With millions of people currently working from the comfort (or discomfort) of their homes, we can safely say that this way of working is here to stay. No commute and flexible working hours are only a few of the benefits it brings. Today, the remote work model seems to be something more than just a temporary solution to the coronavirus pandemic.
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With this being said, to start working remotely, you need to gather some necessary tools and information first. In our article, we list a few crucial things you need to work from home. And if you already are working from home, maybe you’ll get some inspiration! If you wish to enjoy your home office and stay productive, read on.
Separate your space
You’re lucky if you have a separate room that you can make into an office, or if you have a guest room where you can separate yourself from the rest of the house: the distractions, the noise, and the things that can make your attention wander. Of course, not everyone is so lucky, but it’s still important to separate your work from your home. Sure, working out of bed or on your couch might float you for a little bit, but your peace of mind will begin to suffer.
What you really need is the ability to “leave work”. Because if you really do think you can work out of bed indefinitely, you’ll soon find that you’re sleeping at work, waking up at work, and… you get it.
There are a lot of ways to separate your space – have a desk that folds into the wall, create a temporary office space with a sensible partition (we love the ones at Portable Partitions Australia for inspiration) – this way you can create a separate office space wherever you want, and help your mind see that there really is a separation of home life and work. With that, there is the separation of the space you relax in and the space you stress out in. Simple!
Find a reliable Wi-Fi connection
Since you cannot use your workplace’s fast internet connection at home, you’ll need to find the best high-speed Wi-Fi to work from home. Though this might not seem like something crucial, a fast internet connection is essential, as you won’t be able to work properly with a slow connection that makes communication impossible.
If your employer is paying for your internet connection, then you should definitely try to learn how to maximize the speed. Not only will this save you money, but it will also enable you to work faster and more efficiently.
If your employer does not pay for your internet connection and you wish to get one yourself, then your options are numerous. You can either rent a dedicated fiber optics line (which is not cheap) or get an unlimited broadband connection. There are also some great Wi-Fi plans available today, which come with a very affordable price tag and a great internet speed.
Get an ergonomic chair
Though working remotely gives you more flexibility, you still need to make sure that your working position is comfortable. As we all know, sitting in the same position for a long time can lead to eye strain and back pain. This is why we suggest getting an ergonomic chair and a proper desk that supports the natural position of your hands and back.
It’s best to visit an office supply store and try out chairs before buying one. The best way to see if a chair is ergonomic is by trying it for 10 minutes. If you feel pain in your back or your rear end, it’s probably not the best option.
We know it’s tempting to get a stylish chair that’s more of an accent chair – but remember, this is your spine we’re talking about!
Get a monitor stand
If you like to check out the latest cat videos, Facebook memes, and Twitter posts during work hours, then you probably spend a lot of time in front of your computer. Unfortunately, looking at a computer screen for long periods of time is not good for your eyes. This is why we recommend getting a monitor stand. It will allow you to position the monitor in a way that will prevent eye and neck strain. To learn more about monitor stands, check out our article on how to choose the best monitor stand.
Get an ergonomic keyboard and mouse
It’s crucial to use an ergonomic keyboard and mouse if you want to prevent hand and wrist pain while working from home. Make sure to choose a keyboard that has the proper size and shape for your hands. Keyboard models designed for gamers usually work well for people who work on computers for hours as well. You can also get some wrist pads that will prevent you from rolling your wrists when typing. To learn more about ergonomic keyboards and mice, read our article on how to choose an ergonomic keyboard or check out our review of the best ergonomic mice.
Get fresh air and daylight
Working from home is awesome, but sometimes you might feel the need to leave the office for some fresh air and daylight. This is why having a few windows in the room is crucial. Some sunlight coming in the room will help you stay alert and creative. If you are working from home and are feeling tired or unproductive all the time, it might be because of the lack of natural light and air. So, make sure to keep your windows open from time to time and enjoy working in front of a window once in a while.
Get your music going
How many times have you heard that music can help improve your productivity? If you don’t want to get distracted by listening to music or feel the urge to listen to some music while working, then we recommend getting a pair of noise-canceling earphones or headphones. They will allow you to enjoy your music in peace while reducing ambient noise around you. If you want to learn more about noise-canceling headphones, check out our article on the best noise-canceling headphones for music listening.
Fun fact – some people can concentrate more when they’re listening to sounds like crashing waves or busy office sounds. There are even channels with nothing but cafe noises. It’s perfect if you want to feel social but not be social. I think this goes for a lot of us. Check out this amazing 10 hours of cafe noise!
Get a clock
Working from home basically means that there is no one to tell you when it’s time to take a break or when it’s time to go home. Some people would say that this is awesome as you can work non-stop without having someone watch over your shoulder and decide when it’s time for a break or not. However, this practice isn’t good for your productivity in the long run as you will be constantly distracted by stuff around you that needs your immediate attention (or not). This is why we recommend installing an analog clock on your desk where it’s clearly visible from your working position. This way, you will have something reminding you when it’s time for a break or when it’s time to “go home”. Hey – it’s an office, not a casino.
Working from home is a lot of fun for certain kinds of people but even they get burned out every once in a while. It’s important to separate work from home, take breaks, make sure you’re comfortable – and we’re not saying your bunny slippers and jammies! We mean the kind of ergonomic professional gear you’d have in a well-functioning office.
Take your home office seriously and make sure you have a great workspace!