09 Aug 10 Awesome WFH Hacks
For some of us, working from home has been a dream come true, and if you fall into that category, that is fantastic. But many of us are still struggling with the unique challenges of working from home during COVID which includes working comfortably, keeping ourselves productive (and avoiding burn-out) as well as getting side-tracked by distractions.
Here are 10 awesome WFH hacks that really work!
1. Claim Your Space. No matter where you find yourself working these days, establish a space to work at when you have focused periods of time needed on your laptop or computer. This will allow you get into a focused mind set and also provide a space that you can get ergonomically set-up.
2. Heads Up! One of the most important things you can do to spare yourself back, neck and shoulder strain is to sit in an upright and balanced position. That means having your screens propped up to eye level so that you can keep your line of vision straight ahead so that you keep your head up and not look down. If you use your laptop, prop up your laptop on books, a box or a laptop riser to get that monitor at eye level and invest in an external keyboard and mouse.
3. Keep Things Close. The next most important thing you can do is to keep your keyboard and mouse at or slightly below elbow height and to avoid having to reach for them. If you work on a dining room table, dresser top or any other surface where you find yourself reaching up for your keyboard and mouse, try using a lap desk, piece of cardboard or even a cookie sheet so that you can place your keyboard and mouse on your lap.
4. Cancel The Noise! If you are sharing space with others in your household, get distracted by noises around you, consider using noise canceling headphones. They work wonders to tune out the world around you and to stay focused while you work.
5. Create Buffer. One of the biggest WFH challenges is back to back to back meetings. So much so, that we are finding that we don’t have time to do our actual work, struggle with eye and ear fatigue and feel exhausted by the end of the day. Instead, block out chunks of time for meetings as well as for focused time to do your work. Schedule your meetings so that you have 10-15 minutes in between each one. That will really help you both physically and mentally.
6. Wear Your Shoes. Wear my shoes? Yes. Now that we are at home, the lines between working and playing are very blurry. Something as simple as putting on shoes to delineate between work and off work hours is really effective. It also helps to get into a work mindset.
7. Set Boundaries. Setting boundaries is critical in order for you to be successful while working from home. This includes setting a clear schedule that includes start and end work times, times that you are available for meetings and times that you are not available so that you deep dive and do focused work. It also includes setting boundaries with other household members and outside distractions like friends, colleagues, family members and social media.
8. Be Realistic. It is very normal to want to be all things to all people and be the multi-tasking champion. But the truth is, you can only do one thing at a time and when you try to be all things to all people, you wind up not really being there for anyone, not to mention, turning yourself into a stress mess. So if it means re-evaluating when you can do what, with whom, then please do so.
9. Take a Break! Speaking of boundaries and being realistic, scheduling breaks within your day are crucial. In the office, there were naturally occurring breaks that got you away from your desk. You actually had meetings in meeting rooms. You may have had lunch int he cafeteria, or leave the building all together. You commuted to and from work. At home, it’s all a blur and we are tethered to our computers and devices more than ever. So, schedule breaks in your calendar, set timers and do whatever it takes to get out of your chair and give your body and mind a break.
10. Re-evaluate. Our WFH situation is fluid and changes. So, allow yourself to re-evaluate what’s working and what is not working and make changes to your schedule and work style accordingly. Just make sure to communicate your needs to your household members, your manager and your work team.
We’d love to hear how you are doing and if you have any WFH hacks to add.