In theory, working from home sounds like a dream come true.
You may have imagined rolling over in bed, grabbing your laptop, and getting to work while still in your pajamas. But with more and more people working from home in the current situation, they’re finding the reality is far different than they supposed.
It’s easy to get distracted, to fall asleep if you stay in bed or lie on the couch, or to feel like your work life has overtaken your personal time. Worst of all, if your internet isn’t up to scratch, you may be dealing with the frustration of lag times and dropped Zoom calls.
Here’s how you can still work effectively from home by creating the perfect workspace.
1. If you have a room you can commandeer just for your job, do it. Being able to close a door is a huge boost to productivity. When the door is closed, you’re not available to distractions, family members, or the cat that likes to sit on your keyboard.
If you don’t have a spare room, find a quiet corner and turn the space into your official office. Consider investing in a screen that you can use to block off the area to help differentiate working and non-working hours.
2. Make sure your internet can handle online meetings and has the basics you need for a home office. Get speedy internet that ensures you’ll never drop a Zoom call. Utah Broadband is a great provider that is big on customer service. CEO Steven McGhie stated that they are “committed to providing the fastest and most reliable internet service in the state.” They provide internet for residential and apartment buildings, including areas of high density. If your internet service isn’t up to the challenge, be sure to check them out.
3. Move around now and then. Make a goal and hyper-focus on your work for a set amount of time, such as twenty to thirty minutes, and then stand up and stretch. Get a glass of water. Then back to work for another period of concentration. You’ll find you’re more productive if you combine deep work with self-care.
Here’s a three-minute stretch routine for your whole body.
Also, make sure you take a lunch break and try to set aside enough time for a brisk walk. Text a co-worker or friend so you don’t feel isolated.
4. Music is proven to improve your performance, memory and peace of mind. It gets that part of your brain working that helps you do your best. You’ll also be less stressed. You need to find music that works for you, though. Some people listen to classical music, but if you don’t actually enjoy classical music, that’s a problem. I do, but since I’ve started working at home a lot more, I’ve been listening to Indie Folk Central’s A Beautiful Calmness series. Beautiful, but I can still work.
But you’ll have to find what works for you.
5. When you’re off, you’re off. Don’t keep working because you can. Make plans and stick to them, or you’ll start to feel your work slip. It can be tempting to keep working, but if you do, your morale will eventually suffer, which means your work will begin to suffer, too.
Working from home may not be all that you dreamed it could be, but it still has its perks. If you have the internet you need and you create a decent workspace, you can be more effective than if you went into the office. You’ll also save money on gas and time from your commute. You can also prepare healthy lunches at home and save money from not eating out.
Basically, you’re getting more time and money, and that’s really living the dream. How successful the experience is for you, however, is up to you. Make a plan and commit to your goals. You’ll be more efficient and be happier with your quality of life.