Remote work skyrocketed during the pandemic, and many workers are deciding to not look back. Companies were forced to adapt to a workforce that was no longer in the office, and this has led to far more remote opportunities and role adjustments to accommodate this significant shift in the business world. Even the real estate industry was affected by this change as buyers often wanted to see space for a separate office when they looked for homes.
Perhaps you joined the ranks of millions of remote workers across the United States in the last few years. But working from home is not for everyone. If you have spent years in an office or working on-site, then it can be a huge adjustment to start tackling all your responsibilities from the comfort of your home. It can lead to blurred lines between your home life and your work life, causing confusion and even stress.
Becoming a pro at working from home takes some intentional changes to how you approach the process. There are both wrong ways and right ways to do it. Here are a few tips for becoming the best possible remote worker that you can be.
Make Your Office Comfortable
The beauty of working from home is that you have full creative control of your workspace. While it needs to maintain a professional air so that virtual meetings do not become distracting for other participants who can see your background, you can still design a space that fosters a positive working environment. The most important feature of your workspace could be the lighting. Since you will be spending hours in your home office, a large window that lets in natural light can make the experience far more enjoyable. Have some fun desk toys that spark creativity or cheer you up during the long hours. Paint the walls a soothing color. Invest in a comfortable chair that provides good support. The more comfortable your workspace, the more likely you will be to thrive as a remote employee.
Invest in the Right Equipment
Being an efficient remote worker is a mix of having the right tools and the right mentality. As far as tools go, your equipment should foster productivity in your workspace. A popular choice for many workers is to have dual monitors set up along with an up-to-date laptop. This provides you with multiple screens to accommodate the many windows and applications that you may need open at the same time to work effectively. A BlueTooth keyboard and mouse can also make your job a little easier. If you have a lot of virtual meetings, a high-quality set of headphones can make it easier to hear everyone and be heard clearly by everyone. Even the type of desk you have matters. Maybe you can get an adjustable desk that can accommodate you when you are sitting or standing to add some variety.
If you have to design the workspace yourself because the company will not provide you with equipment, don’t be afraid to splurge a little on a great setup.
Don’t Neglect Nutrition
When you work in an office, there is a certain level of intentionality required when it comes to lunches or other meals. You probably bring some food yourself or there are food options at the work location. But when you work from home, it can be easy to get lazy with your nutrition because you can just run downstairs and grab something. It is still important to prepare healthy options for yourself during the work day, even though the convenience of being at home can make it seem like a low priority. Prepare balanced lunches and maintain a healthy diet to ensure you are getting all the right nutrients. Go the extra mile to support your healthy diet by taking a multivitamin with lunch. If you neglect your nutrition because it is easier while working from home, you may end up making fewer healthy choices.
Make an Effort to Connect with Coworkers
One of the hardest adjustments that remote workers have to deal with is feeling isolated. Maybe you are used to interacting with coworkers face-to-face in the break room or throughout the day. While some may thrive as private individuals, others may crave those social interactions and feel like there is a huge gap when working from home. You may have to make more of an effort to connect with coworkers, especially if your company does not set up spaces for this purpose. Take advantage of whatever communication platform the company uses. Maybe you can suggest social gatherings or virtual hangouts to your bosses to foster a stronger culture and invest in team-building. Many companies are still learning how to promote productive remote workforces, so be a part of the learning process by offering ideas for social interactions and a better internal culture.
Remote Work is Not Always Comfortable
Just because you get to stay home does not mean that remote work is going to be more relaxed. Depending on your personality, you could find it even more stressful. It can be tough to separate work life and home life when the two are happening in the same space. With no one around to watch you work, productivity could suffer and distractions can happen more easily.
By following the above tips, you can set yourself up to be successful in this role. Make your office comfortable and fill it with the right equipment. Don’t neglect nutrition and be intentional about eating healthy foods. Continue to interact with coworkers to build that camaraderie that is missing. Do these things and you will become an absolute pro at remote work.
Article by Born Realist