Although some people are now returning to work, many businesses are thinking about if and how their employees could work from home. If you could be working remotely, or are working remotely already, it might be time to think about your workspace, your equipment and how to work effectively.
Make sure you have the right IT equipment
If you’re working from home, you have to have the equipment. A laptop with a VPN (Virtual Private Network) set up will enable you to access all of your files and documents as if you were sitting in the office, and VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) will allow you to take calls that come into the office using your smartphone. If you’re a bit unsure about how to get started, check out our article about how to make remote working work for your business.
If your internet connection is a little patchy, you could consider getting a TP-Link Extender or Powerline adapter. The TP-Link Extender helps strengthen wireless signals, so Wi-Fi is more accessible from different locations in your home. Alternatively, the Powerline adapter helps you turn your Wi-Fi into a wired connection - just plug it into a plug socket and you’re good to go.
Create a dedicated workspace
Creating a dedicated workspace at home might seem like an unnecessary task, but it is enormously beneficial for remote working. Having a space which is just for work helps you to be more productive, it can help you get into a good routine and a good headspace. The physical divide between your working space and general living space will help stop you from bringing work stresses into the rest of your time.
A desk, table or even kitchen counter where you can position your laptop at eye level, and an ergonomic chair that won’t be uncomfortable to sit in for long periods is all you need, ideally in a room that won’t regularly be travelled through or visited by other people in your house. Natural light is also important; this is going to help reduce eye strain and headaches.
Take regular breaks
One common occurrence for those who remote work is overworking; there’s no travel to and from work, and no office to leave at the end of the day, and as such it’s easy to miss lunch, or work a few more hours here and there. When you’re working remotely you’re in charge of your own schedule in a new way, and it’s incredibly important to take regular breaks - ideally away from your computer.
Leaving your workspace, going outside, and making time to eat lunch and do something different for an hour is likely to improve your productivity, reduce burnout and stop work, tasks and emails from becoming overwhelming. Just taking a short amount of time for yourself away from your laptop is going to be beneficial both personally and professionally.
Structure your day
Just as taking regular breaks is important, so too is giving your day some structure. Often when people start remote working, they can feel as if there is much more usable time in the day - a meeting with clients only takes an hour, now that there’s no travelling involved! However, as a result there may be a tendency to cram meetings into slots that wouldn’t be possible without remote working.
Although the travel between meetings and locations is laborious, it also offers you some much needed downtime between tasks. Structuring your day, and not overfilling your time is an effective way of managing your stress levels and improving your productivity.
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