During the pandemic, many companies have encouraged employees to work from home instead of coming to the office. However, the changeover to working from home can be stressful. We offer some tips on how to get work done when your home becomes your workspace. In this article, we share 7 Steps to Help You Build a More Productive Workspace at Home.
The pandemic has been a real world-shaker, upending everything from individual jobs and livelihoods to entire industries faced with collapse.
In the midst of all the chaos, many workers found themselves forced to carry on – swapping out their daily commute with a trudge to their newly created home workspace.
Making the switch to work from home can be tough at the best of times, but when we’re forced into it unexpectedly, it can be hard to know where to start.
However, there are some great tips you can learn, such as how to reward yourself when you complete an important task.
However, when we’re outside the office environment, issues like space and comfort can also cause problems.
Many workers did not have sufficient space to work from home online comfortably, while others relied entirely on office equipment and supplies.
However, as the pandemic continues, it seems clear that work from home jobs are the new normal.
So, how can you have a better experience working from home? How do you know if you’re turning freelancer in the pandemic or want to set up your own business from home?
We explore 7 of the most commonly cited tips from home workers that help get them through and keep them motivated!
1. Create a Designated Work Area
Some of the best work from home guidance is to treat your home workspace as an area that is separate from your personal life. Making the transition to working from home is difficult because it becomes tough to compartmentalize work and leisure.
We use our homes for everything, from lounging and socializing to eating and sleeping. But these relaxing activities have little place in most people’s workday.
If you’re lucky enough to have a spare bedroom or study in your home, this is a great option for a home office. Ideally, this room should be somewhere quiet, and somewhere you won’t be disturbed often.
You’d be surprised how effective it can be to close the door on the rest of the house when you begin your day. Some great work from home advice is to set boundaries with your family or roommates.
Try to set certain hours throughout the day when they are not entering your space or when they should try to keep the noise down. This should help with productivity.
However, if like many people, you live in a shared house or small apartment, there are still some things you can try. A quiet corner of a living room or kitchen can work well, as can help finding a space in your bedroom.
Again, try to set ground rules with those around you to help them understand that you consider this space your office, not an ordinary part of the house.
2. Make Sure You Have Everything You Need
Once you have your workspace picked up, you should start thinking about any equipment you might need. the pandemic guidelines around the world have largely encouraged us to work from home if we can.
While not everyone can manage this, for most it just takes a few small adjustments.
The most important thing you should ensure is that you have a desk or work surface that is the proper height for you.
This is one of the most essential work from home rules because neck and back pain is extremely common among those who are self-employed or who work from home.
Sitting for long periods can damage your posture and lead to chronic injuries down the line. A comfortable office chair is also a must-have.
You should also look into what technology is essential for you to do your job. While at the office, you may have access to photocopiers, printers, projectors, etc., at home, you probably won’t need all these things.
However, a laptop that is fast and reliable and that has a webcam, and good audio for video conferencing is usually a good call.
3. Keep Things Neat
You might have heard the old adage that a cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind. While this may not be true for everyone, for many of us, a neat workspace leads to a greater sense of focus and motivation.
Keeping at least our desk tidy can also help us keep things organized. It can help track important documents or allow us to have our to-do list in front of us, so we don’t fall behind on important deadlines.
If you’re someone who loves a tidy space, keeping the rest of your house clean can also help. It will also kill the temptation to clean as a procrastination method.
Making time to clean on the weekends – so you can start fresh on Monday morning – is one of the best work from home ideas we’ve heard so far.
4. Keep a Morning Routine
Speaking of Monday mornings, remember the office commute? One of the ways to work from home online can shake up your life is by upending your regular routine.
You might have had your morning routine down to a science before, but now it feels hard to peel yourself out of bed.
The first thing you should know is that this is perfectly normal. The second is that creating a new morning routine is the key to work from home success.
You don’t even need to get up and dress every day (although this does help some people.)
Even something as simple as setting your alarm for the same time every day and drinking a coffee in bed before you get up can help.
The repetition of a schedule, or something you do for yourself each day, can add a sense of normality to work from home life.
5. Minimize Distractions
While many people are taking their office work home with them during the pandemic, others have taken the plunge and become self-employed during the pandemic.
However, unlike working for a boss, becoming self-employed presents its own unique set of challenges. One of the most obvious is generating motivation to keep working when no one is holding you accountable.
When you work for yourself and work from home, benefits include being able to set your own hours. However, this can also become an issue if you can’t resist distractions.
Things like scrolling on your phone or spending time on social media can seriously eat into your productivity. When you work from home, no experience is more disheartening than feeling like you’ve lost a day.
Try minimizing distractions by turning off your phone when you work and only replying to emails on your computer or laptop. Productivity apps like Pomodoro and Offtime can help with focus and allow you to turn off or set timers on social media.
If you’re completely in control of your own time, setting strict working hours or writing yourself out a weekly schedule can help.
Remember to also let friends and family know you shouldn’t be contacted during these times.
6. Take Proper Breaks
Another way to motivate yourself is to ensure that all your hard work is rewarded. You can do this by allowing yourself to take proper breaks throughout your day.
If you’re keeping set hours, don’t be tempted to skip your lunch hour. Lunch hour at the office is an important time when you get to wind down and socialize with colleagues.
Now, when you work from home coronavirus restrictions mean you will likely be alone, and you might not see the point of taking a break just for you.
Try to avoid this, however, and remember that you will get more work done when you are refreshed and when you take time to properly nourish yourself.
Allow yourself to chill out during your break and watch an episode of your favorite show (make sure you limit it to just one though!). Or call a friend for a half hour to catch up to break up the monotony of work.
Work from home expenses may often work out lower than the money you spend on lunches at the office, too. You may find that you cook for yourself more and have more cash to show for your work. Something to feel great about!
7. Clock Off
Worried that working from home will blur the lines between life and the grind? This is a legitimate fear and something that is right to be mildly concerned about.
Unclear work from home guidelines from your boss may make you feel that you can never be off the clock. You might feel that you need to be constantly on call or to work extra hours to prove you are being productive at home.
Try to avoid this type of all or nothing thinking, however, as burnout can be a real problem among home workers.
While giving yourself a start time can get you up and moving, giving yourself a clock out time can also be highly beneficial.
Decide on a time after which you don’t answer emails or keep a strict no work policy on the weekends.
So why work from home during this pandemic? Apart from the obvious health reasons, work from home opportunities have skyrocketed during the pandemic.
Rather than stressing about this, try to see it as a chance to develop skills that will serve you in the future.
Working from home may make you more independent or allow you to switch careers! Whatever your situation, we hope these suggestions can help!
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Ellen Royce is an experienced marketer, copywriter, and entrepreneur. Having started several small businesses online, she knows the importance of effective content marketing in building companies.
Also published on Medium.