With the majority of the world stuck at home, working while quarantined with your entire family can feel impossible. Whether you’ve got adult children at home, school-aged children doing e-learning, or you’re on your own, it can be extremely challenging.
One of the main issues is that most of us are not at all set up to work from home. When you first started looking for houses for sale, you probably didn’t realize that a global pandemic would one day turn it into your workplace as well.
Fortunately, with a few small adjustments, you can set up an effective workspace and master an efficient work-from-home routine. Here are a few of our top tips for how to set up a better remote work routine, and which home office essentials you’ll need to succeed.
1. Keep regular hours
One of the reasons why time feels so nebulous right now is because of the lack of separation between day and night, and weekday and weekend. When we’re all home with nowhere to go, it can feel like we’ve been stuck inside forever.
One of the best ways to combat this feeling is to stick to a schedule. This includes keeping to regular hours when you’re working from home. If you’re used to a rigid schedule when you’re in the office, maintain it in your home ‘office’ as much as possible. This helps to encourage work productivity, and helps you turn your brain off at night when it’s quitting time. Otherwise, it’s difficult to know when it’s time to stop working.
2. Designate a work area
Another great way to avoid the feeling that you should be working all the time is to designate one area of your home as your workspace. Going to your home office or designated workspace every day helps train your brain to get into ‘work mode’ when it’s time to start your day.
You can set up your home office anywhere you choose. Try and avoid your bedroom or your comfortable couch unless it’s absolutely necessary. Otherwise, you may find yourself nodding off during work hours!
Set up your office area with all your necessities like your computer, notepads, pens, and anything else you need to get work done. Having everything at hand helps keep you productive, and less prone to distractions.
3. Consider ergonomics
If you’re like most of us, it’s extremely tempting to work from the couch in pajamas every day. While this might be a nice change from a more formal office environment, it’s not a great idea to do this long-term. Instead, focus on setting up a home office with the principles of ergonomics in mind.
An ergonomic workstation isn’t just more efficient- it helps protect your body from repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel. An ergonomic work setup helps to limit physical strain, and can also help us be more productive.
4. Agree on ground rules if you’re sharing your space
If you’re sharing your workspace with family members or roommates, agreeing on ground rules ahead of time helps to maintain household harmony. Rules could be anything from when to knock, appropriate volume for music and phone calls, or how to get the other person’s attention when you have a question.
Make sure your needs are known in advance- otherwise, you may find yourself desperate for quiet as your new co-worker makes phone call after phone call in the common areas, disturbing your focus and productivity.
5. Don’t be afraid to shut the door
If your current home office doesn’t have a door, now is an ideal time to think about installing one. If you need a way to keep out noise and separate yourself from household chaos, a door is a great solution.
Installing interior doors may not have been something you thought much about until now, but if you’re going to be working from home long-term, it’s a good idea to pencil this project in now.
6. Use appropriate lighting
Another great way to outfit your home workspace is to ensure you’ve set up appropriate lighting. If you find that your eyes feel grainy or tired at the end of the day, you may need to adjust the lights to your home office.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the light source should be positioned behind you when reading books or doing close work, and in front of you if you’re working at a desk. Use a shade to keep the light from shining directly into your eyes.
Feeling like your home is too small for the number of people currently working and living there? Our Windsor real estate team is available to talk about the Essex County real estate market, and can help if you’re ready to expand into your next home.
Contact us today to start the process with the Dan Gemus Real Estate Team!