For many people in the United States, July marks the fifth month of working from home. Being able to work from home (WFH) might be a dream come true because it can afford you more time with loved ones, extra money in your pocket, and even improved mental health. Even with all the benefits of working where you live, it may not be everyone’s preferred work environment. If your WFH situation involves fighting household chaos or monotony, read on for tips to ensure you are working from home effectively.
Having your own space when working from home is essential for focus and success. The more private your area is, the better. Setting up in your bedroom is fine, but avoid doing work in bed, as it could lead to falling asleep. Commandeering an enclosed room in your home is ideal, but you can still make it work if you don’t have an extra room. Working out of a common area can be doable, make sure to ask your family members to be respectful of the space when in use. Try to make your environment as conducive to productivity as possible —do whatever will help you be focused and relaxed.
When you can clock in from the comfort of your home, it’s possible to get stuck in a rut. Working from home removes the temporal and spatial barriers that once separated professional and personal life. Now that those boundaries are gone, you might not feel like you’re at work even though you are. You can trick your mind to going into “work mode” by changing out of your pajamas when you’re trying to be productive. It’s important for your mental health to set guidelines for yourself when you’re working from home. Whenever possible, avoid checking your email or doing work-related activities after regular business hours. Give yourself time to just be with loved ones or by yourself —you deserve it! Even if you’re working out of the office, your home should still feel like your home at the end of the day.
A Quiet Place
Having more time around your family can be both harmony and a hassle. It may be difficult for you to focus when the people or pets in your home are noisy or need monitoring. Sometimes simply shutting a door is effective, but that might not always be possible. If your “co-workers” are being noisy, tell them to be mindful of their noise levels while you’re working. Likewise, be considerate of how loud you are if others are trying to work. If you have young children, give them something to keep them entertained; you can check in with them occasionally to make sure they’re doing all right.
Even though you’re not in a traditional office setting, you should continue to practice healthy habits when working from home. In fact, working from home may be able to facilitate a healthier lifestyle. Sit up straight in an ergonomic chair with your feet flat on the floor. Have your laptop or monitors set up in a way that doesn’t cause you to have poor posture or strain your eyes. The screen should be angled between 15-20° below eye level at moderate brightness. Take the opportunity of being at home to drink water throughout the day and eat healthy. Every 30 to 60 minutes, take a stretch break and walk around. Don’t be afraid to go outside to get a dose of sunlight and time out of your house!
Whether working from home is temporary or permanent for you, it’s important to know how to work productively from any setting. By establishing a workflow that makes sense for you, you can maintain your morale and enjoy the many benefits of working remotely.
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