Whether you’re temporarily based at home due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines or you’re a regular telecommuter, working from home has its perks … and drawbacks. While you may be able to work in your PJs, for example, you also have 24-hour access to your apartment refrigerator!
How do you take advantage of the sense of freedom and flexibility working from home may offer while also staying productive and disciplined? We’ve got some tips for apartment residents working at home.
Create dedicated apartment workspace
This is critical. One of the big disadvantages of working from home is all the distractions — from television to social media. So it’s important that you create a dedicated workspace with some distance from all the things that might lead to procrastination.
If you have space, then designating a room as a home office space is ideal. Perhaps you can convert that guest bedroom into an office. If space is at a premium, then you may have to dedicate one area of a room as home office space or perhaps convert a large closet into a space that can hold a desk. Whatever you do, make sure other members of the household (whether it’s your partner, roommate, or your kids) know that when you’re in the home office, you’re off-limits. You’re working after all!
Maintain a schedule and standards
Just because you’re working from home and maybe sitting at your desk in yoga pants and flip-flops doesn’t mean you can slack off and sleep till noon. Set designated working hours that are the same each day, and create a morning routine that transitions you into “office” mode, whether that means switching from PJs to sweats or brewing some coffee while you check email.
While working from home may allow you to sleep in a little later (no one-hour commute!), it should also help you make some productivity gains. Set a professional mindset and start the day with the kind of purpose you’d have in a regular office. And schedule that 15-minute break to walk the dog or do some yoga, too. After all, that’s one of the perks of the home office — being able to grab a little extra “me” time during the day.
Set yourself up for communication success
One of the reasons Americans work from home is because technology has made it so much easier to do so. To be successful, you’ll need more than a computer and a high-speed internet connection. Take advantage of applications and programs that make it easier and cheaper to connect with colleagues and collaborate with teammates.
Use tools like Skype, Zoom, and Join.me to hold virtual conferences, or use collaborative working tools like Google Drive or BaseCamp to share files.
Whether your home office is a nook in your bedroom or a dedicated room in your apartment, use our tips for working at home to help you telecommute successfully.