Working from home is fantastic until your cat pukes on your computer. And across the street, your neighbor, who you can only guess is creating a time machine, begins firing up all kinds of power equipment and deafening gear.
For many professions, COVID-19 has made remote work a necessity rather than a luxury. But which setting, the home office or the business office, helps us to be more productive?
Your coworkers are often the greatest threat to preventing you from getting some meaningful, heads-down work done in the office. They come to your desk, strike up a discussion with you, and invite you to lunch, or so I’ve heard. The social benefits are good to have, but if you’re easily distracted, they can become a challenge.
While family members might be a distraction in the home office, I’ve found that it’s all too simple to become your own worst enemy. Because you’re not surrounded by employees, you’re free to let go of those bothersome inhibitions. No one is watching at the home office. You aren’t under the same peer pressure or sense of collective need to get things done. (You’re also not required to wear pants.)
It’s critical to understand how to set up a home office for optimal efficiency. Here are some work-from-home office basics that help you increase productivity while also maintaining your health.
Determine and design your ideal work environment
Choose a place or space that is free of distractions. That includes the television. If space allows, a separate room with its own door can help create a distinct separation between “work” and “home.” Of course, due to common space limits, this is not always achievable.
Get the best results from your home equipment
The following items are likely to be required for your home office:
- A desk or a table
- A chair that is comfortable to sit in
- A WiFi connection that is both fast and reliable.
- Lighting that is adequate
- Pens and notebooks are examples of stationery.
- Headphones with noise cancellation
- Cabinet for calendars or filing cabinet
- Any extra personal touches, such as family photos, plants, or a beloved piece of art
To begin, set up a workstation with a laptop, a water bottle, and a journal or paper on which to record your ideas. You may require a larger workstation for your equipment and instruments if you are an illustration or graphic designer.
A consultant, on the other hand, may require a filing cabinet to keep client files. Employer-specific work needs, such as dedicated industry-specific equipment, may be required.
Select the appropriate illumination
Lighting may have a big impact on how comfortable your workspace is. Fluorescent lights should be avoided because they can promote drowsiness. For a full day of productivity, natural illumination is ideal.
Keep an eye on your health
Invest in tools that will make your job easier and benefit your health. Ergonomic chairs, a table that is the proper height, and a laptop with anti-glare screens that are safe for your eyes are just a few examples. These self-care tips will help you avoid headaches, body aches caused by poor posture, and nerve problems caused by an inconvenient setup.
Overheating a room makes you tired. According to several studies, being in a cold room can be distracting and lead to more typing errors. To establish an ideal productivity zone, keep the room temperature around 77 degrees Fahrenheit (or 25 degrees Celsius).
Keep track of the time
Many people may lose track of time while working from home. Before you know it, you’ll be working 15 hours a day. Do you know that remote workers are more likely than those who work in regular office spaces to work longer hours? Use a tomato timer, your smartphone’s alarm, or a plain old wall clock to keep track of time.
Separately store your professional work materials
Working from home can quickly blur the lines between your business and personal lives. Keep them distinct by keeping all of your official documents, such as business receipts, invoices, client files, and critical records and documents, in a designated location.
Take frequent pauses
As a telecommuter, it’s all too easy to become distracted, so you avoid taking breaks completely. Allowing yourself to relax for five minutes should not be hampered by the guilt of working in the same building where you sleep.
Instead of just accessing YouTube and viewing some comfortable videos, take advantage of your breaks to walk away from your workstation. Take a step outside to get some fresh air, or spend time with others who may be in the house.
Make a morning routine for yourself
Working from home also eliminates the need to get up, rush out of the house, and commute to an office. Working from home, however, does not imply that you may skip your morning routine entirely. Because you’ll be cooped up indoors, go for a little walk around the block to get some fresh air.
Use a virtual private network (VPN)
When you’re connected to a network that you don’t control, use a VPN. Wi-Fi is available in coworking spaces, cafes, libraries, airports, and hotels, among other places. Off-site personnel needs to utilize VPNs to access particular servers or websites that hold information that is solely for internal use. In those situations, you’ll need to utilize a VPN at home as well.
It’s a good idea to get into the habit of leaving your VPN on as often as possible because it’s always safer to have it on. Another thing to keep in mind concerning VPNs: if you’re connected to a company VPN, your employer may be able to see what you’re doing. As a result, don’t watch porn via a workplace VPN.
The significance of a functional work-from-home office setup
Creating a functional office in your house might be difficult. It’s crucial to fight the impulse to simply sit down at the eating table. Rather, invest in long-term home office equipment that will benefit your health and well-being.
Making a hastily put-together home office in an unsuitable atmosphere could sabotage your transition to remote work. Apart from defining a distinct workspace, the components of that workspace are crucial for avoiding any strain or injury caused by non-ergonomic furniture.