More and more workers are advocating for work from home or hybrid work models, and it’s no wonder why.
In fact, a recent survey found that 21 percent of workers said they’d prefer to work remotely full-time, while 68 percent said they’d prefer a hybrid environment (some days in the office and some days at home). Only 11 percent of employees prefer to be onsite full-time.
Working from home means no commute, no office politics, and more time and freedom in your day. However, working from home does come with its challenges, which is why it’s important to have the right tools for working from home. These tools will help you stay productive and happy. Read on to learn more.
1. Set Up an Office Space
The lines between your professional life and personal life can quickly blur when working from home. If your living room is where you conduct business, watch TV, and socialize, you’re quickly going to feel burnt out and antsy.
To help create a stronger division between your work life and home life, we recommend setting up a personal office space. Ideally, you want this to be in a separate room, but if that’s not realistic, set up a desk in the corner of a room that’s your dedicated workspace.
Try to place the desk near a window, as studies show being near natural light can boost your productivity.
2. Create a Morning Routine
One of the biggest luxuries of working from home is that you don’t have to get all dolled up to start the day, and you don’t need to figure out how to cram in breakfast on your way out the door.
While it can be tempting to lounge in bed until the last possible minute, we recommend creating a morning routine to set yourself up for success. The best morning routine is different for everyone, so focus on creating a routine that makes you feel like you’re ready to start the workday.
This may mean going for a brisk walk, sipping coffee and reading the news, or doing a guided meditation. Whatever it is, a consistent morning routine will help signal that it’s time to start the day.
3. Find Time to Move Around
Unless you’re an at-home fitness instructor, working from home probably means that you’re sitting at your desk all day. Sitting all day can be detrimental to your health, as studies show that sedentary workers are more likely to suffer from obesity, high blood pressure, and a variety of other health concerns.
Luckily, working from home means you don’t need to drive to the gym to work out. Instead, there are various ways you can squeeze in exercise throughout the day. Go for brisk walk midday, do a quick workout on Youtube, or simply take laps around your home when you’re on a call.
4. Take Full Advantage of Breaks
When you’re taking breaks working from home, it can be tempting to scroll your emails or scroll through your company’s messaging app. However, to maintain your productivity levels, it’s best to give yourself some time to fully unplug.
Power down your computer when you’re on a break so you’re not tempted to keep working. Or, better yet, put down your technological devices altogether and give yourself some time away from the screen. Reading, chatting with family members or roommates, or stepping outside in nature are all good ways to help yourself recharge before you go back to work.
5. Set Some House Rules
If you live alone, you have the luxury of not having to worry about friends or family members constantly interrupting your work time. However, if you have housemates, it’s important to set some ground rules.
For example, if you have children learning from home or returning to school during the workday, there should be clear rules on what they can and cannot do during this time. If you share space with an adult working from home, it’s a good idea to negotiate quiet times, meeting times, and if/how you’re going to share equipment, such as desks and computers.
Additionally, just because you’re at home and have more time to take care of pets and household chores, it doesn’t mean you always should. If that’s how you divvy up the domestic labor, that’s fine. Just make sure you’re not expected to take it all on by default, as this could cut into your workday productivity.
6. Ask for What You Need
If your employer expects you to work from home, then they need to supply you with the appropriate setup to do so. Make sure you have all of the equipment you need, such as a keyboard, mouse, chair, monitor, software, etc.
Organizations that are accustomed to hiring work-from-home employees typically give out monthly stipends to cover ongoing work from home costs (such as the internet). If your organization doesn’t have something like this setup, speak to them about adding this benefit.
7. Find Time to Socialize
One of the biggest downsides of working from home is that it can make you feel lonely and isolated. For this reason, it’s very important that you make your social life a priority as well!
Many companies offer ways to socialize for their remote workers. Take advantage of team messaging apps, virtual happy hours, and organized meetups. If you live in the same city as some other remote workers, schedule a workday together from a coffee shop or co-working space.
The team structure has changed a lot with remote working, and you can learn more here about it.
Tools for Working From Home: Time to Get Started
Now that you have these tools for working from home, it’s time to get started. With the right tools, you may find that you’re even more productive than you were when you worked in an office.
Check back in with our blog for more productivity tips!