For the uninitiated, working from home can seem like a dream come true. No more lengthy commutes in overcrowded trains or buses, no more meetings, no more of that constant chatter typical of an office environment. Although working from home comes with many benefits, it’s much easier to fall prey to procrastination and bad habits when you are no longer surrounded by co-workers and bosses. Working from home can add a lot of value both to your professional and personal life, but you have to be strategic about it so you can avoid the most common pitfalls.
Here are our tips for working comfortably and stress-free from home without losing productivity or motivation.
Set Up a Proper Office Space
Working on your laptop from the bed may seem acceptable at the start of your WFH experience, but a bad posture and bad ergonomics will hinder your productivity in the long-term.
The most important piece of office furniture you need to stay comfortable throughout an entire workday is a good adjustable office chair with lumbar support.
Back pain from bad posture is one of the most common afflictions that hamper workers’ productivity. You can check out this site to learn more about ergonomic office chairs.
Having an actual desk instead of working from your dining table is not as important as having a comfortable ergonomic chair. However, having a dedicated workstation where you don’t do any activities unrelated to work can have a positive impact on your productivity. Your brain will associate the office space with productive time, whereas working from the kitchen or the dining room can give your brain a mixed signal. Having a proper desk can thus lead to higher productivity. If you want to follow the latest trend in office furniture, purchase a height-adjustable desk so you can alternate between standing and sitting and avoid the damage that prolonged sitting can do to your body.
Invest in High-Quality Office Equipment
Besides ergonomic office furniture, you may also need additional office equipment to do your job well. For greater productivity, it’s worth investing in reliable tools and tech that perform above-average and can get the job done quickly and easily with excellent results. A high-quality computer, monitor, fast external drive, or desk printer can save you a lot of precious time and protect your sanity during a busy workday.
Think about your most stringent office needs. If you print a lot of documents and brochures regularly, you may need a laser printer. Check out Brother-usa.com to get an idea about your options. Similarly, if you regularly use complex software, invest in a powerful computer to ensure a streamlined workflow. Apply the same logic to all operations you do during a regular workday to see where you can increase efficiency.
Prepare a Daily Schedule
When you work from home, you become fully responsible for how you spend your time. Unfortunately, without good time management skills, working from home can transform into an anxiety-ridden experience plagued by procrastination and indecision, where you no longer can tell where your workday ends and your personal life begins. So, to be successful at your job while working from home, you also need to maintain a high level of mental comfort in addition to physical comfort.
The best method to achieve mental comfort when you work from home is to plan your day rigorously. By having a set schedule to follow and knowing exactly what you have to do, you can focus fully on the task at hand with your mind clear. Many people think of schedules and routine as constricting, but they’re the best agents of productivity.
It’s much easier to stay motivated and efficient when each task has a time slot allocated. Your brain will anticipate the joy of accomplishing that task in the given time, whereas working with no structure and no definite goals in mind will rob you of the dopamine rewards that push motivation and productivity. Create a to-do list every day and check off tasks as soon as you complete them. At the end of the day, you’ll get a good overview of your accomplishments, and you’ll be able to determine how much time each task requires.
Maintain a Clutter-Free Office Space with No Distractions
Although some would argue that there are many more distractions in a traditional office setting than at home, you need a lot more discipline to avoid distractions at home because this is precisely space where you are supposed to loosen up and relax. It can be difficult to make the separation between work and personal life, especially if you live with your family. To keep your productivity level up, you need to be strict about your time, so don’t mix household duties with job responsibilities.
The Internet can also be a big distraction when you are alone in front of a computer all day. Are you tempted to check your email or social media every hour? Do you get distracted by blogs, vlogs, or news reports? All these activities are a dangerous time sink, and they’re designed to get you sidetracked from other pursuits. So, use focus and productivity apps to block Internet distractions or disconnect from the Internet whenever you don’t need it for work-related tasks.
Not everyone realizes it, but clutter can also be a major distraction when it comes to getting your job done. Not only that clutter makes it harder to find the stuff you need for the job, whether it’s a document or a backup drive, but it also creates a lot of mental noise. Strive to keep things organized. A clear desk or workspace and a clean desktop will encourage you to stay focused and thus increase your productivity.
Working from home can easily lead to demotivation and loss of productivity if you don’t actively seek to create a good working environment in your home. To thrive professionally as a remote worker, you need to create an inspiring office space and cultivate discipline. Use the tips above to stay efficient and enjoy the positive aspects of WFH.