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Working from Home? Here’s What You Need to Know

The concept of working from home is not new, but it is quickly gaining traction due to the ongoing technological advancements and the new office norms sprouting from the pandemic. Remote work is slowly becoming the norm for many companies, but it’s not always a walk in the park. While the idea of being able to roll out of bed and into your workspace can sound appealing, there are some things you need to know before you start working from home.

Getting Organized: Create a Workspace

One of the most important things you need to do when transitioning to working from home is to create a workspace. If you have a separate room that you can transform into an office, that’s great; however, not everyone has the luxury of spare rooms. If you don’t have a separate room, don’t worry, you can create a designated work area within your living space. Find a quiet corner or nook where you can set up your workspace. You could place a desk, chair, and computer in this area, and possibly add some storage for office supplies, like pens, paper, and folders.

Additionally, invest in a comfortable chair and desk that can support prolonged sitting. The chair should be ergonomic and have good lumbar support to prevent back pain. The desk should be sturdy, have sufficient space to house your computer, printers, and other work essentials like a lamp, notepads, and your phone.

Set Boundaries and Create Routines

When you work from home, it is easy to get distracted by home activities or put in overly long hours. Create a schedule that prioritizes work-life balance and try to adhere to it as much as possible. If you can, allow your family and housemates to know your work routines, when you’re available and when you’re not, to help minimize distractions. You could also consider using noise-canceling headphones to help you focus during work hours. Establishing boundaries between work and home life is crucial to ensure you do not burn out.

It is essential to create routines within your day, much the same as you would in the office. Divide your day into segments to finish specific tasks, take breaks to stretch, move around and recharge before starting the next segment. This helps you stay focused and productive while avoiding burnout.

Stay Connected with Your Co-workers

One of the downsides of working from home is the lack of face-to-face communication with colleagues. It can be isolating, increasingly more so in these times, when everyone’s working independently by themselves. To combat loneliness, make sure to stay connected with your colleagues via video meetings, chats, and phone calls. In addition, regularly organize virtual coffee breaks, lunches or after work activities, even if it’s just a quick call or message, to help you feel less alone in this work setting.

Furthermore, staying connected with your co-workers during the day can also help keep you engaged and motivate you to keep working towards your goals. Regularly hearing feedback on your performance, sharing new ideas or learning from others can also contribute to personal growth.

Be Mindful of Your Health and Well-being

Without the structure that working in an office provides, it can be easy to slip into unhealthy habits. It’s essential to take care of your physical and mental health. Schedule some time each day to move around, stretch, or even go for a short walk if you can. You may also find it helpful to involve yourself in daily exercise, like yoga. Taking care of yourself is essential to be productive and focused throughout the workday.

It’s also important to continue making healthy dietary choices. If working remotely means you’re tempted to snack all day or order takeouts, consider prepping your meals ahead of time. Pre-prepare your lunches or snack for quick and healthy bites during the day.

Be aware of your mental health too. Working from home can be stressful, especially in situations with less social interaction. Take regular breaks to check-in with yourself and see how you’re feeling, and consider seeking professional support as needed.

Final Thoughts

Moving to a remote work situation can be daunting, but it’s also an opportunity for personal growth and development. By establishing routines, setting boundaries, staying connected with colleagues, and taking care of yourself, you too can be productive and happy in your home workspace. Additionally, ensure that you communicate with your employer and appropriately go through any necessary policies or procedures in place to make a successful transition into remote work.

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