Staying Productive When Working From Home
Find yourself working from home lately? Take a look at these tips on how to create an efficient workspace, and how to keep your home and work life separate.
Connectivity, global business, and a burgeoning entrepreneur scene have made working from home not only a possibility, but a standard across industries around the world. The key to a productive day working from home? An incredible setup.
Score a space
Whether your work-from-home situation is temporary or long term, it is critical to create a strong space in your home. This room, nook, or corner should support you in your work while allowing for productivity. While the idea of a “home office” may conjure up thoughts of sweatpants and relaxing couch-based setups, it doesn’t do anything for your efficiency – or your back.
Try to create a space with natural light, adding in a sturdy work surface and chair. Ergonomics are essential here, so make sure your chair is posture positive, your arms are at an appropriate angle to type, and that your neck isn’t strained.
If you’re working from home temporarily or have a small space to work with, don’t stress – you don’t need to create a total executive suite to be productive. Look at your home, and identify some spaces that can pull double duty. Perhaps office during the day, dining room at night? Take some conference calls from a corner set up in the bedroom, or create a workspace on the kitchen table.
When selecting your home office space, double-check your WiFi strength and phone call clarity; your dream basement zen-den may actually have terrible connectivity for conference calls. Speaking of video calls, check out what your background and lighting situation look like before a company-wide conference call. Being backlit or having a messy kitchen behind you may detract from the brilliance you share on-screen.
Organize your office
Maximize your efficiency when you’re working from home, and collect all of your office supplies into one space. Just because you think you have a stapler, ink cartridge, or extra charger in the back of a cabinet doesn’t mean you should wait until the last moment to dig through clutter to find it.
If you’re doing business from a multi-purpose space, organize everything required for your office into one container, preferably a portable one. Load cords, computer, notebook, and other office supplies into a tote bag or small cardboard box, creating a mobile office that can easily be stored away at the end of the day. Using a tote, satchel, or backpack is great – you can grab it and sign onto a meeting or head out to work in a coffee shop, confident you’ve got all your supplies with you.
When working from home becomes your new normal, consider investing in a few tools to help you do your job well, and connect with ease. Some of our team favourites include wireless headphones, external keyboard and mouse, as well as online team project management apps, like Trello.
Subscribe & get more from Onlia
Schedule your day
By default, home-offices combine two distinct worlds: personal and professional. However, it’s up to you to decide what happens when. Waking up on time, getting dressed for the day, and sitting down at your desk by a certain time are critical to your productivity.
Letting your house-tasks slip to the side is important while you focus on work. Work-from-home can have great perks, like taking calls outside, or switching a load of laundry during a quick break. However, don’t blur the lines too much; refrain from taking on bigger tasks like trying to reorganize your wardrobe or creating culinary masterpieces, while also trying to balance year-end financials. It just won’t work.
Create a schedule and stick to it, remembering that your home is functioning as two separate spaces, so you need to as well. If you were working out of a conventional office, you wouldn’t expect to also clean your house top to bottom, so ease up on the pressure at home.
Leave the office
Just as important as booking conference calls in, it is also critical to find times to step away from the desk, just like you would in a normal office. During the day, it can be easy to feel tethered to your desk, going a whole day without seeing another real person. Take a walk at lunchtime, or find a great local workout class. A balanced, scheduled break allows you to refresh and rejuvenate.
When you bring your work home, it is tempting to let it seep into the rest of your life. The end of the day becomes fuzzy, stretching into dinner, or checking one last email after the kids go to sleep. Create an end-of-day ritual that sees you creating a priority list for the next day, closing down all applications, and packing away your office space. Even if it is a permanent fixture in your space, cleaning up the office signifies the close of a successful day, putting your work on hold until tomorrow.