Working from home can be the ideal professional setting for some individuals. The way in which it allows for a sense of flexibility and personalization priceless for those who are disciplined and motivated to succeed. However, it’s only a worthwhile endeavor if an individual has the space to successfully be productive and to function in a manner where they’re able to thrive professionally.
Remote work is a trend that has grown by leaps and bounds, especially in the modern era; a Gallup poll recently noted that 43 percent of Americans have done at least some remote work. And for good reason, it allows an individual better access to connect with family and community, but again, only if that person is working within an office space that promotes both productivity and creativity in equal portions. In many ways, that starts and ends with the home office.
Functionality for Ease of Use
One of the main things that someone working from home can do to bolster success is to create a space that functions well. You want to minimize distractions, and you do that by seeing the practical ways you can avoid the main issues that could potentially alter your ability to have a productive work day.
What do you need easy access to?
If there are tools you use frequently, and having to search for them will slow you down, then make a plan to keep them at the forefront. If you’re using a laptop that will need to be charged or if you wear glasses when using the computer, do yourself a favor and make those items easily accessible. Make their location a static part of the organization of the room so that you always know where they are.
What don’t you need?
Things like clutter, or distracting pieces of entertainment, like magazines, can be just as detrimental to one’s ability to focus as not having the right tools close at hand. So survey your space and ask yourself: What needs to go? What is taking up too much space? What consistently causes you to lose focus? Are there signals in your office space that remind you of other, non-work related responsibilities?
Personalization for Best Results
All of the aforementioned qualities are very important components of getting the most out of your space, but practicality isn’t everything, even in an office. Ultimately, you can be in a space which utilizes every inch in a dynamic manner and still struggle to produce quality work. If the aesthetic of your office is sapping all of your passion and inspiration than it’s time for a facelift.
It’s crucial that your office is set up in a manner that is productive for you as an individual.
Be an organization maven.
If you are not typically an organized individual, it may be tempting to make the case that organization just isn’t you. But, if you are working from home your work will depend upon your ability to set guidelines for your schedule, your communication, and your workflow expectations.
This is about doing it in a manner that will work for you, and that will bolster your ability to succeed. Thus, if you’re a visual individual consider utilizing a whiteboard from Jason L or even a simple chalkboard for your to-do lists. If you find bright colors off-putting, then don’t buy supplies in primary colors, etc.
Communication is actually key.
Similarly, an important component of success for someone working remotely is consistent and structured communication with the rest of the team. In an assessment of the top remote work productivity killers, Julia Samoilenko, marketing manager of an AI-powered business messenger, noted that the biggest killers are all related to lack of communication.
She writes, “Being an efficient remote worker is challenging, as well as managing a high-performing virtual team is. Your team and you may face many productivity pitfalls on the road to mutually beneficial collaboration.”
Set yourself up for success by creating the right virtual space.
Utilize technology like virtual training. Messaging options like Slack, document sharing platforms like Google Drive, and online meeting places like Zoom will totally change your level of engagement. It’s crucial that one of the most important aspects of your home office — your computer — is ready to help you keep the lines of communication totally open.
According to Anna Johansson for Entrepreneur a top characteristic of a successful remote work candidate is that they’re tech-savvy. Does your home office have the tech you need, and if it doesn’t, can you fix the problem?
What Are You Doing Outside the Office?
Remember that you can bolster your chances of success inside your office by how you choose to utilize the time you spend outside of it. There are a lot of cues you can give yourself to signal that it’s time to get to work.
Keep work hours.
Even though you may not be pulling the typical nine-to-five in shared office space, one of the best ways to boost productivity is to keep office hours just the same. A potential mistake a remote worker can make is too much intermingling of the personal with the professional time.
The lull of wearing pajamas 24/7 may seem far too strong to resist, but resist you must! The reality is the way we dress impacts the way we feel, which impacts our productivity. So while it may be overkill to wear a suit to your workspace down the hall, it would be beneficial to wear the clothing that will make you feel productive and capable.
Plus, as we’ve noted before, one of the best pieces for professional moms going back to the office is a smartwatch; the fact that that office is in your own home doesn’t mean you won’t be able to utilize it! Part of giving yourself the tools for success is not undervaluing what only you will see.
Take care of yourself.
Perhaps it seems like it should go without saying, but even if your home office is perfect, if the lack of professional, face-to-face engagement is tempting you to pay less attention to self-care, be proactive. Studies have shown that sleeping more on weekends won’t fix lack of sleep during the week, so make sure you’re crafting the necessary schedule to get the sleep you need. Keep up with regular meals and exercise and don’t forget to take the work breaks necessary to maintain the flow of those creative juices.
Ultimately, this is about creating a home office space that will allow you to best utilize your strengths and diminish your weaknesses. Those working remotely have the ability to customize their space with far more freedom and personalization than their traditional office-working counterparts. It’s a privilege that should be thoughtfully approached so that that individual is best prepared and equipped to make the very most of every workday.