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5 Tips for working from home

This COVID pandemic has caught us all by surprise, and many of us are now working from home. Our new work environment can allow us to balance our work and personal life, and it can allow us to have more time with our families. It can also allow us to save time and transportation costs. We all know working from home has its benefits, but it also presents new challenges, and it is important to consider those challenges so you can continue to be productive in our new spaces. Here are some tips to consider when working from home, in order to increase efficiency and adapt to our new situations.

Believe it or not, working from home can be stressful, because you may be working more than you would have expected, because work and family time is blended into one, and there is no longer a division of responsibilities. It is easy for you to spend more time than needed to work on a project. For example, when working on-site, if it is 5 pm, you prepare everything to leave even if there is more work to be done, and you can just leave the task for the next day. However, as you work from home, you have the temptation of trying to finish everything the same day. Continuing the work will take you extra hours, and even you could be working late at night because you feel that you will be working better when kids are sleeping. The quality of the work can be lessened due to distractions and multitasking.

Try set up times for you to be working online and follow your schedule. It is important to try to not let the work/personal lifelines be blurred. There is no such thing as multitasking. Multitasking just means you are doing too much at once and not being efficient any one thing. Make sure to concentrate on what you are doing, and be present to the task at hand, in order to increase your productivity. Furthermore, set your work hours, and stick to that schedule, thus, you don’t work unnecessary extra hours, and the work you do is productive.

Our homes are full of distractions. Even if you live by yourself in a house, there are numerous distractions around. For example, you might feel the need to turn on the TV to listen to the news or sports while working. However, this affects your concentration, which forces you to make more mistakes. It is better to setup up an office around your house, where you can dedicate yourself to do the job.

My suggestion is to find the right place in your backyard or a room where you are away from everybody and unnecessary devices like a tv or radio. This sacred space should take you away from any external noise, so you can work more productively, and concentrate on the task at hand. A home office can be its own room altogether, but if space is limited, it can be a hallway, closet, or corner of a room, but it just needs to be its own dedicated space.

Don’t stay in a room with little light because it will affect your performance as a worker. A place that does not have proper lighting will negatively affect your eyesight in the long run, causing eye fatigue. Remember working from home involves working in front of a computer for long hours, and it is better to avoid the blue light from the screen as much as we can, so we sleep at night. I recommend finding a space with good lighting or replacing your lighting altogether. Most offices have high-quality bulbs, and I would recommend mimicking that quality of lightning the room you choose as your home office. In addition, I would recommend using blue light filter glasses to help with eye fatigue.

Just as I explained in point one, it is easy to get the lines of work and personal life blurred, and to get off task or even worse, have each day be irregular and disorganized. It is important that you set a schedule to work, but you should go beyond the program and get into a routine. Try waking up at the same time each workday and do the same things that you used to do before. You are already saving hours of traffic when working from home. That will give you the time to create a routine that works best for you because if you get into a rhythm, you will work faster and perform better. Additionally, it is easier to plan the time needed to do all your different responsibilities, because you will be on a regular routine. A routine also reduces stress and anxiety involving what you need to do the next day and allows you to sleep better at night.

The most valuable asset of any company is its employees. If you are not healthy, you are not going to do your work correctly or productively. Moreover, if you do not take care of yourself, you will not be your best self for your family or yourself. And of course, being at home snacking all day while working won’t help you to stay healthy. As you are saving time for not being in traffic and you already set up your schedule, you should be able to add a little “you” time into your routine. This could be going outside for a walk, having a zoom meeting with friends, taking a relaxing bath, or going to get a pedicure on your lunch break. You need to take care of yourself by exercising and taking breaks every now and then.

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