Have you ever dreamed of skipping that dreadful morning commute, staying in your cozy PJs all day, and enjoying work from the comfort of your humble abode? Well, welcome to the world of remote employment. We’ve got your back with this light-hearted, fact-driven, and comprehensive guide to mastering the art of working from home. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Creating Your Perfect Workspace
The first step to remote work success lies in establishing a dedicated and serene space to focus. Consider setting up an area that’s free from distractions, clutter, and noise. According to a study by Princeton University Neuroscience Institute, disorganized environments can negatively impact productivity and overall well-being. So, it’s essential to create a tidy, organized workstation that promotes efficiency and positivity. Also, it’s worth choosing a location with ample natural light, as research has shown that exposure to sunlight during the day can boost mood, energy levels, and cognitive performance.
Tip: If, like us, you live in a place that welcomes winter daylight most of the year, consider getting yourself a sunlight simulator lamp. These artificial light sources mimic sunlight and can help when the sun doesn’t rise when you expect it to.
Comfort Meets Functionality
Incorporate ergonomic furniture, such as adjustable chairs and desks, to promote proper posture and reduce the risk of physical discomfort. The Mayo Clinic advises that maintaining good ergonomics can help prevent musculoskeletal issues and improve overall productivity. Moreover, investing in a reliable, high-speed internet connection, noise-cancelling headphones, and other essential tools will ensure smooth sailing in your telecommuting journey. Don’t forget to assess your technology needs, like having a powerful computer or laptop, a comfortable keyboard and mouse, and a quality webcam and microphone for virtual meetings.
Tip: Don’t forget to take breaks from working at the computer. In an office, with coworkers or nuances that arise throughout the day, you’re more likely to get up and move around without thinking about it. At home, you may need to remind yourself to stretch and walk around!
Personalize Your Environment
Fill your workspace with elements that inspire and motivate you. Bring in plants, artwork, or photographs of loved ones to make the area truly your own. Psychology Today suggests that personalizing your surroundings can improve productivity, creativity, and happiness. Additionally, consider incorporating elements of biophilic design, which emphasizes the connection between humans and nature. Adding greenery, natural materials, and organic shapes to your workspace can further enhance well-being and reduce stress.
Tip: One of the many benefits of working from home is being able to listen to music or a podcast while you work. For our music lovers, creating a work from home playlist full of your favourite songs can help create a relaxing environment that inspires you (plus an impromptu dance break is always welcome!).
Plan Your Day
Establishing a daily routine will help you stay on track and maintain discipline. Start by outlining your tasks, setting realistic goals, and allocating time for breaks. Remember, consistency is key to building healthy habits and achieving long-term success. You may also want to incorporate time-blocking, a technique that involves dividing your day into designated blocks of time for specific tasks. This approach can help increase focus and productivity by encouraging you to concentrate on one task at a time.
Tip: You may find that certain days work better for certain tasks. For example, Monday may be well-suited for admin work, while Wednesdays seem to be the go-to day for client meetings. If, after some time, you begin to notice patterns in your schedule, you may opt to plan around these.
Dress for Success
While it’s tempting to work in your favorite PJs, research shows that dressing professionally can improve performance and boost self-confidence. So, throw on that stylish top or button-up shirt and conquer the day! Moreover, getting dressed for work can help signal the start of your workday and create a psychological boundary between your personal and professional life. By dressing the part, you’ll feel more motivated and ready to tackle your to-do list. Don’t forget your pants selection if you need to get up during the meeting. (Trust us!)
Tip: Working remotely allows you to be more flexible in your attire. So, while some days you may feel like dressing in more professional clothes, other days you may choose a cozy sweater and leggings. No matter what you pick, comfort is always key!
Don’t forget to schedule regular breaks for physical activity, nourishment, and relaxation. Incorporate healthy snacks, stretch breaks, and quick meditation sessions to recharge and refocus. After all, self-care is essential for maintaining productivity and overall well-being. Additionally, be mindful of the importance of maintaining social connections while working remotely. Schedule time to catch up with friends and family through phone calls, texts, or video chats to stay connected and maintain emotional well-being. Taking care of both your physical and mental health is crucial for long-term success and happiness in a remote work environment.
Tip: Many cities have coworking spaces available if you want to get out of the house and experience a change of scenery. Memberships can scale from a number of drop-ins per month vs ongoing access. These organizations typically provide both private and social workspaces, with WiFi, printing services, and often kitchen areas.
It’s important to maintain a healthy work-life balance while working remotely. Set clear boundaries by designating specific work hours and resisting the urge to check emails or complete tasks outside of those times.
Come back next week for Part 2 of our Remote Work Guide to learn more about mastering time management, setting boundaries, and managing distractions when working from home.