Working from home was once a luxury that many professionals didn’t get to experience. Fast forward to 2020 and nearly everyone began doing so out of necessity. If you happen to be new to the work-from-home experience, you may realize it’s a pretty big adjustment from working in an office. With a few simple tips, you can transform your home into a space that fosters creativity and allows you to be just as productive, or perhaps even more so than sitting at a desk in an office building. In honor of National Work From Home Week (October 7-11), we’re sharing our top advice for making working from home a positive experience.
Create a Productive Workplace
First things first: it’s so important to have a dedicated space for your remote work needs. Ideally, you’ll have an office in your home, but if not, you can get creative and transform a corner of your living room or guest bedroom into a nice little work area complete with a proper desk. Most offices are equipped with ergonomic furnishings that make for a comfortable work environment, and that’s the one thing most people miss when working at home!
Ensure you have a desk or table that is a proper height, along with a comfortable chair. When possible, using dual monitors increases efficiency and makes it easier to view your computer screen all day.
Get Ready for the Day
If you’re new to the work-from-home scene, you may think it sounds nice to show up to work in your loungewear. However, you’ll quickly realize that what you wear can negatively impact your ability to focus and be productive. Veteran work from home pros know that getting dressed and ready for the day as if you’re going into the office is key for a positive work-from-home experience. You can likely skip the suit while sitting in front of your computer at home, but even a nice top and jeans can do the trick. Plus, many companies are utilizing video technology to stay connected with their team members while away from the office, so it’s important to look presentable!
Define Your Work Hours
There are a lot of differences between working from home and working in an office, but one thing that can remain the same are your work hours. It’s a good idea to maintain a sense of normalcy when working remotely and keeping your ‘8 to 5’ schedule, or whatever schedule is specific to you, can help you do so. Some professionals find it easier to hop online a bit earlier in the day when working from home for better focus. If your schedule is up for negotiation, perhaps you can request to start your day a bit earlier and shut your computer off a little earlier in the afternoon or vice versa.
Working remotely makes it quite challenging to separate work life from home life. Over time, it gets easier, but if you’re newer to the work-from-home experience, you may notice the lines getting blurred. It’s important to set boundaries in both your work and your personal life. Working from home is not an invitation to sit on the sofa and binge HGTV during the workday, and you may have to remind your family to avoid interrupting you during work hours. Likewise, it’s important to choose a reasonable time to end work for the day and leave it at your desk. It’s very easy to find yourself checking your email or catching up on a small project here and there after hours when working from home, but it’s important to set a limitation to avoid burnout.
Take a Breather
One of the perks of being in an office with others is the ability to have a quick chat with coworkers or a midday workout in the gym. It’s easy to stay in front of your screen all day long when working from home, especially if you’re alone in the house. Force yourself to step away for a quick lunch or take a short walk to enjoy some fresh air. Often, a quick break is all it takes to feel mentally refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the workday.
Keep Communication Open
A downside of the work-from-home life is not seeing your coworkers face to face. Things can get lost in translation much easier when your primary method of communication is email, so it’s a good idea to incorporate instant messaging, texting, phone calls, and video meetings into your day-to-day routine. As a bonus, you’ll feel more connected to your teammates if you see their faces occasionally!
Make Time for Socialization
Working from home can be quite isolating, especially if you’re at home all day alone. To preserve your sanity, it’s a good idea to make plans, virtually or in-person with social distancing in mind, with friends and family to give you something to look forward to and maintain a social life outside of your work.
If you’re looking to buy a house with the perfect “work-from-home” space, C&F Mortgage is here for you. Our local industry experts can guide you through the home buying process from start to finish. Get in touch with us today.