provides proper back support. Invest in a hands-free headset to protect your neck during long phone calls. And don’t underestimate the power of white noise too. A strategically placed fan will not only help you stay cool and keep air circulating, but it will significantly help reduce distractions by muting the noises around you.
WOOZOO personal fans
Know When to Stop
People actually tend to clock more hours when working from home rather than less, because it’s harder to ‘leave’ work. Keep your home and work life separate with a designated "stop time." Try not to eat your lunch at your desk to give your mind a midday break as well. Create a habit that signifies the end of working hours. Plan for that 6 pm class at the gym, walk the dog, or just shut down the computer at a certain time. Whatever you choose, do it consistently to mark the end of the day. Knowing when to log off will help you be even more productive when it comes time to log-in.