Establishing a Great Work from Home Space
Like many other professionals around the globe, members of our office have started working from home. Personally, I have found that it can be a rewarding experience. It’s turned me into a production-machine, offering flexibility with few interruptions. Others tend to find this experience a bit daunting with distractions such as laundry, kids, and oh yea, those dishes that have been sitting in the sink.
For the 68% of employees around the world who work remotely at least once a month (currently a lot more than that), it’s important to have a dedicated space to concentrate, work efficiently, and be creative without too many distractions.
Working a full-time job while also playing the role of full-time mom, I admittedly conducted my own research on how to best keep my sanity while also being productive, creative and engaging with my fellow co-workers.
Below are a few tips that I have found to be helpful on making my personal residence a full-on successful mixed-use property.
LOCATION & TOOLS – Where you work matters. Even when you don’t head to a separate building for work, it should feel like a separate space.
• If possible, try to find your own separate space/corner if not an entirely separate room. I have my designated corner of a rather large dining room table, right next to the window so I don’t feel boxed in. That space and the hours between 8am and 5pm are designated just for me.
• I use a Surface Pro which was provided to me by my employer. I was also given a wireless mouse by my teenage son to reduce wires and clutter. Lastly, I ordered a very cool laptop table stand which has helped me see the screen better – and is very ergonomic!
SCHEDULES & ROUTINE – Working from home can blur the lines between personal and professional. Make sure those boundaries stay up. It takes self-control, motivation, and strategy to succeed in working independently and creating your own schedule.
• I have a strict schedule for myself and my son. This has quickly created goals and expectations for the day, as well as a few breaks that we can share together.
• Routine is key. Awake at 7am, dressed in professional (yet comfortable) attire, coffee in-hand by 7:45am, logged in by 8am and ready to roll.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS – We all get a little sir crazy sometimes. It’s OK to take a mental break.
• This isn’t a “want” but a serious “need.” Whether it’s for a walk or just sitting on the patio, a 10-15-minute break helps clear my head. My son and our dog are thankful for it too.
COMMUNICATION – Spending a large part of your day alone in your house instead of around your co-workers in an office can be a huge adjustment, particularly for an extrovert such as myself.
• Aside for email and the old-fashioned phone call, our company is utilizing Microsoft Office Teams. It’s an amazing resource that helps me stay connected to co-workers. It provides an outlet for instant messaging, exchanging documents and video conferencing.
I hope you’re finding your rhythm with your daily work as people around the world adjust to new circumstances. Feel free to comment with your own tips and tricks!