The pandemic has forced most of us to work from home and whether we like it or hate it, we better get used to it. In this series I’ll talk about some of the things I have learned over the last couple of months of working remotely, that helped me make sure that I stay healthy, fit, and productive.
So, first thing’s first. We need to set up our workspace properly. With proper setup, you can be more productive and get more done in less time so that you can get out of the home office and spend more time with your family.
Setup your workspace in a separate location
You must create a separate dedicated workspace to work from home. Choose a place with minimum distraction and where you are not facing something distracting like TV or your gaming console. Make sure you have the following things taken care of:
- Get a good pair of noise-canceling headphones.
- Place your desk in a place where you can see the window. Research has shown that having a desk set up where you are facing a window or even near one can have a great positive impact on your work life.
- Make sure your desk is in a position where you can see other places of the house without leaving the desk.
- This is the most important thing: make sure your desk is out of other people’s way so that you are not constantly distracted by people walking by, which leads me to my second point.
I don’t care how expensive or fancy your workspace is. Whether you are using a standing desk or a freaking recliner, if your space is full of distractions you won’t be able to work properly. So, remove anything that’s not your work-related, which means no TV or PlayStation. Also, put your phone in silence and if you can, put your phone in a different room.
But other than devices, make sure people and pets also don’t easily create distractions. Trust me, sometimes even your cat can lead to distractions, especially if she likes coming for your home office visits while you are at work. My cats know exactly when to pop up for a surprise visit when I am migrating our repo from staging to production or I am about to push my code.
Get a good desk and chair
Most of us work for long hours on our desk and mostly in sitting positions (unless you are using a standing desk). So, it only makes sense to invest in a good desk and chair. I am not saying something expensive and fancy. But make sure it’s comfortable to work long hours on.
Keep your desk clean and organized
Make sure your desk doesn’t resemble the same crime scene that you’ve got going on in your closet. That’s right, spend some time each morning setting everything up so that things are in reach so that you don’t have to get up every few minutes. Also, keep snacks and drinks in reach.
Respect the Workspace
This is an important one. Make sure you and everyone in your family respect your workspace and work hours. So, make sure to let everyone know about your work hours so that they know to minimize distractions and interruptions. You don’t want your family members playing Call of Duty in the same room while you are debugging your code. Let everyone know what you should be bothered with and what can wait until the end of the day.
And lastly, make sure you separate your work from your personal life and can checkout at the end of the day and take care of personal things. You don’t want to drag the work hours to 12 hours of a coding session and believe me, I am guilty of the same. But make sure to “punch out” after work and leave your home office to engage in other things besides work.