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Working From Home Tips
Thinking about outfitting yourself with a home office? As working from home becomes more popular — and in some cases a necessity — you may find yourself wondering “How do I work remotely?” From creating an ergonomic workspace to charting your peak performance hours, we’ve got some great tips to help you make the most of your in-home office.
How to Create an At-home Office
The best home office spaces are made by starting with the basics. You’ll need a desk — preferably near a window with a view — to get started. Here are a few other key factors to consider:
Request equipment you need from your employer. If you’re working away from your cubicle, you may be able to build out an office space with an extra docking station, monitor, desk and chair from work.
Set up family and roommate ground rules. A key to having a reliable place to work is establishing ground rules. Check in family and roommates —let them know you’ll need to focus, take calls and not be distracted during office hours.
How to Set Up an Ergonomic Workstation
Ergonomics is about adapting tasks, workstations, tools and equipment to fit the worker’s needs. All of this, in order to reduce physical stress on the body.
Adjust your chair. An adjustable chair allows you to adopt a more natural posture.
Focus on posture. Keep your body centered in front of your screen, avoid crossing your legs and hunching over your keyboard.
Consider a sit-stand desk. Reduce back pain, increase productivity and improve your energy with a standing desk.
Fine-tune monitor position. Reduce neck strain by placing your monitor at eye level to avoid frequently bending down or looking up.
Be mindful of your mouse. Place your mouse close to your keyboard and relax your wrist when using it.
Use a headset. Get Bluetooth headphones with a built-in microphone to avoid bending your neck to hold a phone. Stay productive with background music playing when you’re not on a call.
Refine your workspace as necessary. Set time aside at the beginning of each day to fine-tune your workstation. Reset the position of your keyboard and mouse. Make notes on adjustments that work.
Effective Communication Tips
With a little effort, you can still stay connected to friends and colleagues online. Follow these tips to be just as productive at home as you were in your cubicle.
Communicate via broadband. Be sure to order high-speed internet for working from home. When the time comes to video chat, you’ll be all set.
Set up a VPN for your internet. As for data transmission, you’ve got to keep digital security front and center. Your home office — and your IP address — will be less vulnerable to hackers by setting up VPN services.
Remember to feed your social side. Living and working out of the same space can be challenging. Try reaching out and friending your colleagues on social media feeds. This way you’ll be more connected to their point of view and their world.
Communicate frequently with colleagues. Do your best to video chat with your co-workers and stay in touch daily. You’ll find relationships can continue through this new media with a little work and by reaching out more frequently.
Empathize with others during meetings. A little understanding can go a long way to help others that are feeling socially isolated while working from home.
Finding a Work/Life Balance
A healthy workstation involves having the right set up, but it’s just as important to incorporate wellness into your workplace habits. Here are a few ways to stay active and healthy at work:
Build routines into your workday. Set up private calendar reminders to get up and take time out for a lunch break at the same time each day.
Take regular breaks. Wellness breaks like getting out and walking the dog can do the mind a world of good. You’ll find more capacity to concentrate by regularly moving and stretching.
Chart your peak productivity hours. Keep a notepad nearby while you’re working and jot down those time periods when you’re most focused. By tracking these trends, you can leverage your peak energy levels to really boost productivity at home.
Use your PTO wisely. Sometimes the stress to stay productive can be a lot to manage when you’re new to working from home. If you’ve got sick days to use or available vacation time, take a mental health day to reset your head and your heart. If you think a change of scenery might do the trick have limited PTO days, consider planning a workcation.
Continue to improve your skillset. With your commute out of the way, you may find that you’ve got more time to get extra training or become certified and improve your skill set. Make an MVP of yourself!
Get the Homeowners Coverage You Need
Setting up a home office may be challenge, but finding the right home insurance shouldn’t be. While you’re fine-tuning your telecommute, be sure to reach out to your American Family Insurance agent. You’ll find they’re a wealth of information on how to best insure your big investments and your new home office, too.