With COVID-19 numbers continuing to grow exponentially all throughout the nation, many workers are coming to the realization that the work from home days are not going to end anytime soon. If you have been struggling to figure out this telecommuting arrangement, now is the time to get your home office in order so that you can make the most out of this time. Here are five key things that you need to know if you are working at home.
1. Dress for Success
It is certainly tempting to roll out of bed each morning and log on to your computer from your pajamas. Although this may be a more comfortable way to work, it is definitely not the most effective if productivity is your goal. Dressing for success each morning will send the signal to your brain that it is time to get down to business. This is particularly important if you participate in video conference calls. You do not want to send the message to your superiors that you are slacking just because you are at home. Showing up on a call in your workout clothes might raise some eyebrows.
2. Set Specific Office Hours
When you are working from home, it can become easy to blur the lines between your business and your personal life. This blurriness does neither element any favors. In order to prevent this from happening, you need to set specific office hours. Letting your colleagues know when you are available will ensure that you are not perpetually on call. It will also send the signal to family members and friends that you need to make your work a priority during these hours. Be sure to block this time out in any shared calendars so that everyone is always aware of your availability and time constraints.
3. Gather All Home Office Essentials
You cannot expect to put forth your best effort without the proper work tools and essentials. Start with creating a comfortable office space that is free of noise and distractions. Once you have your desk area set up, you can begin filling it with the office essentials that will make your job easier. Good items to include are a filing system, a charging station for all of your electronics, the best blue light blocking glasses that you can find to protect your eyes, and all of the proper office supplies.
4. Keep in Constant Communication
One of the downfalls of a telecommuting arrangement is the lack of communication with your colleagues. It is especially important that you remain in regular communication with your boss or those that report to you. Setting up weekly times to chat and check-in can go a long way in building confidence within your group. If you are a manager, it is recommended to plan social events to keep your team connected and engaged.
5. Invest in Reliable Phone and Internet Service
Nothing will thwart your work efforts faster than poor internet or phone service. It is imperative that you invest in the fastest internet and most reliable phone service that you can afford if you spend a large bulk of your day communicating with others. Be sure to talk to your organization’s IT department to get an idea about what type of platforms that they support. They will likely be a good source of information for you as you set up your office space. Especially if you are giving it a go as a freelancer, a poor internet connection or fuzzy phone service will convey a sense of unprofessionalism.
All five of these considerations will ensure that you experience great success in this new working arrangement.