• 5 Ways to Make Working-from-Home Work for You

by Chris Hayes March 05, 2020

Is the saying "home sweet home" or is it "office sweet office"? Or is it both? With remote employees making up a rapidly growing sector of the workforce, there's more incentive than ever to seek out positions that keep you free from the humdrum of a corporate office.

Granted, there's still a degree of uncertainty and trepidation that comes along with working from home. Start with a solid foundation, strong convictions, and the determination you need to be as successful from your home office as you would be at a corporate headquarters. It's way easier than it sounds:

1. Get in the Zone

When you walk into a corporate office, there's a certain vibe that lets you know it's time to hunker down. Recreate (and enhance!) that feeling when you sit down at your at-home workspace. We've all worked from the dining room table or taken the show on the road for a day at the coffee shop, but building out a dedicated home office is a must for full-time, partial, and occasionally remote employees.

 Dedicate some space. Whether it's a whole room decked out with a sprawling office suite, a guest room that doubles as a home office, or even a carved-out corner of a shared space, designate an area where you know you can always get your work done.
ᐅ Get comfortable. For those long hours of work, you'll need to have a seat that can keep you feeling good all day long. Think about ergonomics while you're purchasing furniture. A task chair with custom adjustment points, a sit/stand desk, and an active stool can make your working hours feel better and make sure you're not hurting after the day is done.
ᐅ What's in stock? Do you have all of the right supplies to get your job done? Beyond the basics, like a laptop or monitors, make sure that the smaller stuff is taken care of and at the ready. Keep notebooks, pens, clips, and other little bits organized and always within reach.

    2. Stay in Touch

    It's easier than ever to keep in contact with your team, even if you're scattered throughout the country. Collaboration software, video conferencing, and cloud storage has revolutionized the workforce, making it possible to have meaningful connections with colleagues everywhere.

    Try not to be an island. Even when you're on your own in the comfort of your own home, don't be afraid to ask questions and gain insight from the people that are working just as hard as you. These new collaborative tools have changed the landscape of remote work and telecommuting but there's still no "I" in team.

    3. Deal with Distractions

    There's so many ways to become distracted when you're surrounded by the things you love. When your cat is curled up on the sofa, the latest Netflix show is ready to binge, and there's a puppy lapping at your feet… who can resist? Shut it down! Great habits start from the start of your work-from-home career, though staying dedicated to your craft is the most important part.

     Style for success. When you're decorating your home office or building out a corner of your living area, keep things clutter-free and only outfit your space with décor and accessories that will keep your workday moving forward.
    ᐅ Stay out of sight. When the TV is out of sight, it's out of mind. The same goes for the kitchen, the backyard, and the bottle of rosé on the counter. Isolate your workspace so that you can keep your head down and dedicated to what's immediately in front of you.
    ᐅ Board the airplane… Mode, that is. Set your personal devices to "away" and zero in on the apps, programs, and tools that you need for business. It's easy to think that multi-tasking on Facebook messenger is possible, but it's rarely worthwhile.

      4. Break Down the Day

      Just because you're not chained to your cubicle doesn't mean that a schedule is optional. Just like your office-bound counterparts, create a set of standards that will capture your workflow at its most productive. Depending on your degree of flexibility, choose the right times to wake up, start work, take a breather, have a bite to eat, and wrap up your to do's… And, most importantly, stick to it.

      Not only will this keep you on track and on target, but it will build accountability with the rest of your team members. If you're reliable and available at the right times, they'll know when they can count on you for a quick reply or an urgent update.

      5. It's Ethical

      Sometimes the upsides of working from home are greater than all of us. Cutting out traditional office spaces has a bevvy of ethical benefits that we can all agree on:

      ᐅ Commute? What commute? When your walk to work is as simple as moseying down the hall, you're saving carbon emissions, fossil fuels, and transportation costs that impact the environment.
      ᐅ The workforce expands. No matter where you are or where you choose to settle down, you can find reliable, satisfying employment. This empowers an entire section of the workforce that would once have had to move to a metropolitan area for the same jobs.
      ᐅ Space is saved. Office spaces have a huge physical footprint, even in high-capacity buildings. Everything needed for daily living--bathrooms, kitchenettes, shared spaces, etc.-- have to be included, however when you work from home, you're using the same amenities for both work and leisure.


        Chris Hayes
        Chris Hayes

        Author



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