Written by: Mary Rosenthol, CFW Health and Fitness Expert
Working from home used to be a rarity, but in today’s world it has become commonplace. While working from home does have benefits, working remotely also poses challenges. Fortunately, there are some tips that can make working from home both more efficient and pleasant.
Tip #1: Set ground rules with your family. Children and significant others should understand boundaries need to exist during work hours. Hang a “do not disturb” sign, chalkboard, or whiteboard outside the office door for children to leave messages. Set a schedule to walk your pet every few hours.
Tip #2: Designate a specific work area in your home. Working from the couch or bed can be tempting, but it is easy to get distracted in a space not designated for work. Choose a location where you can sit straight up to avoid back and neck strain which also has enough room for your laptop.
- Pick an area of your home with good natural light that allows you to feel more energized.
- Create an ergonomic setup. Your computer, keyboard, mouse, and phone should be within easy reach for productivity and reduction in repetitive motion injuries.
- Keep your workspace tidy. A cluttered workspace can create negative energy and a reduction in productivity. Limit your work area to what you’re working on and a few objects that inspire you.
- To reduce computer glare, create diffused lighting with a selection of lamps. Computer glare can lead to eyestrain.
Tip #3: Use your time wisely. Working from home means the IT department is not close by to help when technology breaks down. Bookmark troubleshooting pages and post help desk numbers to call for help fixing any issues that might arise. Set up a supply closet or shelf for extra work supplies so no time is wasted hunting through the house for supplies.
Tip #4: Create a daily schedule. Concentration can falter in as little as 20 minutes. For every 20 minutes of work, try taking a 20 second break. During the course of the day, take a couple 15-20 minute breaks outdoors to stimulate melatonin production in your body. Add household chores and workout breaks into the day; just make sure you allot an appropriate amount of time for work.
Tip #5: Stay connected. It is easy to feel disconnected from the outside world. Make sure you reach out to work-from-home colleagues and friends to keep a positive view.
With nicer weather just around the corner, it may become easy to get distracted, so it’s even more important to have a supportive space at home for work. For more information on creating a productive workspace, visit “5 Tips for Setting Up Your Home Workspace”.