Working from home is the new normal. It’s become increasingly common to spend one or more days working from home as part of a normal workweek. If you’re already working remotely full-time, you probably don’t need advice on how to do so. But if you are new to the WFH lifestyle, taking steps to set up an “office away from the office” can make a big difference to your productivity and satisfaction. This guide will help you do just that.
Know Your Employer’s Rules
When you’re telecommuting, your employer should outline the ground rules for your arrangement, including whether you will be expected to meet in person regularly or at specific times or dates; whether you will need to work office hours; if there’s flexibility around vacations and sick leave; if it’s okay to contact people outside of the company, and what to do if you have an urgent issue. This information can clarify what you can and cannot do at work so that your focus remains on the job at hand rather than other distractions.
Set Up A Functional Workstation
The privacy you get with a home office can help prevent work-related stress. Setting up your own personal office space gives you the privacy to focus on work-related tasks, so get your family on board before you begin moving furniture around.
Get the Right Internet Speed
In addition to work, you stream films, listen to music, play games, FaceTime your kids, and upload your photos on social media. All of that traffic can slow down your internet speed. Being close to the router seems to help the most. If the router is in another room, consider moving it to where you can get better reception. Get the Internet speed you need with a wired connection through your router, eliminating buffering and lagging.
If you’re unable to focus on work due to constant distractions, try investing in some noise-canceling headphones. If your kids are home and you’re without childcare (say, during the summer or a natural disaster), see if you can team up with other parents to take turns look after the kids—which may mean scheduling evening hours.
Plan Additional Social Events
It’s not uncommon for remote workers to start feeling a little isolated after a while. It just takes a while to get used to working from home, and if you let it happen too long, the loneliness can get worse. Try arranging some time off from your work schedule every week — a lunch date with a friend who might live in the general area or a local exercise class. You need that face-to-face interaction.