Are you working from home and in need of some inspiration to reframe your situation? Or, perhaps you are about to transition to remote work. Regardless of your specific circumstances, there is always room for improvement. Continue reading to learn some helpful tips on how you can make your work-from-home scenario work for you.
Add a Monitor
Working from home probably means that you stare at a computer monitor for hours on end. You likely have to toggle between tabs or scroll endlessly to get what you need. All of that ends up being wasted time and an inefficiency that can, however, be remedied. The solution to your woes is to simply add a monitor.
Check out the instructions at https://setapp.com/how-to/how-to-use-apple-sidecar for an easy way to use your iPad as a second monitor. The genius behind this setup is that you not only get another monitor to expand your view, but you get a touch screen, as well. This expansion of your workstation will bring more options and greater efficiency to your workday.
Of note, you will probably want to elevate the iPad above the basic level of your desk to bring it to eye level. You can purchase a computer stand, an iPad stand, or repurpose something you already own, such as a recipe book stand. If these are not sufficient, an easy fix is to place your iPad onto a stack of about four or so books. This should bring it to where you can sit comfortably without hunching over to look at the screen. If you choose some chic tomes, they can actually add a bit of creative decor to your desk!
Working from home means sitting a lot, which might be contradictory to what you would normally expect. Since you will be generally confined to your workspace while you are hard at it, you should invest in an ergonomic computer chair and an elevated footrest to keep your body aligned.
If you are unable to purchase those items right away, a good solution is to find a lumbar pillow to place behind you as you are sitting, and a box or pouffe to rest your feet on. There are always viable resolutions that will not break the bank.
Standing is another common fix to spending the day sitting at your desk. Standing desks are becoming increasingly popular ways to change how you work. There is a variety available at different price points. If you would rather keep your current desk as is, consider a computer and monitor stand that raises and lowers to allow you to sit or stand as desired throughout the day.
Add some privacy
The lack of privacy in your workspace can hinder your working sense of autonomy, giving you less control over your working environment, and causing your productivity to suffer. Plus, the lack of personal space inhibits personal development and self-expression, thereby disrupting an individual’s thought processes.
Simply put, constant distractions, interruptions, and background noise can hinder a person’s ability to work. Without privacy, one cannot attain a clear train of thought; his/her concentration would start wandering to everything else except what he/she is supposed to be working on.
To avoid this, you can employ a variety of techniques and increase your privacy. If you work from your backyard, a rattan screen could be a great way to avoid distractions. Oversized potted plants or layer container plants can also give you both height and density to play with. Alternatively, you can make use of an outdoor space divider. If you have a dedicated room, then using Custom Shades could prove to be beneficial in terms of privacy; it can also give you better control over the lighting in the room. Draperies or blinds could also be great options here. Metal screens, like the ones you can use in the backyard, could be of help in indoor areas as well.
Being in one position for a prolonged period of time is simply too much for your body to handle. The human body wants to move and be active instead of living in a constantly sedentary state. This becomes a conflicting problem with the nature of work. You can alleviate these pains and concerns by making a conscious decision to move more often. Try some of these solutions to get started.
- Set an alarm on your smartphone or computer at strategic intervals for reminders to get up from a sitting position and move around.
- Change your location from your home office to another room as needed to get your blood flowing. Or opt for another venue, such as a coffee shop or park, for an alternative to sitting on the same chair day in and day out. You get bonus points for walking there.
- Remember to exercise as you normally would before or after going into the office. Do not sacrifice your workout routine just because you are now working from home.
Watch and move along with this quick and easy stretching video that will help your body after sitting too long.
There seems to be some unspoken mantra telling people, especially those working from home, that they need to keep going all day long. You must remember to take breaks as you would if you were still in office. Just like stepping away from your workstation to move your body, you must take a mental break, too.
If you were working at your company’s office, you would probably chat with co-workers about an assignment or two throughout the day, walk to the copier a few times here and there, and perhaps make a trip to the office supply closet to restock. All of these things are work-related, yet they do not usually happen when you are working from home.
At home, your supplies and equipment are likely within reach of your desk. If you wish to talk with a coworker, you probably do that via Slack or Zoom right from your office chair. You have to create the schedule you want, and it is ok to model it after general office practices.
Draw a Line of Demarcation
Living and working within the confines of the same space means that the lines between work life and personal life can become blurred very easily. Take measures to create a separation between your worlds. Try these steps to get started.
- Use OOO (or Out of Office) automatic replies when your workday is over. Set up the reply to automatically turn on at the end of each work day and on the weekend.
- Talk with your boss or immediate supervisor to ensure you have a mutual understanding of work-hour expectations. Remember to clearly and confidently state your time constraints to ensure you receive the respect you deserve.
- Wear noise-cancelling headphones to mute the distractions of your home environment from taking you away from your work.
- Talk with your family members about respecting your space and time.
Working from home (or from a far-flung destination) can be a freeing and productive change of pace for you. Of course, it can come with downsides, but you do not have to let those things get in the way of your work-life balance and overall happiness. Make positive and proactive changes today to achieve your goals all around.