Working from home is a blessing and a curse. The freedom of not having to commute, the space for creativity and productivity, but also the isolation that can come with it. To make sure you get the most out of your work-from-home experience here are 8 tips to help you create a productive workspace:
1) Create a dedicated work area in your house or apartment - A desk or table designated just for work will act as a reminder that this is where you should be working without feeling too disconnected and having no way to deal with anything urgent. Avoid working at your kitchen table or an area you need to clear out at the end of the day. A desk or table designated just for work will act as a reminder that this is where you should be working without feeling too disconnected and having no way to deal with anything urgent. Avoid working at your kitchen table or an area you need to clear out at the end of the day, like a dining table.
2) Make sure it's in an area that gets lots of natural light so you don't feel cooped up or stressed out while trying to focus on tasks and projects. make sure any windows are free from glare as well if using them for screen reflections (ahem Samsung).
3) Avoid distractions by silencing your phone/email notifications - You’re more productive when your head is clear of distractions and interruptions. Turn off notifications or get rid of distractions such as social media apps to avoid the temptation that could distract you from working.
4) Consider multiple monitors- If you are doing any kind of work where you need to be online, like marketing (such as yours truly), customer service etc. A second (or third) screen will allow for a distraction-free environment while still offering some access if needed by clients/customers. For example, in my business, I have one monitor with all my email accounts and chats open and another with my in-progress work and assignments.
5) Stay hydrated! It's easy to forget about drinking water when we're at home so keep some water bottles on hand so to avoid leaving your workspace and walking to the kitchen for more water. Remember the days of water cooler chit chat, heading to the kitchen for water will occupy far more time in your day than the old water cooler gossip time did.
6) Get up and move around - Sitting in the same position all day is terrible for your body. Your muscles can actually begin to atrophy (yikes) if you don't take breaks from sitting, so get up at least once an hour. That could be a potty break or simply to feed your dogs a treat or take them for a potty break (my puppies are amazing office mates).
7) Set the temperature to something comfortable. - If it's cold out, turn off the AC and open a window instead because getting fresh air will help clear your mind but also give you that needed boost of Vitamin D we're sometimes missing during winter months!
8) Decorate accordingly- Consider having a few houseplants in your office, which studies have shown reduce stress levels by 28% over just having plants present. Avoid clutter on your desk and keep the space clean and organized.
9) Invest in a good internet provider- If you're going to work from home, make sure that your internet provider is great. Don't let it be a bottleneck for productivity and creativity.
10)Set firm work hours- It's easy to get distracted and lose track of time so write out when you'll be working each day, what hours your business is open for clients/customers (if applicable) and then stick to that schedule.
With the changing times, many people are going to WFH business models. Showcasing to employers that you have an appropriate work-from-home space with monitors, printers, scanners, high-speed internet, and distraction-free workspace could be the icing on the cake that wins you the position. I've been working from home since 2014 and understand it's a learning curve but once you get a good feel for the best work from home environment for you...you're going to slay the WFH game!