Switching to a Home Work Space
Along with many other changes to our everyday lives that we are experiencing during this interesting era, some of us are working from home (WFH) for the first time and discovering how very different it is from going into an office every day. Many employees in this technological age have been working remotely for years. Those of us adapting to working from home can learn a lot from their advice on how to stay productive.
Dedicate a Work Space
Some would deem this the most important piece in the whole WFH puzzle. A bean bag in the corner of your garage may be a uniquely inspiring space, but keep in mind that you want to keep your work stations as ergonomically correct as possible. This is not a good time to incur a carpal tunnel injury because you were using your laptop for hours while reclining in a hammock. If your living arrangements include a spare room, perfect.. otherwise, the dining table, kitchen counter, or coffee table are all options for a usable workspace. Take note of any awkward positions, adjust and take breaks frequently to walk out any kinks and look away from the computer for a bit.
Watch the YouTube Video. How to Create a Home Office in a Small Space. The video below offers several ideas for creating an office at home.
Set Your Alarm
Think back a week or two ago when you had to wake up, get ready, and drive yourself to the office. That routine was a primer for being ready for work once you sat at your desk. In a WFH situation, when you wake up, you are already at the office. Create a transitional routine, which should begin with setting your alarm for roughly the time you used to wake up to get to the office.
There is something motivating about jumping out of bed and getting right to work, but perhaps take a few minutes to brush your teeth and make some coffee or tea first. Some folks feel more motivated if they dress as if they were going into the office, but not everyone requires that level of
insanity dedication to get moving.
Take Advantage of Your Most Productive Times
Every adult should know their most productive time of the day. Some are early birds, tearing through tasks before dawn. Others are slow starters, hitting their groove around noon. Then there are the night owls, whose energy kicks in after the sun goes down. Working from home may give you some ability to take advantage of those energy ebbs and flows. While there may be virtual meetings to attend at certain times, often prep work can be done in advance, allowing us to dig into work when our brains are most engaged.
Use Technology to Stay Connected
Many of us are just in the beginning stages of our WFH experience. No one knows how long this period of social distancing will last. While the first week or so of WFH may be a positive experience, after time, a disconnect may be felt. Make abundant use of email and phone calls with your co-workers. Some say that overcommunication is important when messages are relayed outside of a face-to-face dynamic. Some companies even schedule a “happy hour” conference call on Fridays so that remote employees can have a period of networking and unwinding.
Share Your Space
With so many companies shifting to a remote work environment for the time being, often two or more people within the same household may be working from home. Make sure each of you designates a workspace. Realize that there may be some situations for which you will have to adapt. For instance, one of you may be concentrating on writing, while another is loudly leading a virtual webinar. Have earbuds or headphones with a white noise app available to block out noise and help you focus.
Some people find it easier to concentrate at home. Certain elements of office environments can be distracting. If you find yourself getting lost in your work, set a timer to take breaks. Get up and walk around, have a snack and some water. Also, designate an end time.
Because it can be a culture shock to switch from office work to a remote, at-home workspace, all of these tips are aimed at creating a clear delineation between work time and home time, even though they are occurring within the same setting.
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