Optimize the home office for remote work

Guide to remote work

Previously, we have written about the advantages of remote work, and why companies may profitably continue to utilize it. More and more companies take on hybrid models as a new work structure post pandemic. Even though last year remote workspaces became the normal for many, we find it relevant to bring a guide to remote work now that it appears to have become a more permanent part of our daily lives.

Establish a proper work area

When one works from home, it can be tempting to stay in bed with the laptop or to constantly move around the house. However, it is beneficial to create a specific area solely dedicated to the work, wherever possible. In this way, the employee may ’go to work’ for a certain time frame and take the rest of the day off afterwards. Depending on living arrangements, obviously what is possible for one person can vary but in general a room arranged as an office with a sturdy desk, a comfortable and ergonomic chair as well as the necessary IT equipment is a good baseline. Furthermore, the person may utilize the opportunity to decorate the room as they see fit, which might not be feasible in the company office. Thus, they can choose motivating wall decorations, plant life, inspiring music etc. that may contribute to productivity. It is important that the room is associated with work and other areas with leisure to both physically and mentally separate when one is at work and when one is off.

Separate work and leisure time

When dividing the home into work and leisure areas, it is equally important that these are used at certain time slots. Depending on the company’s demands, the employee may dedicate a specific daily stretch of time in which they are at work and hereby available. The danger of working from home might be that one is always available and works on tasks or checks work email and phone at all hours of the day which can lead to stress. That is why it is important to make a clear separation of the day in the same manner as if going to the office in the morning and returning home in the evening. Professional and personal tasks should be separated and performed within the allotted time frames. Distractions may be difficult to avoid but can be minimized by this clear separation of work and leisure time.

Create stable routines

Once the day has been divided into work and leisure time, it is necessary as well to build strong routines. Whether one prefers to get up early, work out and get some practical stuff done before the work starts, or it is more when the work day is at an end that one is motivated for the chores, it is essential to establish the day from routines. The challenge is that remote work seemingly offers limitless opportunities for the day, as one is not confined to the office for a certain number of hours. Therefore, it may be tempting to put off chores or constantly switch between work assignments, home duties and leisure activities during the day. However, routines have a great effect on people’s mental health and general wellbeing. Whether one thrives on starting the day off early or it is later that one performs the best, it is wise to build clear routines for when to do what in the assigned time frames. ‘To-do’ lists can be a big help here.

Implement deep work

During work cycles, deep work should be incorporated and dedicated to the most important tasks. Considering when one is the most productive, a few hours should be devoted for delving into the most challenging assignments particularly requiring concentration. Emails and Zoom meetings can be prioritized when the energy levels are lower in favor of the tasks where greater brainpower is necessary. In this regard, notifications can be switched off so that one is not disturbed and as much as possible avoids losing focus. This meaningful work should be prioritized three to four hours a day for maximum benefit.

Appreciate and take advantage of the flexibility

As we have previously written about, perhaps the greatest advantage of remote work is the improved amount of flexibility. In this blog we have emphasized the importance of structure, routine, and focused work, but of course it is up to the individual how they work the best. That is why one ought to appreciate the improved opportunities for arranging life as one sees fit that come with the remote work. The time normally spent commuting can be used for other things, and the forced social activities and noise of the work place can be avoided. These are but some of the reasons why remote work works and why the flexibility that comes with the arrangement should be appreciated and utilized.

If you are interested in hearing more about how MyDesk can help your company with the implementation of remote work and hybrid models, book a free demo or contact us. We look forward to announcing more exciting collaborations in the near future.