There have been some challenges for those who find themselves working from home. It’s hard to believe companies that have long struggled with letting employees work from home are now considering it on a long-term basis. We had to adjust how we live and work due to the coronavirus pandemic. What we thought would be just a few weeks or months turned into a year. None of us were prepared at the beginning of the pandemic as our kitchen tables became the hub of our workplace and as our spare bedrooms turned into a Zoom boardroom.
Whether you enjoy working from home or not, the fact is, it’s probably here to stay. KPMG reported that nearly 70% of CEOs were planning on downsizing their offices by letting employees work from home. The best thing is to hunker down and make the best of it. Here are some tips on creating a space that can inspire you and increase your productivity. It’s been a year, and some have developed bad practices that aren’t helping your productivity.
Make a Space Dedicated to Your Work
You want to create a space that gives you every opportunity to sit down and work effectively. It should be a room that isn’t cluttered. Don’t use your kitchen table as an office. Get an office desk. Having professional office equipment will keep you in a professional state of mind. You’ll be able to maintain the same attitude, output, and productivity. If you can create a professional feeling in your home, you won’t miss a beat if you’re working a few days in the office and then a few days at home. Ideally, you want this space to be away from parts of the house with more family foot traffic or household noise.
Find Your Ambience
One of the most significant benefits of working from home is having total control over how your office feels. You can listen to your favorite music, keep the temperature the way you like it, and make it look however you want. There’s music that suits all kinds of work types. Writers will often like slow, melodic music as their inspiration. If you’re doing something monotonous, you can listen to talk radio or podcasts. Play around with lighting as well. If you can work somewhere where there’s natural light, this can help keep you alert and focused.
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert working at home, you may get stuck in a pattern of spending too much time alone. It’s important to have real conversations and continue to interact with people. If you don’t, you can feel isolated and become frustrated. Introverts may have it harder, even fearing team meetings or Zoom calls. Remote work makes it easy to avoid group chats and virtual socials, but we suggest you force yourself to participate.
Take Frequent Breaks
You may end up working harder from home than you ever did at the office. You may have a hard time walking away from the piles of work. Everyone is “always on,” and working from home doesn’t always feel like work. It is, and you need to take breaks. Force yourself to stop working. If the company you work for has a 9-5 day, only work those hours at home and then shut it down. Flexible hours can make it even more challenging. Know when you’re most productive and work those hours. Take short breaks and a real lunchtime. You have full access to your kitchen so you can make healthy foods. Taking breaks is essential for your physical and mental health. If you don’t, you will eventually burn out.
Getting out of the house is probably the best way to get your breaks in, and having them make a difference in your day. You can walk your dog or go to the grocery store. A little time outside gives you a break from thinking about work.
Working from home can be fantastic despite some of the challenges that may come with it. You have the opportunity to make your office look and feel just how you want it. You don’t have to commute in the morning, and yes, you can even work in your pajamas in some cases. However, it’s important to stay professional and not fall into the rut of feeling isolated. In many ways, working from home saves you a lot of time and gas, so embrace the changes and make the adjustments in your home to make it a functional and comfortable workspace.