10 Practical Work From Home & Home Office Tips
Many people who have never worked from home before now find themselves in a completely new work environment. This can be an uncomfortable scenario, but these practical tips will help improve productivity and wellbeing while working from home during the quarantine. If you want to share your home office, submit your setup here for a chance to win Goodies and be featured. If you’d like to make a guest post or contribute to the blog on another topic, pitch your idea here.
1. Create a Place Dedicated for Work
Separate a Workspace for Better Work-Life Balance
When working from home it’s very important to create a space that is dedicated to working. The most ideal environment is a home office, but if this is not an option then dedicating a specific workspace in the form of a desk or table, then there will be a clearer work-life balance.
Without a place dedicated to work it is easy to slip into work when you should be living your life, and vice versa. If you have a home office or workspace that is only used when working, then it is easier to draw a clear distinction as to how you are spending your time so you avoid burnout from working around the clock, or allow daily life to distract you when you should be working.
2. Set Household Ground Rules
Agree on Clear Boundaries with the People in Your Home
Setting ground rules with the people in your home is crucial for maintaining healthy relationships as well as your productivity. It can be extremely difficult to work and live in the same place with very little space and time away from the people you live with. By sitting down and coming up with a set of ground rules that everyone can agree on, it will help to navigate potential discomforts of this new work-from-home environment.
Parents with kids who are also home from school have a new and extremely difficult set of challenges to manage. Now that both child and parent are at home full-time, there is no escaping a constant barrage of requests throughout the day. There are myriad activities that can keep children busy and entertained but the problem exists that many kids won’t play by themselves or keep themselves entertained, even if they are at an age where they are entirely capable of doing so. By setting clear rules with your children ahead of time so that they know that if they let you work uninterrupted between certain hours they will have your undivided attention or be able to do something special afterward, may help navigate this difficult terrain.
3. Avoid Tech Shortcomings in your Home Office
Don’t Allow Tech Issues Hurt Productivity
The New York Times’ Brian X. Chen recently published an in-depth piece on The Tech Headaches of Working From Home and How to Remedy Them which highlights how everything from slow WiFi to working on a subpar keyboard will decrease your productivity. Some companies are now offering employee stipends for WiFi upgrades, hardware, and software needs as well as office furniture for their workers’ home offices.
Since the quarantine has taken effect, Das Keyboard has noticed that many loyal customers are replicating their office workstations by purchasing the same keyboard they use in their office. Whether or not employees have access to their offices and their equipment, it is always nice to have a separate home setup in case these work from home scenarios become more commonplace.
4. Stick to a Work Schedule
Stay Productive and On Task
When working from home it is very tempting to sleep in late, skip a shower, take more breaks or throw in the towel early. It is important to avoid changing your habits just because you are working from home for a number of reasons. Skipping or altering your normal routine will likely negatively impact your productivity and performance, and while many companies will be looking the other way during these times, as an employee it is your responsibility to want the best for the company that employs you.
The act of keeping a strict work schedule when working from home can also give you a feeling of purpose, drive and lead to more success in the future. Sticking to a schedule and staying on task has been widely recognized as keys to success. In the future when you look back at this time of working remote, an introspective view of staying productive.
5. Use a Standing Desk or Workspace
Stand Up While You Work
Prolonged sitting has proven to be dangerous, so much so that it is also being compared to smoking. According to the New York Times, even if you run every morning or hit the gym if you spend most of your time sitting in an office or your home you are exposing yourself to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and even early death.
One of the best ways to rule out the dangers of sitting is by standing. By introducing a standing desk or standing workspace in your home, you can help avoid a sedentary lifestyle.
6. Add Natural Daylight to your Home Office
Natural Daylight Improves Performance & Wellbeing
Various psychologists have proven that the right amount of daylight and access to windows positively impacts people’s well-being. It was also shown that outdoor views are also associated with better performance in the workplace. By adding natural daylight to your home office, you will be more likely to complete a task on time, exhibit a greater interest in your work and your company, and will be less likely to want to quit your job than those without.
7. Take a Nap
Taking a Short Nap Boosts Productivity
In a recent CBS Sunday Morning interview with HubSpot CEO, Brian Halligan, Brian admits he takes a nap every day and that may just be the most important half-hour of his day. Including a nap of around 20 to 30 minutes can boost your productivity, enhance alertness, improve accuracy, enrich decision-making capabilities, and fuel memory.
8. Work with Your Pet in your Home Office
Time with Pets Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Over the past few years, offices have been moving towards pet-friendly offices since there are a number of advantages to pets in the workplace. There is no difference when working from home. Having a pet in a home office can act as a stress reliever for workers and allows for better focus. By having better access to carry out daily responsibilities related to a pet, such as feeding, walking and playing, someone working in the home office doesn’t have to worry about whether or not the pet is being taken care of. This shift in the responsibility of friends or family members is also an added bonus for those who typically watch over the pet while you are at work.
9. Start Setting Reminders
Don’t Forget to Breathe
Working from home for the first time you may find yourself forgetting to take care of yourself by not drinking water, standing up, or taking a break. This will be detrimental to your health and wellbeing and why it is highly recommended to regularly set reminders.
You can simply set reminders in your calendar or phone, or even better you can use Q Software on a Das Keyboard from the Q Series, which allows for setting reminders to display right on your keyboard. You can set reminders to workout, drink water, stand up, meditate and more.
Small steps like setting and following reminders will go a long way in keeping you happier, healthier and more productive in your home office.
10. Add a Plant to your Home Office
Greenery Improves Focus and Productivity
Some of the largest and most famous technology companies in the world have been longtime advocates of including plants in their offices. As stated in an Entrepreneur article from last spring, plant-filled spaces “inspire creativity and even improve brain function.” Being confined to your home during the quarantine period, having a plant will bring the outdoors inside, and can help to alleviate the anxiety associated with cabin fever.
While many are new to working from home, very few have ever experienced a full-time quarantine. This can be very stressful as concerns over COVID-19 continue, and uncertainty looms over people who are unable to work. We wish everyone the best and hope that this piece helps alleviate even the slightest amount of stress for those of us that are lucky enough to be able to work from home.
We hope that everyone can make the best of a tough situation and that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.