Working from home? High-five! Me too!!
I know how it feels to get drowned in the arms of boredom at times but that’s okay, we’re all in the same boat. Today, millions of professionals live and work in the same location.
While remote work has its benefits, it also has its drawbacks. Kids, dogs, crowded spaces in the background, and the neighbor mowing his grass during your morning conference call with moos and coos sound effects are just a few things to consider from the lot and, with all of the pressures on and off the job, there never seems to be a good time to figure it all out. We thought to share with you 8 life-saving hacks while working from home in the hopes of
helping you maximize your productivity as cost-effectively as possible.
1. Establish a workspace
Setting up an area of the house to use as a designated workstation, such that sitting in that specific environment sends a clear signal to your brain that it’s time to focus, should be one of the first priorities on your to-do list before working from home.
You must improvise with a pop-up workplace if you don’t have a specific desk or office. For example, you might put a cushion on the floor and use a tiny portable folding table or a coffee table that you can move around your house. Using an upside-down basket and some tape, you can form a makeshift desk or you can create a standing desk with your laptop on the bed, a table, or a counter.
2. Reconfirm that you have all the essentials
To begin, any remote worker would need a laptop or desktop computer, a phone, a comfortable chair, a desk or other flat surfaces, lighting, and a nice pair of headphones. Other essentials include the following:
- high-speed internet (with the modem/router ideally located within the room where you work)
- a writing implement and notebook/pad for jotting down thoughts and notes
- a wastebasket
- a printer and a supply of paper
- a paper shredder
- stamps and envelopes
- a file or drawer
- sticky notes
- coasters for drinks and hot food in mugs/bowls
- a footrest
Many of those items are often purchased cheaply, so you don’t get to buy everything new. Other changes that are recommended for a healthy workspace includes the following:
Let there be light
The difference between a dingy and a productive workstation comes down to light. While many typical offices are over-lit by harsh fluorescent ceiling lights, home offices frequently suffer from the opposite problem: insufficient light. Inculcating multiple light sources will brighten up your workstation (e.g. two-floor lamps and a desk lamp).
Natural light, on the other hand, is the greatest option so if possible, place your desk close to a window and keep the blinds or drapes drawn. Your eyes will be grateful.
Protect your body
Most traditional office environments are designed ergonomically. They’re built to assist people to feel as comfortable as possible during hours of uninterrupted work. Days spent hunched over a laptop can cause all kinds of physical ailments from neck and back pain to carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic headaches, fatigue, and even digestive issues.
Fortunately, it’s possible to repair these problems and reverse the damage to your body. Here are a couple of setup recommendations from the ergonomics experts:
● Elevate your screen and improve your posture.
● Your monitor should be at eye level.
● It is recommended that your hands must rest easily on your keyboard.
● Your back should be straight, elbows and knees bent at 90 degrees, and feet planted on the ground.
Also, if your current chair isn’t comfortable enough, it’s time to invest in a good office chair. It’s well worth the cost than some expensive medical bills afterwards.
Close the door
Assuming you’ve got a separate room during which you’ll work, you ought to treat that room as an office which means creating a transparent boundary between your workspace and home. Hence, it’s appreciable to create a mental boundary for yourself and a physical boundary to keep away with other externalizes. The simplest way to do so is by shutting the door. Just make it a point to simply inform others why you’re shutting the door and tadaa!!
Cancel that noise
Sensitive to noise? Take it as a symbol that you simply could be a genius.
To the extent possible, you must attempt to reduce noise in your workspace. You would possibly not be ready to completely soundproof your work area, but you can consider some basic DIY solutions. Here are a couple of tips:
● Place bookcases next to walls.
● Fill the space with heavy furniture.
● Decorate your walls.
● If your space remains too noisy, believe in purchasing a pair of sound-cancelling headphones to concentrate on while working.
● Hear some good music.
When everything else fails, it’s time to require matters in your own hands. Politely but firmly tell the person or people generating the noise to please keep it down until you’re done working. Be clear about what you would like and for a way long.
Open a window
Fresh air is much vital for your soul and sound health. Studies show that air circulation dilutes viral particles and prevents a condition referred to as ‘Sick office syndrome.’ The results showed the most important improvements in areas that tested how workers used the information to form strategic decisions and the way they plan, stay prepared, and strategize during crises. These are precisely the skills needed to be productive within the knowledge economy. Also, cleaning a messy house also helps clear your brain. Next time you’ve got a serious deadline, big project, or important meeting arising, open your window and take a deep breath.
3. Clear your space
You should make it a point to clean your work area and organize the clutter at least once a day to maintain a hassle-free working atmosphere. You might want to use an essential oil diffuser, burn sage or scented candles to boost your energy, mood, and brain function.
4. Get ready for the day
Take the time to go about your normal morning routine, take a shower, and get dressed for the day. It’s recommended to designate some comfortable work clothes to wake up that active spirit. Well, it all depends on you so do whatever makes you work that extra mile.
5. Set a fixed work schedule
Instead of having a vague plan, you should create a daily schedule and put it in writing like jotting it down with pen and paper and sticking it in a visible place helps. You must come up with a detailed to-do list that’s well segmented into categories based on priority. Also, make sure to take frequent breaks throughout the day. You can start trying to reduce eye strain by following the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
6. Own and honour your space
Your workstation belongs to you so it’s solely yours to personalize and decorate as you like (although take care to not have anything inappropriate visible during video calls). You can fill it with art, plants, tchotchkes, collectables or can keep it minimal. You might even want to play around together with your lighting, colours, and furniture arrangement to seek out a setup that pleases you. When your job is completed for the day, leave your workspace and spend time elsewhere with your family and friends. It’s essential that you simply honour the boundaries you’ve established. Don’t let work become life and avoid doing home chores while at work.
7. Practice self-care and exercise
Besides making sure that your work gets done, take care of your physical and mental well-being during this crucial time. This can include meditating, journaling, or dancing. Even if you spend a lot of time in your work seat, you must take occasional tea or coffee breaks. Try to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine and make a point to get
outside if you can, even if it’s to the rooftop or the balcony of your building.
8. Use WFH to your advantage
Working from home is a blessing in disguise only if approached strategically as it has its own set of pros and cons.
When you recall commuting to work in the past, those early mornings and late evenings back home, exhaustion takes over our mind and body. After those tedious work hours, we hardly tend to engage in other activities.
While work from home relieves us from that exhaustion with work time flexibility. There is even scope to pursue your passion aside from managing your work hours. If you are into singing or cooking or baking, you now have the golden opportunity to invest time in things you love post-work.
Try as far as possible to support your work-life balance with an awesome dedicated home office setup. As someone said it right, your office may be where you live, but you should never feel like you’re living in your office.