Most offices have shut down or have asked their staff to work from home. It's a major shift for the majority of people, potentially like yourself, who are used to going to the office, getting your work done and then heading home for relaxation. We've compiled some great tips to help you shift over to working from home, and still being productive. Working from home is already a sweet luxury with an array of benefits. It is even sweeter when you know the how-tos. Here are 7 tips for setting up a good, remote workspace in your apartment.
Set Up Your Workspace
If you have an at-home office already, great, you're all set. If don't then you need to create a mini-office setting. Somewhere that has a desk or table and is quiet. Ideally it will be in an unused space of your house or apartment. In an office setting you'd usually have things to remind you of home, but you're at home now - so don't add anything extra to your workspace.
Plan Your Tasks for The Day
This may sound unnecessary but it's a must-do activity if you're working from home. You need a plan for what you want to accomplish so that you can tick things off as you go. Otherwise, you'll hit a wall of wanting to relax and justify stopping for the day because of how much you've done. This is a sure-fire pitfall to lower productivity.
Give Yourself Timed Breaks
Look, you're at home. There are going to be a lot of things to distract you, and things that you want to do. The trick is to not deprive yourself of the relaxation that comes from an at-home work situation. Embrace the comforts like having a nice big home-made lunch or taking some time to watch TV. Just make sure you're on a timer and you're hitting your planned goals for the day.
Keep in Contact with Your Team
Create a Google Hangout with all your colleagues that are part of your team to keep in touch and give updates on work processes. Don't use things like Facebook as it adds another distraction. Also make sure to only include those that are part of your immediate team as outside members will act as distractions.
Plan for Video Conference Calls
In-keeping with the previous point, remember that you may receive video calls from colleagues or employers that want to check in. This means they will be able to see you and everything behind you. So, make sure the area behind you is neat and tidy or position yourself where all you can see behind you is a blank wall or empty space.
Take a Stand
Take a Stand Working from home already involves less movement. No running around an office to consult colleagues or employers, no more walking great lengths to the bathroom or to and from your car. Less movement may seem like a benefit, but it reduces the amount of light exercise you get daily. This can lead to lethargy and mental fatigue. This can be fixed by using a standing desk. You are more alert when not seated for hours at a time and can even include a handle-less stepper at your feet. Alternatively, if you prefer being seated, opt for an exercise ball instead of a chair.
Cluttered Space, Cluttered Mind
It's true what they say about cluttered spaces cultivating cluttered minds. Keep your workplace clean and tidy to avoid distraction and so that your workday goes as smoothly as possible. Less is more.
Silence Is Golden
It is best to set up your workspace somewhere quiet so that distractions are limited. This means not using the room with windows that let in sounds of cars or people chatting as well as avoiding the room with your television or a loud clock. If you can't find such a space then you can use noise cancelling headphones.
Wi-Fi And Connectivity
Making sure you have a good internet connection is key in preventing any hiccups later on. This means you won't have to worry about not being able to communicate with colleagues and employers as well as not having to worry if a ten page presentation isn't going to save to your Google Drive.
It is important to have furniture that is both efficient and comfortable. Back pain is a real concern for people that work at a desk. This is another reason why standing desks and exercise balls are used instead of chairs. If you would prefer a normal chair, make sure to use one with a good backrest and one that is at the correct height for the desk you use. Straining your back or neck just to get work done, is not a good idea.
Blocking Blue Light
Staring at a screen all day can hurt or damage your eyes and cause headaches. This is primarily because of the blue light that computer screens produce. This can be avoided in two ways. Most devices have a settings option to remove blue light. Your screen will have a yellow tinge once you turn this setting on. This will reduce your headaches and make working more pleasant. The other way is to get yourself a pair of glasses that blocks out blue light, such as these that you can purchase online.
Working from home can be a huge shift. These tips will help make sure you stay successful in your new situation.