Working from home is a huge adjustment. While technology makes it easier to connect with our bosses and clients, making the switch to a home environment can be a bit of a challenge. On one hand, you will have the flexibility you need to live your life, but on the other hand, you need to be disciplined and focused to survive.
If you just got the news that you don’t need to make your morning commute any more, you will need to create the ideal office space right away. This means more than setting up your home internet and parking behind your desk or kitchen table. Use this guide to ease the transformation from office worker to remote employee.
Step One: Isolate Yourself
Before you can be a productive remote worker, you need to graduate from laptop on the kitchen table to home office. Unless you are charged with watching small children throughout the day, you will need to separate yourself from the hustle and bustle of the house. While most people will transform a spare bedroom, your space doesn’t have to be nearly that big. Many people divide rooms, especially open basements. If the workspace is quiet and being used only for work purposes, you should be fine.
Isolating yourself from the rest of the family doesn’t just promote peace and quiet; it helps you get in the work mindset. This psychological factor, once mastered, allows you to sit down and instantly feel like you are at work. It improves your focus and makes you more productive throughout the day.
A separate desk space also allows you to better budget the time you spend working. You can have the 9 to 5 lifestyle you want, then when you are done, instantly be home. This makes working at home all worthwhile.
Step Two: Upgrade Your Workspace
Now that you have a dedicated workspace, you need to transform it into a productive, comfortable environment. No one wants to spend eight hours a day staring at a cement wall while sitting in a folding chair. Not only is this incredibly depressing, it can cause excess strain on your body. If your squinting at low light, your eyes are going to hurt after a while. If you are in an uncomfortable office chair, your back is going to ache.
Investing in quality office furniture and decorating your space helps you make it your own. Start with selecting a high-quality office chair. Simply adding an office chair only can help keep your back correctly positioned throughout the day. Choose something fancy and go all out; after all, you will be using the chair every day.
After selecting your ideal office chair, upgrade your desk. Choose a large desk that has plenty of space for your computer and paperwork. Make sure you can keep all of your supplies within arm’s reach. This can help you streamline workflow and increase overall productivity.
The last step in decorating is creating the right lighting. If the light in the office is dull, you will need to invest in a good desk or floor lamp. Choosing a design that matches the spirit and theme of a room can help you create a space you like retreating to. Then, all you need to do is hang a few motivational posters and you are good to go!
Step Three: Set the Ground Rules
One of the biggest problems people have with making the adjustment to working from home is people not understanding they are at work. It is easy for children to demand you take a break and play with them. Other adults can be equally as distracting; they see that you are home and request that you stop to make dinner, run errands or just hang out.
The point of creating an isolated space in step one was to eliminate these distractions. Creating a list of rules or posting office hours on your door can be a great way to show the rest of the house that you mean business. If you are still having trouble with other people distracting you, try investing in a good lock and soundproofing your new office – this can be a lifesaver!