Making the shift to working from home – Here’s how to prepare

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Planning to work from home? You’re among the emerging trends of workers who move their offices at home. This guide will help you prepare for making the shift to working from home efficiently. 

The on-going Coronavirus pandemic has shaken the entire world. It changed almost everything about our lives, from how we shop for goods and services to how we study and how we work. As a response to the public health crisis, to protect their employees and customers, many companies around the world have closed their doors to their brick-and-mortar business locations and sent their teams to work from home

Now, it can be really challenging to start working from home after you’ve got used to working at the office. Yet, with the right equipment, space, and discipline, you can actually make the most out of working remotely. 

Not sure how to prepare for shifting to working from home? Keep reading below!

Set up a workspace

Working from your bed can be really comfortable, but will it keep you productive? Probably not because it will make it really difficult for you to keep your work and home lives separate! What’s more, it’s also not a good choice for your back health in the long-run. 

The very first step in your “work-from-home” journey is to designate an area of your home where you can set up a home office. Whether you have an empty or spare room or choose a corner in your living room to convert it into a home office, you should make sure that area looks as much as possible as the work environment you used to have at your job location. 

Make your home office comfortable with a chair you can sit in for many hours a day without your back hurting at the end of the day. If possible, it would be best if you invest in an ergonomic office chair to offer you posture support. What’s more, feel free to add as many decorations as possible. The better you feel in that home office room or corner of your home, the more productive you’ll be when working remotely. 

Invest in technology

Yes, setting up an office at your home may require a small investment in technological devices. Yet, the pandemic has made it pretty clear: we need technology to keep things running no matter where we are. So, when you can no longer work from your job location and make a shift to working from home, you need to make sure you have the right equipment to do your job. 

You’ll need to purchase pretty much the same technological tools you used at your office, such as a desktop, laptop, or tablet, a headset or microphone, and a webcam. And, don’t worry, even if you can afford right away to purchase what you need to do your job, you can look for buy now pay later electronics options. You basically buy what you need now and pay for it later when you can afford it. 

What’s more, you must also invest in a router that isn’t prone to common network issues and allows you to have a strong and reliable internet connection. You’ll likely have to stay connected with everyone else from your team to do your job. So, make sure you won’t struggle to get online when needed. 

Plus, depending on your job’s nature, you may also have to invest in software for certain tasks. Our recommendation is to invest in whatever makes it easier to do your job in a limited space like your home. 

Keep clearly defined working hours

Remote work typically comes with a more flexible schedule. But, this can be a tricky business that will make your productivity take a major hit. 

When you had to go to your office, you probably didn’t hit the snooze button at your alarm in the morning (at least not too many times). Also, you probably didn’t just press the “next episode” button on Netflix late at night because you knew that you’re going to wake up early in the morning to go to work. Well, you need to make sure you keep the same type of discipline when working from home as well. 

When you are working from home, you are in charge of your work environment and schedule. So, you need to hold yourself accountable but also recognize when enough is enough. Try to avoid extending your work hours and try to be on the same schedule as your coworkers, especially if your job’s nature makes your role collaborative. 

Dress up

It can be really tempting to work in your pajamas all day long. It’s comfortable and requires no effort to get ready for a workday, right? Yet, this can make your workday slower and less productive overall. 

It’s all about getting the right tonus at the beginning of the day. If you keep your pajamas on, you’ll likely continue to feel sleepy, which doesn’t go well with being productive, does it? But, if you spend some time putting different clothes on to start the day, it will give you the signal that it is time to wake up and start your day. 

Plus, it’s 2020, and everybody who works from home has a lot of video meetings. If your coworkers or boss decide to surprise you with a sudden Zoom meeting, you’ll be prepared to answer the video call. 

Keep communicating

If you aren’t used to working from home, the chances are that you’ll struggle with some bumps in the road if you suddenly go fully remote, including the new communication conditions with your team or manager. When working in the same office, it’s really easy to ask whatever question you may have about your work and get an instant reply. Yet, when working from a home office, things may be a little more challenging. So, talk to your team members and superiors about making sure you keep the communication going, be it online or over the phone.