How to work from home effectively

A guide to building the perfect home office set up and managing your space efficiently.

The idea of working without leaving your bed may sound like the dream, but in practice to remain productive and improve your physical & mental health, certain steps must be taken.

Equipment

Before starting your first day at home, ensure you have everything you need. Whether this requires taking office equipment home you are familiar or buying a new printer or webcam, make sure you have all the necessary tools.

Ensure your home PC is sufficient to run the software required. Update your OS and upgrade if any aspect may slow you down. If your using a Mac and everything you use is Windows only, install Bootcamp or Parallels.

Laptops are fine if that’s your only option, however an external monitor with a good amount of screen real estate will help hugely. If you’re working off a laptop, prop it up to eye level and consider purchasing a mouse and keyboard. Limiting yourself to a trackpad can be a serious hindrance and having to stretch to reach your keyboard will cause straining problems.

Internet

If your role requires high bandwidth, you may need to take certain steps to get the most out of your home wifi. Take a speed test, ensure you’re getting the speed you pay for. If not, get in contact with your ISP. If you are, but it’s still not fast enough, remote into a PC at your office. If this isn’t possible you many need to upgrade your internet speed. Check the maximum speed available in your area.

Attitude

Try and keep a routine. Get up at a reasonable time, shower, change and switch off at the end of the day. No need to wear a fresh suit and tie everyday, but just being out of your pyjamas will improve your mental health. Avoid soft furnishings all together. No duvets, sofas or armchairs.

Space

As much as we’d all like to lounge on the sofa with a laptop, this isn’t a viable option for productivity. Create a space at home that somewhat replicates your office. If you have a spare room that’s free of distractions, this is ideal. Having a dedicated space that your brain associated with work will help massively.

Make sure there is enough space for everything you need. Steer clear of clutter, you don’t want to find yourself spending 8 hours a day cramped or uncomfortable. Only things you need constant access to should be within arms reach.

Buy a suitable office chair. Something that fits to your body. This will be worthwhile investment that will outlast this hopefully short period of uncertainty. Get up and move about every hour or so. It’s easy to get locked into the same position for hours on end, but regularly moving about will keep you more productive in the long run. Get a standing table if you really want to improve your health.

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