To thrive in the ever-growing remote and hybrid work environment, it's crucial to set up your home office for success. In this regard, a well-planned strategy and setup ensures the perfect balance between comfort and productivity. With the right measures in place, you can tailor your workspace to not only meet your unique needs but also boost your overall performance.
If you have struggled getting into the working groove away from your in-office experience, we've got you covered. Let's explore some fantastic ways to enhance your workspace and get the job done!
1. Create a Designated Workspace
Creating a designated work area is an important step for anyone who is working from home. It will help you stay focused and productive, while also helping to separate your work life from your personal life. Setting up a dedicated workspace can be as simple or elaborate as you choose; the key thing is that it should be comfortable and conducive to productivity. Some tips for creating an effective workspace include choosing a space with natural light, stocking it with necessary supplies, and designing it in such a way that encourages concentration. With some thoughtful planning, you can create the perfect office setup for getting things done!
2. Clear Out Clutter
Now clear out the distractions. This means clearing away any clutter or objects not necessary for the task at hand that are on or near your desk. Remove the laundry you haven't folded yet, and bills you need to pay. Put them in a safe place, but these are distractions and allow your mind to wander off task. A clean space can reinvigorate your energy and get you refocused.
3. Create or Use a Professional Background
Creating a great background for virtual meetings can be achieved with a few simple tips. Make sure that whatever is seen behind you in the video call does not contain any clutter or distracting elements. Consider having a plain, solid-colored wall behind you to create a more professional look. You can also hang artwork with calming colors in the background or have plants come into frame.
If needed, consider using virtual backgrounds provided by Zoom or Microsoft Teams to hide any potential distractions behind you. Lastly, you'll want some light on your face, especially when using a virtual background. This helps the virtual background clip out your silhouette more cleanly. Light also makes your face look brighter and more friendly, elevating your professionalism.
4. Working While Family or Others are Home
Working from home while others are also present can be a challenge, but with the right strategies, you can create an effective work environment that you all thrive in. Whether you are sharing your workspace with kids on summer break or a spouse who also works remotely, there are steps you can take to optimize your workspace for maximum productivity.
Designate appropriate spaces for everyone and set ground rules and expectations for your accessibility during working hours. A great tool to help you manage expectations is a physical sign: a “do not disturb” sign or note on your door. Communication and setting expectations are key.
Work with your employer to ensure you have the required physical tools to do your job and be successful in your remote environment: laptop, mobile phone, headset, tablet, printer with paper and ink, pens, pencils, and paper. Whatever tools are necessary to perform your job. Also, ensure that you have access to and understand any collaboration software, such as Skype, Teams, Zoom, and WebEx as these will be the link to your colleagues in the virtual world. You may want to also invest in a pair of noise cancelling headphones to facilitate concentration if you are used to working in a quiet environment.
Ensure your home internet’s bandwidth is sufficient to handle not only your needs, but the needs of anyone else working or taking online classes in your household. What was previously adequate may not be enough under this new load. According to Tom's Guide, a heavy-using family of four with simultaneously streaming laptops as well as connected smartphones, tablets, and typical household smart devices will require approximately 100 - 125 Mbs speeds.
7. File Sharing While Remote Working
Important documents should be uploaded to the cloud either using MS OneDrive, Teams, Dropbox, or other cloud-based technologies where they can be accessed and viewed by any authorized team member. This will facilitate collaboration and reduce the interruptions to stop and send required documents to your colleagues. This is a great time saver, whether you are on site or working remotely!
Creating an effective workspace is essential for anyone working from home. It involves more than simply finding an area in the house that is suitable for work; it requires optimizing the space to minimize distractions and ensure that meetings via video call are professional and presentable. We hope you take these tips and improve your environment.
If you have questions on how to improve the effectiveness of your organization, we are here to help. Whether it's time your organization makes a change or you are seeking to improve employee experience, our experts can help guide the way.
Bill is a Principal Consultant leading Aspirant's Mergers & Acquisitions practice. He is an energetic leader and seasoned executive with a demonstrated track record of delivering results in technical, commercial, financial, and general management roles. Most recently, he was the President and Chief Operating Officer of a 160-employee medical device company and led the private equity carveout of this organization from a fortune 100 healthcare company into a standalone independent entity. Bill has worked on commercial strategy, global marketing, and M&A initiatives with Fortune 100 companies to startups in a range of industries.