Working from home can sound like a dream. Once you're in the thick of it, however, you may begin to realize that along with the benefits, working from home (WFH) comes with its fair share of challenges. These seven WFH essentials can help you stay productive.
If you have multiple people working and learning from home, your internet connection is bound to slow down. This can lead to frustrations for your family and less productivity for you. That is unless you upgrade to a stronger and more reliable option. Most metropolitan areas now have access to 5G Ultra-Wideband, which may be a good choice. But you do some research to see what the fastest and best connection is in your area.
Take it from seasoned WFH folks: you need boundaries to make this work. This includes boundaries with your family, work and yourself. You can begin by creating a physical boundary around your workspace. Maybe this means getting rid of personal clutter. Or perhaps you need to find a separate room altogether, to minimize distractions. After you have a dedicated workspace set up, be sure to set clear rules with other household members.
To make those boundaries stick, write them into a schedule. Otherwise, your work from home life is bound to feel chaotic. This is particularly true if you have children at home during your work hours. Parents should aim to keep their home routine fairly the same as it was before, while also building in blocks for work, school and other new activities. Virtual activities can replace in-person ones, for example.
Make a point to work several breaks into your remote routine. This is one step many WFH newcomers miss, and their mental health and productivity tend to suffer for it. Once again, fitting in much-needed breaks will require firm boundaries. You may need to work with your employer to stress your changing needs, or you may need to enlist help from your partner. Just be sure to spend this time doing something different from work, and also be sure to eat!
If you’re managing a remote team, you may be able to use software to improve your workflow. There are applications available to help coordinate team projects and streamline communications. EHS Insight offers safety software to help EHS teams better manage workplace safety. If you’re working solo from home, you can also download apps like OneNote and Evernote to your smartphone to improve your productivity.
Working from home means no commute and no trips around the office to catch up with co-workers. While it may seem trivial, all of that extra movement was likely keeping you in shape and keeping you focused. That’s why if you’re new to this sort of setup, you may begin to notice a few extra pounds creeping up. Not to worry! You can easily stay healthy with some quick at-home workouts. Factor these workouts into your breaks or try to work them in either before or after your day begins. Mornings are often better.
Getting enough sleep is one of the biggest challenges for those who are new to WFH. This may sound counterintuitive since you’re spending more time at home, but it can be much harder to turn off your computer and walk away when your home is your office. You can break this cycle by removing your laptop and any other work-related tech from your bedroom. This way, you won’t be tempted to check emails right before bed. Also, take steps to reduce stress.
Working from home should provide more flexibility and freedom, not more stress. If you have the tools and tips mentioned above, you can overcome some of the most common WFH challenges. Then you can enjoy the perks.