I started work remotely for CHFR as a Housing Specialist. Now what?
Working remotely from home looks a bit different for everyone. But by focusing on a few key areas, you can stay productive while also enjoying a comfortable and healthy work environment. Here are a few of the areas discussed in this guide:
Working productively from home starts with a quality home office. Having a dedicated space to work provides better focus and gives workers more division between their work and personal lives. Not everyone has a separate room that they can use to dedicate to their office. But with the right features and tools, you can set up a space that works for your needs. Here are some of the top things to consider.
Investing in the Right Tech can make it easier for you to stay productive while telecommuting. Technology is what makes working from home possible. Aside from a high-speed internet connection, your computer, smartphone, noise-cancelling headphones , here are some of the top options to consider:
1. Find a Quiet Place
You might not have access to a separate room. But your office should be as secluded as possible from the hustle and bustle of your home. For example, choose a corner of your bedroom rather than the centrally located kitchen table. You might even set up a room divider or other physical barrier if a door isn’t an option.
2. Get a Comfortable Chair
You’re going to be sitting a lot while working from home. So you might as well be comfortable. Office chairs tend to be ergonomic, but many remote employees just settle for the couch or a dining room chair. Do yourself a favor and invest in one that supports your spine while you sit at your desk all day.
3. Declutter Your Desk Space
Clutter can easily distract you from your work. Whether you have a dedicated desk or are working from a makeshift office, keeping your workspace clean is a must. Before you start work for the day, stack papers and remove anything that doesn’t have to do with your to-do list.
4. Raise Your Computer Monitor
Working from a laptop or a short monitor means you’ll be slouching all day, which can lead to back and neck problems. It can also be tougher to see a small screen, which leads to eye strain. Purchase an adjustable laptop stand that can increase the height of the screen at eye level so you can easily see your work in front of you and reduce neck strain
5. Bring in Sufficient Lighting
Another important element that can help you see your work clearly and avoid eye strain is lighting. Natural light is always best. So if possible, set up your desk around windows. If that’s not possible — or even if you have some natural light, you’ll also need lamps and overhead lighting to supplement.
6. Add Plants
Plants add visual interest and life to a space. But they also serve an important functional purpose. They can help separate your office from other parts of your home, providing noise insulation and blocking your view of distractions around you.
7. Decorate the Space
Your home office doesn’t need to be a plain, sterile desktop. You’ll enjoy working a bit more if your workplace has some personality. Decorate it with family photos, artwork, or a bulletin board of favorite items. If you’re going to be working from home long-term, you may also paint the area a pleasing color.
8. Schedule Breaks
For computer-based work, it’s important to stand up and move to get your blood circulating every so often. It also helps to move your eyes off screen regularly.
9. Don’t Work in Your PJs
We know — this is one reason why people love working from home. If you enjoy working in your PJs, then you are killing your productivity. “Dress for success” isn’t just a corporate catchphrase; it really matters when you work from home.
Beyond psychologically getting you in the right mindset for work, you’ll be ready to handle any kind of video chat or check-in with a teammate. You’ll be prepared to get work done, and you will be mentally and physically prepared for the day.
Even if you don’t leave the house, dress for work as if you were in the office.
10. Use a VPN
Use a VPN whenever you are connected on a network that you do not control. This includes Wi-Fi in co-working spaces, cafes, libraries, airports, hotels, and so on. CHFR has VPNs that external employees need to access certain servers or websites that store information intended for internal use only. In such cases, you will also need to use a VPN at home.
11. Useful tools that CHFR uses on a daily basis
Communication tool (Google chat, Hangouts, Google Phone, Whatsapp)
Task management tool (Trello)
Video Calls tools (Google Meet)
Cloud Storage & Collaboration tool (Google Drive)
DocuSign (Electronic signatures)
DocHub (Edit, Send & Sign PDF’s)
12. What are some of the best practices or tips for a first-time remote worker?
You can consider doing the following:
Work in sessions. Pomodoro Technique is a great way to work effectively and to be more productive. learn more here.
Plan your day ahead.
Set quiet hours when you focus on deep work.
Get rid of distractions like TV, social media, radio, etc.
Make sure you are aligned with the company’s goals.
Make sure you meet the deadlines.
Create a routine and processes for things you do regularly. You have to remember that every person is different and you have to check what works for you.
13. YOU CAN LOVE MORE THAN YOU HAVE ALWAYS EXPECTED
According to a leadership IQ survey, telecommuters were 87% more likely to love their jobs than people who worked in an office – and for very different reasons than you might expect.
Working remotely gives people freedom and flexibility. In addition, you can save time by avoiding commuting, traffic concerns, and the time you might have used in commuting can be used for real benefit. You can save money on gas and food, not to mention, It is much easier to follow a diet and continue eating healthy foods when you’re home. In addition to all this, you can complete your daily workload more quickly with less stress and better work/life balance in the comfortable environment of your house.
In order to love working remotely, you need to have an obstinate, entrepreneurial and self-motivated mindset. So while working remotely is not for everyone, it is also better suited for ambitious and motivated workers than you may have been led to believe. If you don’t mind being proactive in communicating, setting boundaries with co-workers and loved ones, and being willing to adapt to unexpected changes, telecommuting may be the best thing that has ever happened in your career.