Working from home is becoming increasingly popular especially in this highly technological age. Apart from being convenient, it is also quite economical, totally eliminating time required for travel as well as the associated costs.
One of the drawbacks for many people with working from home though is how to switch to office mode, since the home is usually a haven of comfort.
Another challenge some people are faced with the idea of working from home, is how to set up an office which will be conducive to productivity while working from home.
These areas will be dealt with in the information to follow and you will garner valuable suggestions on how to make a success of being a remote worker.
How to Switch From Home Mode to Office Mode
Now that you’ve decided on working from home, there are some key things that you will need to implement or change to ensure that you can be as productive and successful as possible.
The first thing you will need to adjust is your mindset. Think of your job as if you are still in a corporate space. Set regular working hours for yourself so that you can get into a solid routine quickly. This will make your work days and week structured. Also set scheduled break and lunch times, to develop a good work rhythm.
You may even want to dress the part, especially if some of your work responsibilities might require you to do errands on the road. While not a total necessity, some people have found that this helps them to quickly transition into work mode while working from home.
Ensure that your work space is not your bed. While it may be convenient and comfortable, you will want to separate your resting space from your work space to avoid becoming too comfortable so that you fall asleep.
Avoid sitting in front of the television when working from home. To be fully productive and work effectively, you must cut out distractions, which will waste your time and affect the quality of your work. Try to stay away from the kids, animal sounds, road sounds and other distracting noises, especially if your job is in teleworking.
If you have an office space or free room, this is the best area to choose for working from home. Having a dedicated work room or area will help you to feel the most organized and able to approach your transition to working from home with a professional attitude.
Here is how you can go about setting up a properly equipped office to facilitate working from home.
How to Proceed with Effectively Setting up Your Home Office
To have a well set up home office, you will need to have the right equipment. You will best know what you need to function optimally when working from home at your particular job.
It is safe to say that most jobs working from home require the internet. For this you will need a reliable internet connection.
To achieve that you will need a high speed fixed line or wireless broadband internet connection. If you do not have that available to you then using 4G LTE, which is high speed fourth generation data technology for cellular networks will serve you well. You can bring your own simcard and use with a 4G router like the D-Link LTE Router or a dedicated service such as Vivid Wireless Broadband.
Similarly, make the decision to invest in a good quality wireless router. You want this so that you will have a seamless and continuous internet connection while working from home. Alternatively, you can make use of wireless extenders or mesh systems such as the TP-Link Deco to boost the signal.
You may also want to consider using a desk mount for your laptop or computer monitor. They give you more space on your desk and help to reduce clutter on the work surface. This is a very convenient solution for creating space while working from home. You can find a range of budget desk mounts such as the Mount-It! MI-3352LTMN. Alternatively, you can find quality mounts from companies such as Ergotron. In fact, here in the office we recently received the Ergotron HX Desk Dual Monitor Arm.
In choosing a printer, you will want to select an inkjet printer which has refillable cartridges. An excellent candidate for this is the Epson WorkForce ET-4550 EcoTank inkjet printer. Being able to refill your ink tanks rather than purchasing new ones, helps you to cut down on cost. This is an important consideration for some when working from home. It saves the environment as well, since you will be reusing your existing tanks.
Having a document scanner also helps you to cut down on paper usage and wastage while working from home, and is also environmentally friendly. The Epson WorkForce ET-4550 EcoTank is a good buy since it also comes equipped with a document scanner. If you want a dedicated scanner, both Epson and Brother have some great choices.
While working from home, over time you will start to rack up a lot of data for which your computer may not have the capacity to store. Using a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device, will facilitate you backing up data to a network, giving you the ability to safely store important files and retrieve them when needed. We have recently reviewed a number of Synology, QNAP and Thecus NAS devices that would be suitable for this.
Now that your office has been set up for working from home, here are some other considerations to keep in mind.
Depending on the nature of your business, while working from home, you may come into possession of sensitive information. You will need to take measures to keep this information secure. This may require you to acquire filing cabinets which can be locked or, use password protection on your computer and also on those sensitive files.
Further protect sensitive information by shredding it, if no longer needed to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. Shredding documents you also will not need helps you to reduce the clutter which could easily be created by retaining those files.
Finally, consider the use of a surveillance system as an additional layer of security in your home office. Not sure where to start? Take a look at some of our previous surveillance articles.
Working from home while convenient, can be challenging for some people. Changing your mindset and planning for success will make the transition a seamless one. Doing all that is necessary to prepare yourself and your workspace will help you to enjoy the many perks of working from home.