Whether you’ve already been working from your home office or you’re just getting started, today’s climate has shown that many more Americans are working from home or have set up a home office in order to meet the needs and demands of the “new normal”. Need a little boost in your everyday workflow working from home? Let’s get you some tips to get you there!
Set a Routine
If you work with a team, have additional people living with you, or you already have a daily call set in stone, it’s important to set a routine for yourself and others you may work with virtually. This creates a sense of normalcy, balance, and boundaries. It also helps those that live with you to know your schedule, it keeps a connection with your coworkers and teammates, and it helps you keep a pace that you’re likely used to pre-pandemic.
Sticking with a routine also helps keep you accountable and on task. If there are items you’ve been forgetting it may be an indicator that you’ve gone off routine. Performance may suffer slightly as your creative flow and meticulous attention to detail may have been foiled by distractions. Never fear! Find ways to create a routine for yourself (particularly in the morning and in the evening for wrapping it up) or a schedule to adhere to for the best possible outcome for a sense of normalcy.
If you’ve ever had to travel for work, a meeting, or something similar to a typical nine-to-five job, then you know there comes a critical ingredient to the structure of your day: getting started. More than likely this entails a checklist in your mind that you go. Try to keep as much of that checklist intact, even if you are not physically driving to work.
Studies show that no matter the environment you’re in, if you tackle the big things early, and create a little game of tiny things to get done in small time chunks, this helps you to feel accomplished throughout the day.
Create Designated Workspace
Like anything else in your home, every space is a special place! You wouldn’t eat in your bathroom, would you? (No real judgement here!) We all know that each room designates a special purpose and your home office is no different. It helps you to keep focus, gives you space to grow and be productive, and it gives your mind a break when you leave the space after you’re done. That can be very important!
Finding an area with good lighting, a good internet signal, and the least amount of foot traffic or distractions is ideal. Have enough space to get a desk that holds your office supplies and essential technology to making your office run. If you can personalize the space, even better! This can be fun and exciting! But keep in mind to not overdo it a small space can end up getting cluttered.
Get Out of the House
Remember the outside world is your friend! If you’ve ever been to long meetings and training courses, you know that you lose a sense of time from being indoors all day. It is super important to get out of the house and get some outside time to get your vitamin D and help strengthen your immune system. It is also important to give your brain a break from work by leaving the work space periodically throughout the day…take a walk!
If your space is small, you have long hours, or you have limited time constraints due to roommates or family members, then delegation can be key to your project workflow. Consider hiring out using a virtual assistant, using contracting apps like fiverr or upwork, or even just hiring an assistant in house to pick up or drop off items to help take tiny tasks off your plate while you concentrate on the bigger items.
Invest in Tech
If you’re going to be working from home more than an office, having the essentials is a must. Here are a few basic must haves: printer, strong internet connection, updated wifi and computer hardware, lighting, surge protectors and extra cables, dongles and converters.
Other items to consider investing in would be small electronics that help with video conferencing like ring lights, detachable lightboxes, wireless headphones with mic control, phone holder and stands, proper ergonomic chairs, and more.
Like any schedule, breaks should be scheduled. When working from home, however, it can be tough to step away or feel like you’ve stepped away for a moment. The best thing you can do for your brain and your work productivity is to take breaks and really give space between your desk and yourself. The best part of working from home is the commute as they say, so take advantage of a brisk walk outside, a hangout in your back yard, porch, or balcony!
Create Space Noise
Why would you want to create more noise? Doesn’t that distract you? Well yes, it can, but it really depends on how you set yourself up. There are products on the market that can help you feel like there are more than just you in the office and that can be beneficial to those new to working from home alone. Take, for example, using your television to keep a low volume newscast or meditation channel on to create a focused atmosphere. If you have a wireless speaker, you can dedicate a player to that speaker to loop nature sounds or podcasts to help you feel focused. Other options include buying a white noise machine that is fairly inexpensive and creates a calming effect and limits outside noise pollutions.
No offense to your jammy jams, but sometimes your mindset needs to be reminded it is work time. Consider getting dressed as if you were going into an off-site office with other people. Luckily for you, a lot of online video calls rarely show below the waistline, so you could have some fun getting dressed in your best work shirt or blouse and pair it with summery shorts or a fancy cotton skirt to remain comfortable while you sit in a conference. The point is to feel like you’re setting yourself up for success and a simple routine of getting dressed for your workday can help you immensely.
Setting ground rules for those around you that you share space with is vital. If you have others that work or are home schooling from your home, make sure to let them know your “do not disturb” time and consider creating a fun communication tactic that plays on games like “red-light, green-light”. You can have post-it notes that say “available” or “unavailable” for examples.
Other boundaries include quiet time hours, dividing household maintenance and chores, pet scheduling with shared responsibilities, having a completely separate phone number for business, and letting your clients know what your boundaries are when visiting your property. It’s all about managing expectations and communicating those clearly.
Hopefully some, if not all, these quick easy tips help you to navigate a better workflow for your time working from home. Feel free to share this article and let us know what tips you’ve been using!
As always, if you need any help in moving furniture to help get your office set up perfect, give us a call!
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