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Helpful Tips For Working From Home
Millions of people currently work from home and prefer the flexibility and work-life balance it provides. Recent studies have also shown that telecommuters take shorter breaks, have fewer sick days, and feel far more productive when working from a home office.
However, working from home does present a unique set of challenges to overcome and requirements to be done efficiently, including a variety of potential distractions.
Here are some steps you can take to create an ideal workplace at home.
GET IN THE ZONE
Many people believe working from home has the advantage of skipping the morning shower and staying in your sweatpants and pajamas all day. But approaching your workday as if you were heading to an office building helps you set a routine and regular hours to stick with.
Establish a morning ritual of taking a shower, getting dressed, and having your morning cup of tea or coffee. This structure has been shown to boost productivity while retaining the perk of a short commute. You are essentially preparing yourself for the workday, even if that workday occurs in the next room.
Dedicate a specific room or area of your home for getting work done. This will help create an “I’m at work” attitude as you enter.
Next, space permitting, divide this work area into three zones:
Zone Two: A designated reference section for storage of files and books;
Zone Three: For everyday supplies such as paper, binders, and other frequently used materials.
DON'T MESS AROUND
Once you define your zones, there are creative ways to make the best use of your particular space.
One key to staying focused in any office is staying organized. Look for office furniture with good storage options, such as a filing cabinet with built-in supply drawers or a multi-function cabinet that has room for a printer.
A basic home office usually includes a monitor, printer, keyboard, and peripheral devices. Unfortunately, most of these devices do not come with a "no strings attached" arrangement, so office cable management will be crucial for keeping clutter to a minimum.
Try corralling wires using ties and bundlers for a DIY solution or mounting a power strip underneath your desktop using Velcro fasteners to keep your work surface free of snaking cords.
Better yet, ditch the cables altogether by using a wireless mouse and keyboard, further freeing your space (and your mind) for creativity and organization.
When working from home, reducing distractions is as necessary as reducing clutter. Playing music in the background can be a good motivator, especially if your playlists spark creativity, but keep the volume low to remain in the zone. You can also try websites like Coffitivity, which replicate the audio and ambiance of a coffee-house for those who prefer more muted background noise.
Temporarily unplugging from social media is also an excellent way to keep from getting distracted. You can always set aside a few short moments a day to check back in with friends and breaking news.
But taking a hiatus from social media doesn’t mean eliminating social interaction. Stay connected with colleagues via regular conference calls or schedule daily chats. Online hubs like Microsoft Teams and Slack keep everybody on the same page and foster communication and collaboration.
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
No matter the workload, taking regular breaks during the day is essential to keeping a clear head and a healthy attitude. Studies have shown that getting out of the house periodically and working in a public space can benefit.
If working out of the local Starbucks is not your thing, make sure to stand up and move around occasionally, even taking a quick walk around the block to get your blood pumping again.
Better yet, try using a standing desk, which will allow you to sit and stand throughout the workday periodically. It’s a great way to work healthier while changing your perspective and position.
By selecting the best furniture for your home office space and creating an environment conducive to work, you can set yourself up for success and create a highly functioning, professional office environment with all of the comforts of home.
Feel free to share any additional tips that you may have for working from home in the comment section below!