If you’ve found yourself at home a lot more than usual, you’re not alone. In fact, many employees have transitioned to full work-at-home roles over the past year. If you’re a social person, or if your house is a somewhat noisy place, working at home can be difficult.
A challenging adjustment
Most office settings are quiet, with limited distractions. For example, those around you probably weren’t barging over to your desk to ask you a question without respecting your professional space. But you also had regular meetings and the opportunity to see your coworkers, grab lunch and catch up. Both situations are different when you work from home, and it can be tricky to get used to such a big change.
Four ways to make the best of your “home office”
Whether it’s finding space to concentrate, craving coworker interaction, or just having more fun, follow these tips to make peace with your work-at-home situation:
- Ask for more video meetings. So many options are available to support work meetings beyond simply calling in to a conference line. Programs such as Webex and Zoom allow you the option to switch on your webcam—so you can be seen by your team and see them, as well. And video conferencing can be fun, too. You can change your virtual background (as if you’re calling in from “the beach” or “the mountains”), raise your virtual hand, and offer up a question or comment in chat, either to the whole group or just to an individual. By taking advantage of these types of programs, you may find yourself a little less lonely during the workday!
- Set up a designated work area. You may not have the luxury of an office all to yourself. But it’s important to set aside an area in your home that serves as your workstation. Invest in a nice desk and comfortable chair. Station yourself next to a window, if you like. It’s your opportunity to have the “corner office” you were never able to land when you had to go into work, and the sky’s the limit! Have fun with your surroundings, and remind those who live with you that your work area is off-limits to everyone else.
- Use noise-canceling headphones. If you’re home with another person who also works at home or children participating in homeschooling, you understand the commotion that goes on during the day. This is especially true if your workstation doesn’t allow you to close the door behind you. Noise-canceling headphones can help you have a little peace and quiet to focus as you listen to a white noise app.
- Maintain a clear start and end time. It can be easy to wake up and quickly get distracted by other things to do at home, causing you to lose focus on your work. So, to help yourself stay focused, start your day with intention—wake up, have breakfast, get ready and sign in to work, just as you would in the office. It’s also easy to blur the lines between clock-out time and not clocking out at all, because you have zero commute. So be sure to sign off and shut down on time to give yourself the work-life balance you need to be with your loved ones.
It just takes practice
Like anything else, working from home just takes a little getting used to. But with some planning and an established routine, it becomes much easier to stay focused and productive.
In search of a new job?
Many offices are offering remote work opportunities now more than ever before. If you’re in search of a new job, check out Tri-Starr Group. To learn more about what we offer, visit our job search page or contact us today!