If the pandemic has hammered home anything positive, it’s that many of us don’t need a conventional office environment to do our jobs well. Are you prepared to take the WFH plunge? Keep the following hacks in mind to create a comfy, safe, and productive workspace you’ll never want to trade in!
Set Up An Actual Office Space
It’s already in the name – a home office should be a dedicated space to conduct your business. Working from your bed or couch might sound heavenly at first. However, you don’t want to associate places where you sleep and unwind with work. It can confuse your brain and lead to worse sleeping habits.
Office work involves a lot of sitting still, so you’ll want to do yourself a favor and splurge on a quality ergonomic chair. While you’re at it, consider investing in a standing desk, too.
You can always use thick books to prop your desk up if you don’t want to invest in a standing one just yet. Make sure your keyboard and monitor are the right height to strain your neck & arms as little as possible. Remember the incorporate healthy lifestyle preferences in your ergonomics choices, too.
Boost Your Connection Security With A VPN
Accessing company resources and sending over files is a core part of WFH. Doing so from unauthorized devices, especially if you’re not at home, can become a serious cybersecurity risk.
A VPN gives you peace of mind by encrypting and securing any connection on a desktop, laptop, or mobile. It encrypts your communication and protects you from malicious software like double file extensions. Additionally, it ensures no one you don’t authorize knows which actions you take or what files you send over.
Double Your Outlook
A second screen is a relatively affordable purchase that can supercharge your productivity. It lets you compare with ease or have the internet open on one screen & a chart you’re editing on the other. The second monitor is also awesome if you work on a laptop since it provides much more screen real estate than even the largest portable displays.
Cut The Cords
Wireless technology is more accessible and dependable than ever. That means you can invest in wireless peripherals without worrying about connection issues. Getting a pair of wireless noise-cancelling headphones is another good idea, especially if you’re sharing a home with noisy kids. Connecting the headphones to your phone also lets you handle hands-free calls. The less cable clutter you have to deal with, the easier it will be to set up that standing desk too.
Keep It Clean
Nothing preps the brain for work mode like entering a tidy home office!
Keep your desk free from clutter, but have whiteboards, post-it notes, and other useful items at hand so you can brainstorm and write out your ideas. While keeping a bag of chips or a mini-fridge at hand is tempting, save those for scheduled breaks.
But Make It Your Own, Too!
A tidy home office doesn’t have to be boring. Spruce yours up with pictures of the cat, inspirational quotes, or any decorative elements you find stimulating. Get some plants to make your surroundings more fragrant and inviting. When choosing a location, try to position your desk close to sunlight to soak up its numerous benefits.
Stick To A Routine
Working from home means you get to make your own hours. It does NOT mean you get to shirk your responsibilities! Feel like you’re most productive in the early mornings and after dinner? Great – stick to those times to make the most of your workday.
Developing a routine also implies knowing when to quit. Shut off all notifications, pings, and other work reminders when you’re done for the day. You deserve to leave your responsibilities at your work desk, be it at home or in the office!
Get A Time Management App
Newcomers to the WFH lifestyle may be tempted to procrastinate and waste time more than usual. Get a time tracker and create daily checklists that will help keep you on track. It also helps break down how you spend a typical workday and highlight busy work that keeps you from reaching your goals.
Start Using A Password Manager
You’re not in the office anymore, which means you’re responsible for the security of all your accounts. “PassworD123” and its variations won’t cut it, especially if company data and your reputation are at stake. Luckily, a password manager can do the heavy lifting.
Passwords only work if they’re impossible to guess. A manager can create, replace, store, and auto-fill as many passwords as needed. You can use its vault to store other important information and access it from anywhere.
Stay In Touch
WFH can get lonely, and some people miss the opportunities to be sociable. Staying connected with colleagues and clients is easier than ever, though. You can do so through text chat or by video conferencing and instantly feel like you’re back at the water cooler.
Squeeze In Some R&R
A home office is a godsend for people who want to get stuff done without constant interruption. While your boss will appreciate the productivity boost, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of strategic breaks.
Sit up every so often, stretch, and take a stroll or walk the dog. Space a few mini-breaks throughout your workday. They’ll help with your posture and reenergize your brain so you can approach challenges with a fresh perspective.