Looking for tips to work from home? You’re not alone. There are more than 33 million people in the United States who work at least one day per week from their homes. Sometimes they do it because it’s too expensive to commute, but for many, it’s a lifestyle choice that offers greater flexibility, less stress, and better health — not to mention lower bills!
Working from home is a privilege that some people don’t have. It can provide an opportunity to be more productive and efficient, but it also requires some changes in your behavior from what you’re used to doing when you work outside of the house. These are 6 tips to work from home that will help you get started on the right foot.
1. Do Some Research
Do some research and find out what kind of work you can do from home. There has been an influx of work from home jobs made available over the last year due to the pandemic. More people are now working remotely than ever. Jobs we never thought could be worked remotely are now being worked by people from the comfort of their homes.
If you already have a job, you might want to consider asking your boss if you can work remotely.
If you do not already have a job or you’re looking for a new one, take some time to review your resume. See what skills you have. Think about what field of work you would be able to provide value to. Also, consider what you are going to enjoy doing the most. Working from home can get lonely, and you want to make sure you’re doing something that is occupying your mind.
You can use sites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, or ZipRecruiter to find remote work positions that you think best suit you.
Related: How to Find Remote Jobs on LinkedIn
2. Create an Office Space With Minimal Distractions
At home, there are constantly things competing for your attention- whether it be the dog, the cat, the TV, your cell phone, your doorbell, or the refrigerator.
Creating an office space with minimal distractions will make your life a lot easier. It will also allow you to be more productive. A room that is separate from the rest of the living space and that has a door is ideal. This way you can completely shut yourself off from the distractions of the rest of the house.
If you live in a smaller space, you may have to work at the kitchen table or on the couch. Try and remind yourself to stay focused. It can be easy to slip off into distraction after distraction throughout the day. The last thing you want to happen is to realize it’s almost 5 pm and you haven’t accomplished anything that day.
If you live with others, maybe think about sitting down and having a talk with them. Let them know of your work schedule and how important it is to you. This way they won’t constantly distract you throughout the day. Try to be reasonable, though. You don’t want to take over the house and cause the people you live with to resent you for it.
3. Set Goals
Set goals of how many hours per day you want to work. If you work for yourself it can be tough to get motivated and put in enough hours each day to see results. If you work for someone else, it can be tough to put in too many hours and not take enough time for yourself.
This can be avoided in both cases by setting strict hours for yourself. Take some time to sit down and create a schedule. Write down, on paper, how many hours you are going to work each day. Think about when you’re most productive. If you’re most productive in the evenings and not in the mornings, maybe choose to do your work during those hours if your position allows for it.
What we are trying to avoid here is our work life and personal life bleeding into each other. Once those lines get blurred it is very easy for us to overwork or underwork.
Overworking can lead to burnout and resentment towards your employer- especially if you’re not being compensated for the additional hours you’re putting in.
Underworking can lead to termination of your position if you work for someone else or no money coming in if you’re a freelancer.
It’s very important to set these limits and boundaries with your time when you are working from home.
4. Invest in an Ergonomic Desk and Chair
Your desk and chair are where you’re going to be spending most of your workday, or at least you should be. Having an ergonomic chair and desk can make a world of a difference.
All too often after a long day at work, we are reminded of our efforts through the aches and pains we feel in our body. While not entirely avoidable with long hours of sitting, we can limit the amount of impact on our bodies by ensuring we are sitting at an appropriate chair and appropriate desk.
You might be tempted to sit at the dining room table or on the couch, but this will usually do more harm than help. It might be comfortable, but consider weighing your options before doing so.
While at your desk, you want your monitor to be an arm’s length away from your face. Ensure your wrists are straight and your hands are at or below your elbow level. Lastly, adjust your chair’s height so your knees are right about at hip level.
Doing this will ensure everything else falls into place appropriately. Purchase a desk and chair that allow you to make those suggestions above a reality.
5. Take 15
It is far too easy to work the entire day finally lifting your head at 7:30 pm only to realize it’s already dark outside. Usually, when we work at an office we have to go outside to commute to work, go outside again to get lunch, and finally go outside to commute back home.
When you work from home, all of those factors are removed from the equation. Take 15 minutes each day and get some fresh air and sunshine. This can be done during your lunch break, before work, or after work. It will make you feel a lot better.
When you are in the sun you’re giving your body vitamin D. Vitamin D is very important. Low levels of it can cause muscle weakness, pain, fatigue, and depression. These symptoms are all things that can already increase while working from home due to being isolated. Try and combat these by simply getting outside for 15 minutes each day.
6. Find a Buddy
If you’re an employer, don’t read this. We are social creatures and we thrive on social interaction. Working from home can be lonely at times and it can be nice to have someone to talk to from time to time.
If you have a friend or family member that also works from home, try texting them a little throughout the day. Do not let this activity take over your work. Simply send a few texts throughout the day and have a conversation. They are probably just as lonely as you are and would love to hear from someone.
This little practice will allow you to feel connected to someone else. It will allow you to get your mind off of being alone. It is also someone that you can relate to and share how you’re feeling at that moment. If they work from home, then they’ll know what it’s like.
Working from home is a privilege, however, it is not always easy. Today we have outlined 6 tips to work from home. Follow them all or follow some of them. Either way, we think these tips will improve your work from home experience.