Nowadays, working from home is the norm because of the need for social distancing and self-isolation. Even after the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, it looks like we will continue to normalize working from home, as opposed to in the office. But, which environment actually allows you to be more productive: the home office or the office office?
In the office office, your coworkers often pose the biggest threat to getting real work done. They drop by your desk, engage in conversation, and invite you to lunch. The social benefits of a workplace are definitely nice, but they can become a challenge if you’re easily distracted.
At the home office, however, it’s easy for you to become your own worst enemy. No one’s watching, and you don’t necessarily feel the same peer pressure or the communal obligation to get stuff done.
Because of this, we’ve compiled some great work-at-home tips and tricks to get you through this pandemic, and to help you continue to do it throughout your career.
- Get started early. When working in an office, your morning commute can help you wake up and feel ready to work by the time you get to your desk. At home, the transition from your bed to computer can be more of an adjustment. Believe it or not, one way to work from home productively is to dive into your to-do list as soon as you wake up. Simply getting a project started first thing in the morning can be the key to making progress on it gradually throughout the day.
- Structure your day like you would in the office. When working from home, you’re your own personal manager. Without things like in-person meetings scheduled to break up your day, you can be quick to lose focus or burn out. To stay on schedule, segment what you’ll do and when over the course of the day. If you have an online calendar, create personal events and reminders that tell you when to shift gears and start on new tasks.
- Choose a dedicated work space. Just because you’re not working at an office doesn’t mean you can’t, well, have an office. Rather than cooping yourself up in your room or on the couch, dedicate a specific room or space in your home to work.
If your home office space doesn’t seem to be working yet, try improving it with some of the products below;
- Ergonomic Chair – Working from a random chair you found in the house can be detrimental to your posture and can contribute to chronic back issues. Consider investing in an ergonomic desk chair to help avoid this.
- Mini Fridge – Use it to hold your lunch or milk for your morning coffee. Make sure to only use this fridge during work hours (don’t use this mini fridge as your beer fridge!).
- Bulletin Board – Use a bulletin board as a back drop for your desk, to hold important documents, calendars, or to-do lists.
- Air Purifier/Air Conditioner/Dehumidifier – Your new office space might be in the ideal location in your home, but the temperature or air quality could be off. Make sure you’re comfortable while you work with an air purifier, air conditioner, or dehumidifier.
- Smart Mailbox – During the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re likely ordering more online, or having important work documents sent to your home. Make sure everything can be delivered without the need for hand-to-hand contact.
- Work when you’re at your most productive. Nobody sprints through their work from morning to evening – your motivation will naturally ebb and flow throughout the day. When you’re working from home, it’s important to know when these ebbs and flows will take place, and plan your schedule around it. To capitalize on your most productive periods, save harder tasks for when you know you’ll be in the right headspace. Use slower points of the day to knock out the easier, logistical tasks on your plate.
- Plan out what you’ll be working on ahead of time. It’s important to let your agenda change if you need it to, but it’s equally important to commit to an agenda that outlines every assignment before you begin. Try solidifying your schedule the day before, making it feel more official when you wake up the next day to get started on it.
- Use technology to stay connected. Instant messaging and video conferencing can make it easy to check in with coworkers and remind you how your work is contributing to the big picture. Try to use wireless connected devices to avoid contact with other people and surfaces.
- Take clear breaks. Don’t let the guilt of working in the building you sleep in prevent you from taking five to relax. Rather than opening YouTube or social media, use your breaks to get away from your desk. Go for a (socially distant) walk or spend time with others who might also be quarantined in the house with you.
- Prepare your meals the night before. When you’re in your own home, it can be tempting to spend time preparing a nice breakfast and lunch for yourself. Don’t use precious minutes making your food during the day – cook it the night before and store it in your home office mini fridge.
- Pick a definitive finishing time each day. You might be under the impression that working from home establishes more work-life balance, but be careful with that assumption. Working from home can also feel like being at a casino – you can get so caught up in your activity that you lose track of time. Set an alarm at the end of the day to indicate your normal work day is coming to an end.
Inspiration for this blog provided by Hub Spot. Original content and more tips/tricks for working from home are available at the link below.
Search for Danby products online at your local retailers, and see whether you can shop in store, online, or if they offer curbside pickup. Check your province/state mandates on social distancing before leaving the house. Stay safe.