How to work from home: Tips To Stay Productive
Most people have never worked from home before Covid and over the past two years there were a lot of adjustments made to accommodate the new normal. But now that the pandemic is over and the majority of people are returning to the workplace, there is still many who have opted to continue to work from home.
Here are some strategies on how to effectively work from home. Whether your office is in a spare room, in your garage, the basement or a cozy corner there are many things you can do to make it a pleasant, comfortable and productive space that will set you up for success.
1. Create a Dedicated Work Space
When designating a work space, choose a quiet and less congested area or room, preferably with a door, where you will be uninterrupted while you work. Make sure there is enough room to accommodate any office furniture and/or equipment you might need such as a desk, chair, computer, printer, etc. Most importantly, it doesn’t matter how big or small the space is, as long as you will not get distracted and it is a clearly defined space where work happens.
2. Lighting is Everything
Quality lighting is everything and important to productivity. If you don’t have the proper lighting it can cause eye strain, headaches and may even reduce your energy. Try setting up your home office with as much natural light as possible, whether via a window or skylight. In environments where there isn’t enough natural light, choose a good light source such as a lightbar or monitor lamp.
These lights sit on top of your monitor and light your desk without causing any glare the way overhead lighting can. A good desk lamp or task lamp is also an option as you can shine the light exactly where you need to. Another good choice is indirect lighting that uses lamp shades or diffusers to soften the light.
3. Have A Good Internet Connection
Having a good internet connection is very important when working from your home office. A subscription to a reliable, high-speed (usually 3 – 5 megabits), hardwired, internet connection, like DSL or Cable is what most companies require.
Working near the router will give you the best signal, so take that into consideration when choosing a location for your work space. If you rely on a wireless network, this can be a challenge. It’s best to invest in a hardwired network as it is more secure, faster and you will have less interruptions with service. Check our article Wifi vs Ethernet
To set up your hardwired network you will need to purchase a modem and ethernet cables. As a last resort, you can use a wireless hotspot. This makes it possible for you to connect your computer to your phone for Internet, but only for limited tasks and for a limited period of time. You should check with your carrier for any additional fee that may apply.
4. Choosing the right Furniture & Equipment
There’s nothing better than working in a space that makes you feel relaxed and productive and having the right furniture and equipment can make all the difference. Make sure you choose a good quality desk that is the right height or comes with adjustable legs so you can raise or lower them to the desired height that works for you. A good Ergonomic office chair with lumbar support is very important since you may be sitting for long hours.
When purchasing equipment, you may want to consider a second screen to make it easier to work between documents or programs. If you have two screens we suggest getting an adjustable Dual Monitor bracket. Having this type of monitor bracket will help provide less strain on your neck and eyes as you can manipulate it to the perfect height and angle.
It will help to keep your desk neat and clean, help you stay focused and increase your efficiency. Another item you should have is a good printer and printer stand or table. And lastly, a file cabinet where you can store sensitive documents and/or use for extra storage space.
5. Take Breaks
Make sure to take time during the day to walk away from the computer screen and phone. A lunch hour and two 15-minute breaks should be the standard for full-time US employees.
It is good practice to schedule your breaks at the same time every day. Using a timer on the screen to measure your breaks will help you stay on schedule. Remember that taking breaks will boost your productivity.
6. Pick a Definitive Finishing Time
When working from home, you can lose track of time because you are so engrossed in your work that you forget to check the time. You should set an alarm to indicate when your work day is ending so that you know when to stop. This will help you to know when it is time to end your work day.
7. Stay Positive
Sometimes when working from home you can be overwhelmed by feelings of isolation.
Remember: Being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely.
Whenever possible, participate in zoom calls or online team meetings and keep in touch with coworkers. Also, ask for help from your coworkers when needed, or ask to clarify tasks that you receive. Stay positive and try to focus on the opportunities that may come out of it, such as learning something new. Challenging yourself and finding out you can do it is the best feeling and makes for a more enjoyable experience.