Working from home sounds great, right? You’re not only ditching your early morning commute, but you can also wear your PJs all day. Score! While it’s easy to think you can simply wake up and work from the comfort of your bed (tempting, we know), you really should have an established work space. You want to set up a working environment that will allow you to be the most productive and efficient. So, how do you go about this? Let’s explore:
1. Find a quiet place, free from distractions
The first thing you should do is find a space at home that is quiet and affords you some privacy. This area should also be free of distractions and operate as its own distinct space. That means the lounge room is off-limits - the Netflix series you’re binge-watching will have to wait! If you live with others, it’s ideal if you can set yourself up in room with a door. This will help to reduce any noise coming from the rest of the house. A dedicated space also allows you to not only physically make a distinction but also psychologically acknowledge the boundary between work and home life.
2. Have your tools ready
The next step is to make sure you have all the tools necessary to complete your job. It may be that you need industry-specific equipment, or company-specific programs and software. Ensure you are set up before you leave the office so you are ready to go when you get to your home workspace. You also shouldn’t overlook the importance of traditional equipment and supplies. If you’re used to working across multiple screens at the office, investing in a monitor for home that you can connect your laptop to will make life a lot easier.
3. Professional space = professional mindset
It’s all about getting into the right mindset. You need to consciously make that transition from the relaxed-at-home mentality to the ready-to-work one. It’s a great idea to make your work space as professional looking as possible. This will help in distinguishing it from the rest of your living space, so that when you step inside, you can quickly make that shift. Maybe this involves hanging awards or qualifications on the wall, setting up a printer, or simply arranging your desk the way you would in the office. Whatever it is, develop an environment that will put you in the right headspace.
4. Let the light in
Never underestimate the benefits that sitting near natural light can provide. From boosting engagement to enhancing productivity, it is something to consider when selecting where you will establish your home workspace. It’s a great idea to set your desk up next to a window which lets the sunlight in. Not only can you have a sneaky spy on the neighbourhood, but you can also gear yourself towards your best work.
5. Stay connected
As a WFH master, strong internet access is a must. It’s how you will connect with the rest of your team and be able to deliver your work. It’s key in enabling you to work remotely, so you are relying on it a whole lot. There’s nothing worse than being on a Zoom call and getting cut off mid-sentence by poor connection. Avoid any embarrassing situations and invest in an Ethernet cable so you’re not at the mercy of your temperamental Wi-Fi; otherwise, make sure you are sitting in a spot with at least 4 bars. Staying connected also means keeping in touch with others. The loneliness of working from home is perhaps the hardest part. While collaborating on Slack feels like social interaction, don’t underestimate the importance of a quick FaceTime with a colleague.
6. Work life vs home life
Ok, so you’ve established your work station. Now it’s time to actually get to work. It’s important that you maintain a distinction between your work and home life and not let one bleed into the other. Establish your working hours and stick to them. Treat your day as though you are actually in the office. Take a lunch break and a few 5 minute breathers, but don’t go about too many other personal activities – especially if these can be reserved for weekends or after work. Similarly, don’t let your work day seep in to your personal time. This is why it’s important to have a distinct working space. Once you are finished for the day, you need to step away and switch-off. If you don’t make the conscious effort to disconnect, then these lines will become blurred and your mental wellbeing will take a hit. Be clear in this distinction and stick to it. Read our article on why work-life balance matters to learn why this is so important.
The flexibility that working from home affords means it’s an attractive option for many modern workers. To ensure you are still delivering on your outcomes, your workspace needs to be established appropriately. This will help you to complete your best work.
If you are looking for a new role that will provide you with the flexibility of working from home, check out our job board. If you want to read more, check out our tips and tricks working through COVID-19.