Nine tips for making your WFH space more productive
If you’ve been working from home the last few months (or if you were working from home before it was cool), you have likely experienced the ups and downs that come with trying to incorporate your office life into your home life. This transition isn’t easy, but we have a few tips to make the process a little smoother.
1. Act Like You’re at Work
The key to working from home is to actually work from home. As much as possible, keep up with the same schedule, routine, weekly goals, and whatever else you would typically do if you were sitting in your actual office. For instance, if you would typically meet with your sales team on Mondays at 3:00 PM, try to keep that going through virtual meeting options.
2. Prepare to be Flexible
In a perfect world, working from home would be easy. But between finding childcare, managing schoolwork, and navigating every other aspect of pandemic life, there will have to be lots of changes. Mentally prepare yourself to go with the flow when it comes to rescheduling meetings and project deadlines. Always try to move forward as planned – and be prepared to adapt when the plan goes awry.
3. Find a Dedicated Space
Working from your laptop while wearing pajama pants is actually pretty cozy. But as much as we support that idea, it’s also imperative for you to have a dedicated space for your home office. Whether you transform your old guest room or set up shop in a corner of the kitchen, having a space to manage your work life will help you stay focused.
4. Incorporate Breaks
At the office, you probably find some time during the day to stretch your legs and step away from the computer. You need to do the same when working from home, especially during a pandemic that requires us to stay home a lot more often. Go outside, take a lap around the yard, check the mail – do something to break up your day.
5. Hit the Office Supply Store
Hopefully, your company is providing you with everything you need to get your job done. But since the name of this game is flexibility (see above), you may want to have some supplies of your own ready in case there is a delay in receiving them from your company. Get the basics – pens, notepads, printer paper, a stapler, and anything else you find yourself using daily.
6. Set Some Boundaries
If you want to work from home successfully, you have to use some theater of the mind and act like you are really at work. Aside from what we already mentioned for this topic, you need to extend this idea to things like your social life, doctor’s appointments, and other things that pop up in life. This means that you can’t go out for a two-hour lunch just because your office is in your bedroom.
7. Set the Scene
You know you need to have a dedicated office space with supplies, but now it’s time to optimize your office for productivity. If you can’t stop looking outside every time a car drives by, get some curtains you can close to help you stay on task. If your back hurts every day after work, find a comfier chair. You get the idea. Set yourself up for success with an office designed to help you focus.
8. Make a Schedule
One way you can maximize your time on the job is by making a daily schedule. Include time for breaks and lunch, as well as appointments and other daily tasks. Giving yourself a routine will make the day flow more easily for you.
9. Include Your Family
If your kids were at school but are now learning digitally or through homeschooling, it can be difficult to stop the many interruptions that are likely to come your way. When possible, include your family in your schedule. Show them when they come in and ask questions, and try to remember their school needs in your schedule if they need your help to log onto and manage their digital platform each day.
Working from is a big adjustment, especially if your calm, quiet office downtown is calling your name. Take some time to prep your home office and daily routine to give yourself the best chance of success – and maybe include a calendar that counts down to when your office opens again.