Tips for Successfully Working from a Home Office
A 2016 Gallup poll showed that 43% of the U.S. population works remotely at least part of the time, and the number is growing. Working from home can provide a sense of comfort and convenience, though also a number of challenges. Isolation, work set up, boundary issues, or work taking over your home life are just a few of the challenges that can arise.
As the number of peoiple working from home continues to grow, many of you experiencing remote work for the first time may encounter some bumps adjusting to your new work environment. For those making the transition from traditional office space to a temporary, or long-term, work from home setup, we have compiled a few tips to keep up your productivity and maintain a work-life balance.
Set Up a Dedicated Workspace
Ensuring you can work efficiently from home starts with a dedicated workspace. Designed for productivity and focus, this space should be separate from where you eat, sleep or relax – so don’t plan to work from the couch, bed, or the dining room table if you can help it!
However, if the only space available is in a bedroom, a corner of the gathering room, or the dining area, consider the following before you set up shop to ensure you keep work and daily life as separate as possible:
- Use a small table or desk as your workstation. Even a folding or card table can help define the space for work versus space for your private life.
- Gather everything you’ll need to work on a daily basis and try to keep it within arm’s reach – pencils/pens, relevant files or folders, flash drives, computer and monitor, phone chargers, headset, etc. Depending on your job, this list may look very different!
- Make sure your workstation is near outlets or have an extension cord with a power strip so you have plenty of outlets available
- Consider what else you have around you at work that keeps you productive. Do you work best with music? Find a speaker or use your headphones to keep your routine. Do you always keep a water bottle at your desk? Fix yourself a large glass of water and bring it to your workstation with you. Try to keep your setup as normal as possible so you don’t feel too out of your element.
- Having a comfy chair to work from can also be vital. Even if you don’t want to invest in an expensive office chair if you are only working from home temporarily, it’s important to make sure your chair won’t leave you with a backache at the end of the day. Find your comfiest chair or use one that promotes good posture and ergonomics.
If you plan to begin working from home, now is a great time to re-evaluate how to best utilize the den, loft, or bonus room in your Florida home. Visit our Inspiration Gallery for a few ideas on how to decorate this space and set up your home office.
Keep a Routine
Keeping some semblance of your normal work routine is crucial when transitioning to a remote working situation. While working from home is convenient in many ways, it also opens the door for work to creep into your home life and personal time.
Maintaining a routine helps maintain a work-life balance:
- It keeps you focused during your normal work hours.
- Waking at the same time, and starting your day at the same time, allows you to feel comfortable walking away from your computer at 5 or 6 p.m.
- Having a specific action or habit at the end of every day is your signal that it’s time to call it quits!
Depending on the type of work you do and how much interaction you have with co-workers or clients, you may have the flexibility to set your own schedule.
- Coordinate your work hours around the time of day you’re most productive. As a morning person, start work earlier, or if you’re a night owl, switch a chunk of your workday to after dinner.
- Know what your company’s typical break policy is, and make sure you take regular breaks to keep yourself focused and sharp.
- Eat lunch at your normal time.
- Do you usually go to the gym during the day? Then, make time for a quick workout or run, as you normally would.
It’s easy to get distracted when working from home, especially if you have a spouse, roommate, or children who are home during your work hours. Setting a few ground rules for everyone under the same roof ensures they know that while you may be at home, you still have to be focused on your work.
- If you can, ask everyone at home to give you quiet hours in blocks, with the promise that you’ll take a break every few hours to be with them.
- If your job requires frequent calls or meetings with other co-workers or clients, it’s especially important to find a quiet place, preferably somewhere with a door you can close.
- However, when they know you are working from home, most employers or clients are understanding of kids running into the room or the sound of dogs barking.
On the flip side, when you’re working alone it can be hard to stay task-oriented throughout the day. Follow a to-do or task list or use something like time blocking or a time management app to keep yourself focused and productive throughout the day.
Socialize and Connect
It’s important to keep your connections strong and to stay in communication with everyone to keep work flowing smoothly, as well as avoid feelings of isolation. This is especially important if your job is team-based or if your work depends on those around you.
- Stay connected with your colleagues via phone, video conference, or chat.
- Ask your company to host virtual staff meetings, or schedule them for your team if you have the ability.
When adjusting to working from home, it’s important to take the time to set yourself up for success. Ensuring you have a space to work from that will allow you to focus, be productive, and stay connected is crucial to being a valued employee despite changing circumstances.
During your search for a new home in Florida, taking a virtual tour can help you visualize and plan how you will utilize the space in your new home. Our Florida home plans offer three to six bedrooms with many homes including flexible-use rooms, such as a den or loft bonus room, which are perfect as a dedicated home office! Learn more about our communities and browse home plans online, or call, text, or email our Florida New Home Specialists for assistance with finding the perfect Florida new home for your needs!
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