Make Work From Home Work For You
Some suggestions to help you stay focused and productive as you work from home.
Working remotely while also balancing home life is a new reality that presents a whole new set of challenges. To help, here are some suggestions to keep you focused and productive as you work from home.
Create your own space
Making a dedicated work space in your home creates familiarity and discipline in your day. Try to find a comfortable spot to work that you can associate with your job and then leave when you’re off the clock.
It can be hard to draw a clear distinction between home and office when you’re at home. But to the extent possible, create a space at home that looks and feels like your office to you.
Once you create a dedicated space for work, don’t let the mess of everyday life take over. Clean up your desk every night so you’re not overwhelmed in the morning. A clear desk helps for a clear mind.
Develop a schedule
Outlining your new schedule helps to optimize your time and create some structure in your day. Maybe you can use your morning commute time to work out or spend get the kids set-up for their day. By writing it down and leaving it visible, it helps you mentally prepare as well as hold yourself accountable for the tasks you absolutely need to get done.
If you’re at home with your family, create a big, visible calendar that way everyone can see what’s going on for the day.
Get your technology in order
Since most devices now connect wirelessly, your experience working from home will depend a lot on your Wi-Fi performance. A lot of devices competing for connection on one network can cause internal traffic issues and downgrade internet performance when working remotely.
Here are a few suggestions for optimizing your internet connection:
- Router: If you’ve had the same router for more than five years, now may be a good time to upgrade. Many newer Wi-Fi routers are good at negotiating the wireless usage of devices on your home network, and you can often tell them which devices should get priority.
- 2.4 GHz vs 5 GHz: Your Wi-Fi may be on a multi-band router that segments your wireless connection into two networks: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The 5 GHz network is a faster, broader wireless band with less interference and ideal for connecting to when teleconferencing or transferring large files.
- Signal Boost: If your Wi-Fi signal is strong in one room but weak in another, one consideration may be to invest in a “mesh” Wi-Fi system. That lets you connect multiple wireless access points together to blanket your home with a strong internet connection. Click HERE for more details.
Accepting that each day will present new challenges is part of the new work-from-home reality. Whether that’s scheduling in time to take a walk each day or taking a break to help your kids finish an assignment, being at home is not the same as the office.
If you’re the type of person who never takes a break at home, set a timer to take time for lunch and turn off your work. Do your best to maintain normal work hours and shut things down when you would normally leave the office.
Try to appreciate the benefits that do come with remote work. You’re not commuting. You’re able to make your own lunch. You have more control over your schedule and more time with family. Focus on whatever positives you can find.
If your entire family is home, there are a lot of people trying to focus on work – for the office or school.
Here are some tips for helping to keep kids engaged:
- Designate a kid’s learning space: Just like adults, kids need a dedicated work space to help separate their work from yours. Stock up your child’s school backpack with everything they might need — workbooks, iPads, headphones – and use it to store their learning supplies. Younger kids love “typing” on an unused keyboard, especially if you set it up next to your own laptop.
- Make snacks accessible: Children of every age will undoubtedly ask for something— especially if you’re trying to work from home. Clean out a lower drawer in one of your pantry or kitchen cabinets and add some snacks. You might also add a few cups, bowls, and plates to the mix.