Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, life has hardly been “business as usual.” Instead of going into the office each day, you might be working solely from home for the first time in your life. Although you don’t miss your commute (and who could blame you), there’s no doubt that the transition from office life to WFH life is challenging.
You might be wondering, is working from home more productive than going into the office?
The good news: working from home is exactly what you make it. Once you establish a new rhythm and set clear boundaries for yourself, you’ll find that your workday has never been more relaxed and productive. Add in your favorite laptop stands to your list of work from home must haves and you are set!
We’re here to show you how to be the best remote worker during the work day!
Create a Schedule that Works for You
Your schedule at the office inherently provides structure to your day and helps you get into "work mode". You know exactly when to expect your lunch break or your weekly staff meeting with your coworker. Without these parameters, working from home might feel a bit aimless.
In which case, it’s vital to create a daily rhythm that encourages productivity and a work life balance. Start with a morning routine such as your morning coffee and go from there. If you’re used to a nine-to-five schedule, then stick to that. If your job allows for more flexibility, you might prefer to start your day later (or earlier.) Choose a schedule and stick to it. This could be waking up every morning at 6am and signing off at 5pm, to waking up at 10am and ending your workday at 8pm.
The most important factor of your schedule is consistency. You want your body and mind to understand the “it’s time to work” signal, as it’ll help avoid complacency.
Prepare for Your Day
It’s enticing to roll out of bed, throw on a bathrobe, and get to work in your jammies. Although your bunny slippers are undoubtedly comfortable, an ounce of preparation can have a positive impact on your attitude and help with employee productivity.
Here are a few easy ways to prepare for a productive day:
- Get Dressed – Don’t work in your PJs. It’s likely you won’t need to dress in a full suit and tie, but change from your pajamas into something more work-appropriate. Sometimes, just a clean shirt and a pair of jeans changes your demeanor and prepares you for the day.
- Eat Breakfast – Just because the kitchen is easily accessible at home doesn’t mean you should skip breakfast. Take time to have a well balanced meal so you feel energized and motivated.
- Exercise – If you normally hit the gym before work, keep the momentum going! Take time to go for a run or do some yoga before you settle down at your desk. This way, you’ll be calm and focused during your workday.
Commit to Breaks
When you’re at home, it’s easy to work through breaks. You get into the groove and soon it’s almost time for dinner! Schedule breaks throughout your day for a necessary respite from constant emails and stressful deadlines. A coffee break is still helpful to get through your virtual meeting on Microsoft Teams!
These breaks will help foster productivity, seeing as they enforce a strict schedule.
Spend Time Outside
Resist the temptation to hibernate inside. Your mental and physical health crave the outdoors, especially if you’re staying in more than ever before. Get out in nature and smell the fresh air! This can be as simple as walking around the block or taking your dog to a local park. Integrate intentional outdoor time into your day to refocus your mind and release some stress.
See a Friend
If walking isn’t your cup of tea, then have your lunch at a picnic table or in your backyard. Better yet, invite a friend to sit outside and chat during your break. Especially since you aren’t going into the office, you need some form of social stimulation. If you don’t have a friend nearby or don’t feel comfortable seeing someone in person, schedule a video chat. It’s rejuvenating and helpful to talk with friends during difficult times.
Honor Work / Life Boundaries
The more your professional life mingles with your personal life, the more difficult it can be to separate the two. Do you find yourself checking work emails at dinner with your spouse? Are you constantly on alert for the latest project updates? Do you worry about work when you’re trying to sleep? If this sounds familiar, it’s time to focus on your work-life-balance.
For instance, you have to:
- Be Clear – Communicate your boundaries with colleagues. It may feel awkward to ask for space, and that’s okay. Be honest and direct about what you need. It’s not reasonable for you to be on call 24/7.
- Set Time Boundaries – Make a “no work on the weekend” rule or put your phone away after 6pm. This way, you can fully relax once it’s time to set your job aside.
- Invest in Work-Only Devices – Consider acquiring a work-only phone. This way, you keep your personal conversations on a separate device, and can easily power-off your work phone for some quality time with family.
- Create Boundaries with Your Family – Sometimes your personal life encroaches on your work. If you find yourself subject to constant interruptions from partners, kids, or roommates, sit down and have a conversation about quiet time during work hours. It’s okay to advocate for yourself.
Reach Out to Coworkers
Don’t hesitate to reach out to you colleagues for support. Chances are, they’re also navigating the transition to working from home. It’s common to feel isolated in new circumstances, so it’s essential to seek support from your professional community. Your coworkers may have new tips on how to successfully work from home, or insights on maintaining work-life-balance.
Schedule virtual happy hours or trivia nights with your coworkers. Make sure you attend scheduled online meetings and brainstorming sessions. Participate in group video calls as much as possible so you maintain your connection with your bosses and feel included in the team. If you put in a little extra effort, the distance won’t feel as challenging.
Create a Comfortable Workspace
The best tip on how to be productive working from home? Make a designated home office space. To that end, you may not have a separate room for your office, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t tailor a space to your specific work needs.
Office room or not, what you need is a space that’s comfortable, well lit, and that provides the functionality you need to do your job. Below are a few tips for creating the most comfortable workspace:
- Invest in Comfort – If you’re sitting at a desk all day, your chair needs to be comfortable. Don’t settle for a chair that puts strain on your back or hurts your tailbone. Instead, you should consider ergonomic furniture. Alternatively, search for standing desk options for a dynamic, adjustable workspace.
- Use Lighting to Set the Mood – A bright desk lamp is a key element for long days staring at text or reviewing physical materials. Look for options with adjustable height for ideal illumination. Make sure your space is well lit and easy on the eyes.
- Utilize Vertical Space – If you’re working in close quarters, take advantage of vertical space. Invest in shelves to mount over your desk and thin narrow filing cabinets to flank it. Instead of storing physical documents, transition to digital files. This will reduce clutter in your workspace and help keep you organized.
- Add Some Greenery – A leafy houseplant adds warmth and energy to your office. Make your space inviting and rejuvenating with some succulents or spider plants.
- Keep It Tidy – Don’t allow papers to stack up on your desk or files to crowd your computer’s desktop. Attend to your space with care, and you’ll approach work each day feeling stress-free and ready to tackle anything.
Whether working at home or in the office, it’s important to maintain your physical well-being when you’re sedentary for long periods of time. Ergonomic desk chairs, standing desks, laptop stands—these products are designed to support your physiology, boost productivity, and create a sustainable work environment.
The Mount-It! Solution
Here at Mount-It!, our goal is to provide products that encourage healthy and productive work environments. From our adjustable laptop mounts to our sit-stand desks, we can help make your WFH setup effective and comfortable. If you need some new furniture or fixtures installed, and TV wall mount recommendations, we can help with that, too. From our DIY tutorials to our HelloTech installation, we’ll help take the hassle out setting up your new home office.
We’re more than just a TV mount company; we offer everything you need to make the WFH transition the right way.
Working From Home, Reinvented
WIth a little preparation, organization, and a consistent schedule, working from home just might prove to be more productive than the office. Map out your rhythm, invest in ergonomic furniture, and take time to curate your home office (even if that’s not a room!). By enforcing the structures you were used to before the transition, you’ll relearn how to get in your groove and stay there.
For office furniture that supports your physical well-being and helps you stay productive, Mount-It! is here to help.
iMPACT. How to Work from Home for the First Time — and Love It [infographic]. https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/how-to-work-from-home-for-the-first-time-and-love-it-infographic
PCMag. 20 Tips for Working From Home. https://www.pcmag.com/news/get-organized-20-tips-for-working-from-home
Themuse. 7 Essential Tips for Working From Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic. https://www.themuse.com/advice/coronavirus-work-from-home-tips