Remote work has taken the world by storm and has created a shift in how we conduct our jobs. Many remote workers are elated by not having to spend time in traffic commuting to the office and having more autonomy.
However, creating a work-life balance is a unique challenge when work is done primarily at home. It can be stressful and overwhelming trying to complete work tasks while simultaneously figuring out the technical aspects that are involved with remote work, especially if you have never done it before.
This article will guide you through all of the steps necessary for creating a family-friendly work-from-home setup.
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When creating a work-from-home setup, it is important to have an environment that is very close to a workspace that you would find in a typical office.
Having a designated workspace can increase your productivity. It can also remove some of the workplace anxiety, as you have a clean environment to handle day-to-day tasks. You’re less likely to feel like your home and workplace are the same if you have a designated spot to work.
A designated space also makes a very professional statement. Taking Zoom meetings in the car or while running errands can send the wrong message to clients, administrators, and executives. It tends to suggest you haven’t made space in your day to properly handle the affairs of your job versus daily life, and it can even imply that you don’t care or take your job seriously.
The design and layout of your home office should be clutter-free. While it can be nice to have decorations and items in your home office, having a minimalist space is great for cleaning up and prevents items from being lost or forgotten.
The background of your home office is very important, as it will be what is seen during meetings, so it is wise to make sure it is not distracting. If it is not possible to have a plain background, you can hang curtains to create some separation.
If that is not possible, many meeting applications give you the ability to blur your background to reduce distractions.
To prevent technical difficulties and streamline the rate at which you work, it is imperative to have the latest equipment to complement your home office. Docking stations are essential because they allow multiple devices to share the same connection. This can be used to connect laptops, tablets, and smartphones, as well as audio equipment and other technical devices. A pair of noise-canceling headphones with a microphone attached is ideal for Zoom meetings, so you can communicate effectively with your team.
Adding laptop mounts to a work-from-home office offers lots of benefits as well. Laptop mounts work well at keeping the laptop cool and preventing overheating. They can improve posture, so long gone are the days of being hunched over your computer screen while typing.
If you have younger family members using the space as well for school or projects, you don’t have to worry about spills on the laptop. Installing a webcam onto a mounted laptop provides a great camera angle to allow you to present during meetings.
Clothing is very important because your appearance is the first thing people see during a video conference. Dressing comfortably is one perk of having a work-from-home job; however, looking neat and put together shows that you take your work seriously.
Most work-from-home jobs offer a balance between completing tasks at your own pace by delivering a finished product at a certain deadline and online meetings to discuss projects and goals. Having a clothing rack close to your work-from-home setup can help with having a few pieces, such as a blazer, blouse, or button-up shirt, handy for those meetings when you have to look your best.
Dressing professionally and appropriately during computer time sets a great example for younger members of your family as well. Children have to be monitored when using the internet, and making sure that they are presenting appropriate clothing when online is a key step in internet safety.
We spend the majority of our day working, which can take a toll on our health. So when creating your ideal work-from-home setup, it would be wise to invest in items that can promote your health and wellness.
An ergonomic chair improves posture and prevents back pain that is associated with sitting at a desk for long periods of time. Supportive back and seat cushions can be added to an ergonomic chair to create more comfort and ease.
If you are concerned about being too sedentary during your remote work, a standing desk is the right purchase for you. If used with a mini treadmill, you can get those steps in while completing your tasks for the day.
For some remote workers, having effective time management skills can be difficult when not in a traditional office setting. Staying on track can improve the quality of your work and maintain a sense of accountability.
Adding time management tools to your home office can help you achieve productivity and accountability. An example of a time management tool to add to your home office would be a calendar. There are online methods such as Google Calendar, but taking notes of upcoming meetings and projects by hand and logging them into a calendar or planner on your desk ensures that it is always on your mind.
Using a timer can allow you to be more productive by monitoring how much time you spend on tasks. If you are set on strictly using technology as a means for time management, then time management software can help with project management and task completion.
As remote work is becoming increasingly popular, having a home office is just as common as having a living room. Having a work-from-home setup does not mean the lines between work and home are blurred.
A positive work-life balance can be fostered by creating a designated workspace that can suit the needs of yourself as well as your family members.