Not too long ago, telecommuting was something that was only done by a small number of employees. According to the last U.S. Census, 13.4 million Americans work from home at least one day a week. This not only leads to financial benefits for both the employee and the employer, but it also increases employee satisfaction and improves work-life balance. If you are a first-time telecommuter, take a look at these tips to make the most out of your home office or workspace.
Create a Separate Space for Work
While you might think it’s ok to sit in your living room while you work, it is not a good idea to mix your workspace with your living space. This is even more important if you have children in your house while you work. Create a separate space from your everyday living space, and create signals to let others know you cannot be bothered. If you do not have a door, consider adding divider walls or bookcases to help block out sound.
Keep Office Supplies in One Place
Don’t scatter your office supplies throughout your house. Stock all of the supplies you need throughout the workday within your office to save time and improve productivity.
Use Ergonomic Furniture
Choose furniture that will help you be comfortable. Make sure that your eyes are at the same level as your monitor, and that your chair can recline back a little to put less strain on your back. Make sure that there is enough support on your lower back to comfortably work.
Make It Your Own
Creating a workspace that reflects you is another great benefit of working from home. You get to choose the space that offers the best lighting and you can also choose the color scheme and artwork in your office. Be careful of having too many visuals in your office as that can distract you.
Pick a Start and Finish Time
Some people who work from home are able to pick what times they can start or finish their day. Pick those times and stick with them. Figure out what time during the day you are most productive and see if you can work at those times. It will be tougher for you to shut down when your office is at home, but setting times for work will help you break up your day. Try not to let your work time overlap into your personal time and vice versa.
Use the Right Tools
Remote workers should have the right tools to stay in touch with their co-workers and the office. For communication, Slack and Skype are great ways to stay in touch with co-workers or ask a simple question. Project management apps are also essential because you can visualize the status of a project and provide updates as needed. Use a cloud drive to upload documents that need to be edited by others. Technology has advanced to the point where you can work anywhere with an internet connection on a variety of devices.
Working from home can be tough at first, but once you get the hang of it, you will enjoy having more time to spend with loved ones.
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