As COVID-19 recovery continues, those who are still working from home are best served by making some upgrades or changes to their routines.
For many workers suddenly shifting from home, any space from the kitchen table to a spare bedroom would do. Now as the pandemic-induced spike in working remotely goes beyond temporary, here is how to organize a home workspace to optimize productivity.
Speed up your wifi
Has your internet speed slowed to a crawl with the stress of Teams calls, multiple devices and virtual learning happening at the same time? There are steps you can take so you won’t have to wait painfully like the days of dial-up. Talk to your organization about helping make investments in a home office, which could include upgrading and customizing your network.
Set up boundaries
When you work from home, it can sometimes feel like you live at work. Having ready access to work can provide flexibility, but it can also create an always-on mentality that can lead to burn out. Remember to set up boundaries to designate a workspace with a living space, whether that’s a physical environment or a set time to step away from a workspace. You can even put up a sign or a post-it reminder at a boundary that outside these parameters, you are off duty.
Designate work devices
While working from home, it can help create a more work-like environment with specific devices that are devoted to only to work. For example, an author might have a low-cost Chromebook that only includes the files to their book without web browsers or other apps that have distractions. Especially for bigger assignments, this can help put everything in one place while minimizing the digital distractions of what else might be on your laptop or phone.
Go on the grid
There’s no way we could do our work without interacting with others, but sometimes that interaction in person or virtually can be detrimental to productivity. This is especially true if it’s a significant other or family member that needs something. When you need to really focus, put an in-the-office message on your chair or workspace to let others know you are unavailable -- the WFH equivalent of an out-of-office responder.
Any home office is a balance between flexibility and productivity. Give yourself permission to adjust that equation as needed, and your workspace will benefit you in the long term.