Are you working from home this year? Learn how to optimize your work routine and office area with these work-from-home tips!
As companies discover their new normal amidst this pandemic, almost every industry is adopting a remote work ethic. Whether it is entirely work-from-home or a hybrid option that includes a few days in the office, employees are learning how to continue their productivity away from their usual environments.
It seems that working from home is not going anywhere yet and many workers are getting used to the idea of it. Therefore, what can you do to improve your at-home working environment? From setting up your home office to optimizing your work routine, this is everything you should be doing:
Build a Proper Work Space
Designate an area in your home that is specifically for work. For example, consider changing a spare bedroom into an office space. You will have to purchase a desk, office chair, and the essentials you use in your day-to-day job to make this a real workspace. Also, purchase technology such as a printer, laptop, headphones with a microphone, monitor, and even a high-performance router if you need a boost.
Don’t Work in Your PJs
Even if you have no plans to leave the house today, remember the phrase “dress for success”. Working in your PJs is comfy, but that comfort can kill your productivity. Changing into different clothes can prepare you for a workday and get you into the right mindset.
Set Work Hours
There is a ton of flexibility when you are able to work from home. However, this also means that distractions can creep up and prevent you from getting to business. It is important to set aside the hours you plan to work each day so they are not bogged down with house duties.
On the other hand, it is easy to get carried away with work. It can creep into your home life when you least expect it. The best way to handle this is to shut down your laptop and step away from your office area when your workday is over.
Remember to be flexible! There will be last-minute changes, uncontrollable home distractions, and poor communication with coworkers that is completely out of your hands. We all understand that dogs bark, cats play with keyboards, and someone knocks on the door at the most inconvenient times. Take a deep breath, give it the necessary attention it needs at the moment, and then continue working.
Video Conferencing Etiquette
These days, most meetings are scheduled via Zoom or Team Meetings. However, there are a few things to consider when you are joining a call:
- Mute your microphone: This prevents any noise from blocking out the speaker’s words.
- Turn on your camera: This is good for your professional image.
- Choose a clean background: Make sure that what people are seeing behind you is work-appropriate.
- Dress appropriately: NO PAJAMAS.
- Lighting: Make sure people can actually see you on screen.
Stick to a Schedule
Manage your time by keeping a calendar and scheduling meetings, appointments, work tasks, etc. Building a schedule can help you to work through that to-do list so you know what needs to be done and when. For example, if your office does not allow you to use social media during work hours, then you should not be doing this at home. Stick to your schedule.
High Productivity Times
When do you have the most energy to tackle projects? Is it in the morning as soon as you have a coffee or in the afternoon/evening as you get through the day? Figure out what time of day you are most productive and assign yourself the harder tasks during that period. You will get through them much faster!
Daily To-Do List
It is important to update your daily to-do list every evening (for the next day) or in the morning before you jump into any tasks. This gives you a sense of what you are required to complete now, so you can develop realistic expectations for your day.
Solid Wi-Fi Connection
The bandwidth you have set up at home is probably slower than the one you are used to at the office. Therefore, test your internet, wi-fi connections, and internet speed to confirm that they meet your needs for downloading, streaming, web conferencing, and anything else you may be using it for.
How often do you take a break to connect with your coworkers? This might be more difficult when you are working from home, but it is important. Therefore, consider using applications such as Slack to stay in touch with others.
Morning and Evening Routines
Being at home so often can negatively affect your attitude toward work. A great way to counter this issue is to maintain a strong morning and evening routine that you enjoy. Keeping this constant can help you to ease into your work and stop when it is time to do so. Therefore, both of these should be in line with your wellness goals by including exercise activities, meals, and anything else that helps you to stay happy and healthy.
You are not alone. Many people are finding ways to better their productivity now that working from home is the new normal. Therefore, learn how to optimize your routine by following these work-from-home tips!
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.