Don’t think you have the extra space for a home office? Odds are that you do but recognize that setting up a physical location within your home is only the first step and that you may need a few more tips to ensure your work-from-home experience is productive and rewarding. So after you squeeze in a small desk or a fully loaded workspace, here are some ideas that will help you find balance.
Create a Personal Space
Whether you have a dedicated home office or are simply setting up shop at the kitchen table, establishing a designated workspace tells your brain that you are in the place where you do work productively. Big box stores, like IKEA Canada, are re-opening and are stocked with everything you need – all available in one place.
Find Your Centre
When you work in an office, the daily routine of getting ready and commuting helps your brain get ready for the day. When you are working remotely, you can create ‘start the day’ triggers that get your mind ready for work in a similar way, like exercising, showering, and getting dressed like you are going to work. Consignment stores like Mine & Yours have been killing it on their Instagram stories with dozens of summer looks available now for online shopping and pick-up at their downtown location.
Develop a Structure
Remote work requires a schedule much like a typical office job, except you are the one holding yourself accountable. A simple daily to-do list can do wonders for keeping you organized, motivated, and productive as you work from home. Using an auto-scheduler like later.com, will allow you to keep-up on your social media presence, even as you are planning your weekly virtual Happy Hour!
When working from home, reducing distractions will help you maintain focus. Playing music in the background can be a good motivator, especially if it helps spark creativity, but keep the volume low, so you remain in the workflow. If you prefer background noise, ingenious sites like Coffitivity will replicate the ambiance of a coffee-house.
…and Little Distractions
With school closings across the country, many of us find ourselves trying to balance a productive workday, with our responsibility as parents. Make sure you proactively communicate with your employer that you have got kids at home and that you cannot guarantee every conversation will be interruption-free. With any luck, you can work flexibly so you can help your kids when they need it and work when they are occupied. The Vancouver Art Gallery has been very pro-active in engaging the little ones (and the adults) with their online art challenges. Check out some of the coolest ones in Highlights – Art at Home.
Working from home might seem like a solo experience, but it usually still involves interacting with others, whether it is meeting with your team, getting assignments, making decisions, or giving and receiving feedback. It is important to set up methods for collaboration and social interaction while you work remotely. There are multiple videoconferencing apps that allow you to work face-to-face while still keeping your distance.
Give Yourself a Break
It can be easy to get so focused on your work as a telecommuter that you avoid breaks altogether. Make sure you are taking periodic breaks to relax and recharge. Rather than checking social media, however, use your breaks to step away from your desk. Go for a short walk outside, stretch, or try breath exercises.
By planning your home office space carefully, getting it organized, and decorating it to express who you are, you will enjoy it more. Your work will be better, you will appreciate being at home, and you will have a productive workspace. You never know, after this crisis, you may have the option to continue remote working!
- Helen Siwak is passionate about content creation, marketing, shopping secondhand, promoting a vegan lifestyle, and supporting organizations and activists fighting against the status quo. She is founder and president of EcoLuxLuv Communications (Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, EcoLuxLifestyle.co). She is also the founder and co-host of V.E.G. Networking Group and soon-to-launch LittleBlack.Tee | firstname.lastname@example.org.
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