The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed how many of us work recently. Before the pandemic, remote work or telecommuting was gaining in popularity, with about 4.7 million remote workers in the US alone according to a study by the US Census Bureau. Then came the pandemic, and this number grew tremendously.
If you are new to the work from home crowd, here are some tips for working from your apartment owning this newfound status of “unofficial boss.”
- Set up a great home office
Having a specific space dedicated as your home office creates a semblance of professionalism. Without this, it’s easy to lounge around in bed all day with a laptop, which could be a massive blow to your productivity levels. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Choose a suitable corner with lots of light
- Get comfortable furniture such as an ergonomic chair and a balanced desk
- Keep it clean and organized
- Dress up for work
Not everyone is great at compartmentalizing. Many are unable to say, “This is work-life and this is home life” when working remotely. For them, it feels like the same thing. This can hamper your productivity and takes away from the “work” part of remote work.
To combat this, create a morning routine that reminds you of work. Don’t wear your pajamas to work, create a morning pre-work routine, and wake up as early as you normally would to prepare for the day. You might have to talk to one or two members of your team via video conference. A casual but put-together look goes a long way in maintaining professionalism.
- Minimize distractions
Did you think Stacy from accounting coming over at odd hours for some office chatter was distracting? Wait until you have to work from home to see just how many distractions are available. From the TV to your very comfortable bed staring straight at you, and your family running around, you’d be hard-pressed not to give in and relax.
It doesn’t even help that there’s no supervisor to keep an eye on you. All you can do is get rid of things that could distract you. We’re not saying you should throw away your TV. But you could work away from it or create rules around when it can be on to capitalize on working hours.
- Communicate effectively
At the heart of remote work is unified communications. The team of a business must be able to communicate effectively for their business to succeed. Even if it’s a business you’re running from home for yourself, you still need to communicate effectively with your clients. Make sure you have proper communication channels set up, whether that be an internal communication tool or a 3rd party tool like Basecamp, Zoho or Microsoft Teams.
- Define your work hours clearly
It’s certainly easy for at-office workers to “clock in and out of work” than it is for people working from home. They often think, “Well, I’m home already, I might just check my computer one last time.”
It’s easy to end up working when we’re are meant to be resting or sleeping (sometimes late at night) and sleeping during what should be working hours. Do your best to organize your day and step away from work for good at the end of the workday.
- Take a break
Make sure to take a break. Taking breaks boosts productivity while reducing stress. It also helps you stretch muscles you do not necessarily use while you are sitting. If it’s nice outside take a walk and get some fresh air. Just don’t forget your mask and be sure to properly wash your hands when you get back.
Currently working from home is all about staying safe. We hope you find these 6 tips for working from your apartment helpful and productive. You can definitely make it work; you just may need some help to get you started. Contact us to set up your tour today and see where you can set up your work from home office.