Transitioning from working in an office to working from home can be a big adjustment for many people. If you find yourself suddenly a remote worker, there are things you can do to create a helpful workspace at home and make the transition easier.
Clear the distractions
Working from home may sound like a great way to get a lot of uninterrupted work done — at first. While you may no longer have coworkers distracting you from getting busy, you’ll now have to deal with the distractions you cause by yourself.
When you work from home, it’s so easy to get caught up in scrolling through social media, watching the latest show, or simply replying to personal text messages. You may have only meant to glance at your phone for a moment, but before you know it, 30 minutes have gone by.
In order to help you stay focused, consider leaving your phone in another room while you work. If you have to use your phone for work, there are apps that you can download, like Moment, that block your most distracting apps for a preselected amount of time.
Working in a home office free of distractions helps you focus better and work more efficiently, but if you don’t have an office, then you can create one in a different space. Try placing a desk or card table in a guest bedroom or den. If the only place you have is a kitchen table, prepare that area by gathering all of your equipment and files.
Making a plan to stay organized while you work from home is a must, especially if your job involves paperwork. Set up your workspace with file folders and binders, and if you have a home filing cabinet, this is the time to pull it out. If you don’t have a filing cabinet, there are lots of affordable filing box options available online. Make sure to lock sensitive documents in a safe or secure location at night and when you leave your house.
When you have everything you need for work within your reach, you’ll cut down on time wasted by searching for things. For pens, pencils, and other office supplies, consider using a small desktop organizer.
Create a routine
It may be tempting to wear your pajamas and work in bed all day just because you can, but it’s much better to try and incorporate most of your normal routines into your day. While it’s good to stay flexible during this time, sticking with a routine can help you focus better and be more productive.
Treat your weekdays like you normally would, getting up at the same time every day, getting dressed, and going into your home workspace to focus. Creating clear boundaries between your work time and your leisure time will help you obtain a healthier work/life balance, which is something that remote workers often struggle with.
For those who have school-aged kids, many find themselves working remotely while also homeschooling. This can seem difficult when there are parents who need to work full-time jobs while also providing instruction and supervision to children.
Talk to your employer about your family’s needs and see what they can do to help. Some employers will be okay with you putting in fewer hours of work as long as you get your job done, and some might let you work alternative hours, like after the kids are asleep.
If there are two parents in your home, one of the best ways to make sure that everyone gets their work done is to take turns working throughout the day. One parent can take the morning shift, and the other can take the afternoon shift or one parent can work through lunchtime while the other works through dinner.
Taking shifts will allow each parent to get some uninterrupted working time while also making sure that your children get the attention they need.
Find a home that works for you
For some, working at home has made them aware that their current space just isn’t serving them well. We need our home to meet different needs throughout our lives, and if it’s time for a change, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Steinborn & Associates can help. Our expert associate brokers have been helping New Mexicans find their dream home for more than 50 years.