5 Tips For Those Working from Home that will help you succeed
Working from home is an increasingly popular option for workers worldwide. In fact, many consider this is such an important job perk, that it is worth discussing at interview or at job negotiation stage.
Then, if that option was to become a reality you would definitely want to succeed at your job and, to do that, you would need a “work from home” space that actually works for you.
Likewise, if you are running your own online business working from home, you should implement these tips to make sure your workplace setup is not hindering your progress and chances of success.
With that in mind, I have these 5 tips for working from home that will help you set up a home office, will help you maintain or increase your productivity and avoid some of the common mistakes made by newcomers to the work from home scene.
#1 – Have a Dedicated Space
It’s not practical or realistic to think you can set up for work in a different spot each day, right!
Logging in from the bed, the sofa or the dining room table…….. sure, there is no reason why you can’t move around during your day, in fact that is one of the many advantages of working from home.
But you do need a dedicated place to keep your files, receipts, charging points and a monitor, as well as a quiet area to meet personal callers.
If you have a guest bedroom with space for a desk, that can be an ideal choice for a home office. Or, if you live in an apartment, you might consider installing a small office space in the living room by adding a good light, a desktop, a power extension and cord – all of which can be picked up quite cheaply locally or online.
Whatever space you choose, make it permanent and easy to access.
Constantly clearing a space and re-organising yourself, will just cause irritation and stress that will not help you.
#2 – Limit Your Distractions
You might think you can glance at TV news every now and then and that may be true. But if you turn up the sound or – far worse – you switch channels to a favourite like Sports Channel, DIY or whatever, you are finished!
Do you really think you can focus with that amount of distraction in the room? Ask yourself – would you do this in front of your boss or co-workers?
Notifications from electronic devices can also be a distraction. They’ll tempt you to check your voicemail, texts, Facebook messages, or Instagram account – a sure way to lose focus.
Try to separate your personal and social communication platforms from your work computer.
Set up alarms or a schedule for stretching your legs and checking your devices – this will ensure you stay focused between those short breaks.
A window with a busy view might not help as it gives your mind more things to process than it needs. Even worse when your space is filled with personal business like unpaid bills, grocery shopping lists or things you need to file.
If at all possible, keep your work space separate from your personal office.
Limiting distractions means asking yourself, ‘Would this be acceptable at head office?’
#3 – Prioritise Ergonomics
No matter where you work, you can only do it if you’re not in physical pain.
If you can, invest in an ergonomic keyboard. These are designed to protect your wrists and hands, something that chiropractors, massage therapists and orthopaedic surgeons think is important.
Just as important – your desk height. Make sure your work surface is not too high or you’ll be holding your shoulders up all day. A small desk with a keyboard tray can be a great investment in your productivity and “work from home” wellness. These are available from local stores and online retailers.
A desk that can be raised is also a great investment as, standing for a good portion of your day can help keep you healthier, aid your circulation and may even prevent weight gain.
Don’t scrimp on your seating either – invest in an ergonomic chair. This will pay dividends in the long run, since comfort equals productivity.
And, get a good light, especially if you do a fair amount of reading or document proofing. There’s no substitute for good lighting.
#4 – Don’t Forget these Essentials
When setting up your space, keep these important necessities in mind:
- Make sure you don’t have a bright window at your back while working on your computer. Very few shades can compensate for a window’s glare on your screen. Although, you must also remember, natural light can do wonders for productivity (not to mention mood and overall health), so position your work space to get the benefits of a window without the drawbacks.
- Determine where your nearest power outlets are and make sure you can plug in the many devices you need where you need them.
- Check and make sure your location has great mobile signal strength or, if necessary, plan on putting in a land line. Make sure you have a strong Wi-Fi connection and that it’s fast enough for your work requirements.
- Spend a few workday hours at home to make sure your neighbours don’t have super-noisy habits (or dogs) of which you’re not aware.
#5 – Find a Balance: Convenience vs. Lifestyle
If you have roommates or a romantic partner, don’t leave them out of the conversation.
If they’re not happy while you’re working, or with where you work, this will affect your focus and therefore your productivity.
Discuss these questions:
- How often is your room mate home during working hours?
- Will conference calls or the need for quiet necessitate a change in their lifestyle?
- Will an office in the bedroom put a crimp in your love life?
- Will file folders or training manuals feel like clutter?
- Will a computer desk eliminate the option of in-home workouts?
- Are someone’s habits going to change when it comes to watching TV, listening to music or having friends drop by?
As I said before, talk to your room mate or partner and resolve any issues or at least get their agreement before starting to set up your work space.
Of course, working from home will also have lots of advantages like:
- Diesel / gasoline savings
- Commuting time saved
- More free time
- Less demands in the wardrobe department
- More flexibility
Just make sure your work from home office positions YOU for success.
Implementing these tips for working from home will put you in a position where you can stay focused on your daily tasks, achieve your work goals and maintain good health.
That must be good for you, right?
Well, that’s it for today.
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