The proportion of people working from home is sure to shift as the pandemic comes to an end. Still, many more people hope to continue remote work over the long term. A quality work from home environment is key to enjoying success as a remote employee.
If you’re new to working and living this way and don’t have any home office ideas, no worries. You’re in the right place to learn more about how to set up a home office and be productive.
Take a look at this list of top working from home tips.
1. Dedicate a Work Space
The first step to success when working from home and is to dedicate space for doing your job.
Sitting at the kitchen table, your kid’s bedroom, or in any number of other awkward places might have worked at the start of 2020, but those days have passed. Employers and coworkers expect a higher level of professionalism from your surroundings. What’s more, you can’t do your best work in a space that isn’t fine-tuned for getting the job done.
To get any real work done, you need a home office or another dedicated space. You can’t have a true work environment if your job is out of place in your home.
Don’t despair if you don’t have a spare room for your home office. You can use portable screen dividers to section off an area. If you don’t have busy surroundings and nothing’s going to bother you, you could dedicate a corner of a room for your work activities.
The pandemic pushed many people to work at home when they weren’t planning for it. People adapted and repurposed rooms that weren’t used often.
There’s no shortage of creative solutions: Some options include putting a workstation in a guest room, laundry area, or in your bedroom for use when you’re not snoozing there.
If you’re self-employed, there’s an extra advantage to having dedicated space for work. The money you spend on home office equipment and a room you use for nothing but work may be tax-deductible if you meet certain conditions. You will need a reserved room in most cases, but may be able to pull it off—in the bounds of the law—without one.
2. Grab Proper Equipment for Remote Work
Getting in the zone for work is easier once you have the right technology, furniture, and tools. Putting together the perfect home office sounds simple enough, right? Think again
Gathering those things is easier said than done—Putting together the perfect home office is a true art.
There are infinite options for each office product on the market and it’s easier than ever before to access all of them through the internet. It’s no wonder that millions if not billions of people have sub-optimal equipment for working from home. All the choices overwhelm many folks and lead them to make poor purchases.
Take a look at technology designed for doing work as you buy gear for your office.
Lenovo towers and other workstation computers help workers stay organized when doing computer work. If you have a lot of video meetings, shop technology that’s optimized for videoconferencing. Indeed, you might save a few bucks grabbing a webcam or mic without that kind of quality in mind. Yet, you’ll save less money than you would if you impressed your bosses after giving a presentation in stunning HD.
Shopping for home office equipment comes with some dangerous temptations you need to watch out for. You might be inclined to buy things that look good but aren’t made for performance. Some vendors advertise colorful home furniture and computers for remote workers, but if you want the best value, your gear should like what you would use in an in-person office.
Decorating items to match endless home design choices costs more than churning out standardized office gear. Brands also know that no matter how much production costs, people will pay a premium for items that look appealing—Don’t get sucked into their trap.
3. Get in the Right Headspace for Work
If you want to save on equipment, but the idea of a blocky, gray, boring work environment sounds miserable to you, don’t worry. You don’t need to break the bank shopping for cutesy office equipment to create a pleasant work environment.
Adding reminders of the things you enjoy, the people you love, and places you love to be is always a good idea. Having your office within your house doesn’t mean you need to deny yourself a desktop picture of the family outside the door.
Some more subtle things to adjust include room temperature, color scheme, lighting strength and color, aroma, and background music. As with the office equipment, don’t fall prey to things you like that don’t enhance your work ethic. You may be a metalhead at heart, but chances are pretty slim that Mötley Crüe is what you need to get work done.
On the other hand, don’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable because you’ve heard it makes you more productive.
Putting on a “lo-fi hip-hop beats for working to” playlist that all your friends swear by is worth a shot. If you can’t think once you put it on, don’t spend too much time trying to adjust. Maybe heavy metal is what you need.
Consider your wardrobe, too: Wearing sweatpants isn’t cheating or slacking off if tight jeans with itchy seams, for example, are distracting you from the task at hand.
4. Pay Attention to Posture to Stay Productive
You can’t get a lot of work done when you’re distracted by pain and always adjusting your position for comfort. Lacking the right furniture can even turn you away from work, making you dread buckling down and doing your job.
Sitting in an uncomfortable home office is a huge problem you might not notice at first. If you keep working in a position that puts a strain on your body, you’ll find yourself in a bad mood and struggling to finish work. You might not realize the little ache in your back is a major distraction even though it’s making you work at half-speed.
Reading or watching some YouTube videos to learn techniques like stretching, yoga, and PT exercises for office workers can help avoid workplace aches and pains. Taking breaks from your work every so often to stretch, walk around, and do simple exercises will help decompress your body and keep your posture natural and healthy. It’ll also help get your blood flowing to keep your mind sharp.
You’ll be amazed to find how much more work you can do when you’re comfortable.
5. Keep Distractions From Your Work From Home Environment
When you start remote work for the first time, being close to the comforts of home may seem like a blessing. Many parents of young children do remote work to save on childcare and enjoy more precious family time. Being home all day is also ideal for pet owners.
It’s nice to set your schedule and come and go as you please without any doubts about whether you take too many bathroom breaks and look lazy. You can grab a snack without praying that the vending machine doesn’t eat your money or get jammed. Having your full stash of OTC drugs at home is great for easing pesky day-to-day ailments that could keep you from working in the office.
All of this freedom and the options you have to destress from work when you’re doing business from home is great…until it’s not. All of those things—yes, all of them—can and do turn into distractions and a barrier to your work. Kids demand every minute of your attention, pets climb on your desk and get into your papers, and you dedicate more time to breaks than you do to work.
You only need one common piece of equipment to solve most of these problems—a door. If you can, shut the door after setting your kid up with a book, give the dog a KONG to chew on, and grab a non-messy snack. Set a timer for a block of time you’d like to work, whether that’s half an hour or six hours.
If you can’t shut the door on your responsibilities, use your work situation as an excuse to teach your loved ones—and yourself—some restraint. The more you can keep distractions away from you, the less frustrating remote work is.
Get the Most from Life With Fun Articles
These tips on building an ideal work from home environment will help you make the most of working from your house. Constructing the best home office for you will help you do more work in less time.
Once you maximize your work efficiency, you’ll have more free time. Use a bit of it to look around this site and read some other articles. We have all kinds of work and lifestyle tips to help you perfect your life.