The year 2020 has brought immense changes to our lives. According to the Global Work from Home Survey, about 74% of respondents believe that WFH (Work From Home) has already become a new norm in the year 2021.
Currently, about 48% of the workforce in the US works from home either half the time or more. This makes sense because of how difficult it has been to eradicate the coronavirus.
However, the number of people working from home has undoubtedly increased since the situation hasn’t gotten better in 2021, and we wouldn’t be wrong by anticipating that more workers will be setting up shop in their homes until the dust settles.
The desire to work at home is by no means new for employees. Studies show that most workers are even willing to accept a pay cut just to be able to work in the comfort of their own homes, even if it’s just some of the time.
Working from home certainly has its pros and cons, and in this blog post, we will go through some of the challenges as well as the tools and resources to help you create a healthy working environment.
Challenges of Setting up a Healthy, Productive Home Office
Anyone who lives with children or relatives knows that finding a peaceful place to work can be a challenge. Whether it’s family members watching TV, or children running about or playing games in the house, these factors can make working at home difficult.
Location, Location, Location
Finding a quiet place to work is an important first step. For some people this means working in the extra room upstairs. Installing a floor sweep or adding wall hangings can help you cancel out some of the ambient noise. Still, if there isn’t a good place at home to work, we have some other solutions.
Use Music to Stay Focused
If you have selected a workspace and tried to dampen the noise with a floor sweep, you could always tune out any extra noise with music. According to Florida National University, listening to music can help you focus better and can relieve stress. They were focusing on students using music to improve studying, but the effects would be the same for anyone working from home. That’s where you can make use of the HiTune X5 Wireless Earbuds to stay focused and ignore any disruption.
Get Rid of Distractions
You may randomly check your phone for messages or emails and find yourself sucked into looking at social media posts longer than you should.
Put your cell phone down. Yes it’s not an easy habit to get rid of, seeing how addicted we are to our phones, but it’s going to be counterproductive if you spend too much time on your phone. Set a time to check emails and messages and just ignore it between those times.
Get Ready for Con-calls and Video Meetings
We’ve all encountered a situation where a mic or speaker malfunctions at the beginning of a Zoom meeting call. So we know how important it is to make sure we have a good Internet connection. (We don’t wanna risk the wrath of our bosses or potential clients). And that’s why we need to boost our WiFi signals. But wait…that’s not all, we suggest you get prepared 5 minutes before the video meeting to make sure everything’s ready.
If you happen to have a big screen like a television for conference calls, that’s great. Then you will need to connect your laptop or PC to the TV with an HDMI cable. Miracast technology is impressive but still unreliable.
Related article: What is HDMI?
Get the Necessary Peripherals
If you are a fan of Apple, there are chances that you might use an iPad for work. So what makes an iPad your best working mate? Absolutely an iPad hub! With TF/SD card slots and USB A/C ports, HDMI, plus a 3.5mm audio jack, a hub can meet all your office needs all at once. Learn how to choose the best hub for your iPad here.
Other household duties could also make it a nightmare to complete your work or meet deadlines. These include chores like washing dishes and laundry, which could frustrate you to the point where you abandon your work completely. Create a schedule for yourself and stick to it. This way you won’t deviate from it when you need to work and you’ll complete your chores at the designated time.
Maintaining the Correct posture, Socializing, and Movement is Key
Besides distractions, there are other problems associated with working from home that could keep you from being productive and performing at your ultimate best. We highlight a few below and some useful tips that you could use to work healthily in the comfort of your own home.
Sitting All Day is No Good at All
Not only does it cause back pains, diabetes, stroke, dementia, high blood pressure, and more — scientists say that it hurts your heart and can shorten your lifespan. It also causes weight gain and can undo all the progress you’ve made in the gym.
You need to move throughout the day. This is more effective in countering these types of illnesses than any exercise could possibly do.
Social interaction is important and can help you with productivity. Speaking about non-work related topics could help refresh your mind, leaving you revitalized and ready to get back to work.
Pick the Right Software
This is related to the point above, because while you have access to people in a normal office environment, you do not have this luxury when working remotely.
There are however apps like Slack or Asana that allow you to connect with colleagues to brainstorm, discuss, and share ideas. You should also use meeting times to get the most out of your teammates.
Tips and Resources to Boost Your Work-from-home Experience
We’ve already seen above how we can make working from home a better experience. Below are some tools that will aid you in your newly found home office.
Separate Office Space
Set up separate office space and keep it clean and tidy. A clean workspace that is germ-free helps prevent you from catching any illnesses, keeping you healthy, productive, and on your A-game at all times. And of course, don’t forget to ensure the Internet is speedy enough, learn how.
Be Prepared, Dress Sharp
Be prepared, dress sharp, and behave as though you would in a real office environment. Take yourself seriously. Dressing up makes you more productive because it signals to your mind that you are in work mode.
Comfortable Working Posture
Choose a comfortable chair or use a standing desk and use a proper stand for your laptop, like the X-Kit Hub-stand. This ergonomic stand is a hub combined with an adjustable stand and makes it comfortable for you to work on your laptop. It allows for correct post posture, minimizing neck and back fatigue.
Schedule a Time for Regular Workouts
Whether it’s in the morning to get the juices flowing or post-work, stick to a regular exercise plan to maintain your physical and mental well-being. Also, be sure to add extra movement while working, such as walking around the house during phone calls or frequent breaks to stretch and loosen up your body.
Try not to Stay Stuck in Your Chair for too Long
As mentioned above, sitting for too long has several health implications, so it’s important to stay active. Try to work standing up and make as much movement as you can throughout your day.
Work Smarter and Healthier
With the recent coronavirus outbreak, many people around the world have been self-isolating, and working from home has become the new norm. It’s important that we maintain our physical and mental well-being. Social stimulation and ergonomically sound equipment should be a priority as we adjust to the new world order.