In 2016, 43% of American workers telecommuted. Remote workers report greater job satisfaction and are more likely to maintain a solid work-life balance. While rolling out of bed and walking to your home office sounds ideal, it does require some adjustment. With some planning, you can ease the transition from the standard office to your home office.
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Maintain the Same Structure
Having the opportunity to work from home does not mean that you need to reinvent your work habits. You can mimic the positive aspects of the standard office when you telecommute.
Stick to a Schedule
Working from home enables you to cut transportation time from your routine, but you still have to resist the temptation of your comfortable bed. While you have the flexibility to alter your office hours, it is a good idea to keep a schedule. You will need to conduct professional phone calls during regular business hours at the very least and, sometimes, you may still have to adjust your breaks or stay later to make up for the lost time.
It can be challenging to stop working on time when you work from home. If you make a habit of working late, you will deprive yourself of a positive work-life balance. Set start and end times for your days and stick to them.
Not everyone you encounter will understand that you still have a schedule. They may task you with duties that disrupt your workflow. It is up to you to guard your workday and choose your interruptions carefully.
Dress for Success
Telecommuting does not mean that you need to retire your business attire. Working in pajamas and ditching high heels can be a real blessing, but dressing as though you are going into the office can put you in the proper mindset to work efficiently. Many remote workers find that dressing professionally makes them feel more confident, which affects their outputs.
You Set the Rules in Your Workspace
Defining a workspace is one of the most important steps in becoming a successful telecommuter. In a traditional office, you more than likely had a desk, places to organize materials, and access to equipment necessary to do your job. A stable Internet connection and reliable equipment including a computer, a phone, and items for conducting teleconferences are important considerations for the home office.
Location, location, location
Working in bed might sound tempting, but it will translate into poor sleep and accidental naps. Working in a high-traffic area of your home will result in distraction and frustration with your family. It is ideal to convert a room in your home into office space. If space is limited, you can still designate a workstation in a quiet location.
Comfort is Key
One of the best things about designing your home office is that you can make it to your specifications. You have creative control over the furniture, noise level, décor, lighting, and temperature. Surround yourself with things that make you feel happy and productive.
If certain scents motivate or comfort you, you can burn a candle or diffuse essential oils without violating a fire code or irritating someone’s allergies. Having the ability to light a candle and decompress on a break without creating a fire hazard is a boon for the telecommuter. Traditional office spaces simply can’t offer this much freedom.
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
Remote workers are less likely to take sick leave than their counterparts in traditional office spaces, but this doesn’t mean that they are healthier. Telecommuters are almost always sitting in front of computers in order to do their jobs.
A sedentary lifestyle can take years off your life. Hunching at a desk can affect your skeletal system, cause poor circulation, and increase your risk of suffering from depression, obesity, certain types of cancer, heart attacks, and strokes. Fortunately, working from home gives you more opportunities to counteract the negative health impacts of desk work than a traditional office space.
Thirty minutes of exercise at the start of your day or even just a brisk walk around your neighborhood can do wonders. It is possible to start your day in gym clothes and fit a workout into your lunch break. After a prolonged stint of sitting, a yoga break can be refreshing. Yoga can help to undo the damage of staying seated for extended periods. In a home office, you won’t have to worry about having an audience, which means that you can stretch to your heart’s content.
You can also take ten or fifteen-minute breaks to do chores around your house. Washing dishes, doing laundry, and running the vacuum cleaner all involve movement. Regardless of how you choose to move, know that your body is your most important work asset. You can replace a neglected computer, but you can’t exchange your body for a new one.
There are so many benefits to working from a home office. Having a tidy home and completing all of your work while maintaining a healthy lifestyle may sound unattainable, but it is possible. With careful scheduling, intentional workspace design, and healthy practices, you can successfully transition to a home office.
Bio: Sandra Moncada is a cycling enthusiast, who frequently escapes to hang out with her literary and movie heroes. She is vitamin D’s biggest fan, who is passionate about meditation, pilates and beating stress. When she’s not floating in the ocean or her outdoor pool, she loves to write about lifestyle improvements, self-development and stress-relief methods. You can connect with her on Twitter @SandraMoncadaOh