During these difficult times we have seen a rise in traditional office goers working from home in an effort to “flatten the curve”. Working from home can be challenging, especially in an uncontrolled environment that may include stir-crazy kids, significant others, and/or pets that aren’t used to you being home 24/7. Working remotely takes great discipline and organization to be successful and productive, but it is achievable. The HCI Solution was ahead of the working from home trend with 100% remote employees from the start of our incorporation. Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, working remotely has quickly become the “new normal” so we felt inspired to offer these 7 ways to limit the work from home struggle.

1) Designate your office space

If you don’t have an office try to designate a quiet area with minimal distractions and traffic as your “office”. Communicate to other members of your household that this is where you’ll be working and to try and avoid that area if possible.

2) Keep regular working hours

Yes you are working from home, and working from home offers more flexibility in many ways. However, sticking to a daily schedule and setting normal work hours not only helps you but also your family. If they know you are working 8-4 or 9-5 then they know when to expect you. This way you also know you’re putting in the hours your workplace requires.

3) Set rules and boundaries

Once you have your office space and hours established make sure to communicate your plan to the other members of your household and set necessary boundaries. Explain to them that noise should be limited in that area during those times.

4) Stick to a daily routine

Obviously, parts of your daily routine have changed if you’ve transitioned from office to home. However, sticking to a routine as close to your normal routine as possible will help, especially if/when the time comes to head back into the office. Whether you start your day with coffee, a shower, whatever it may be; continue to start your days the same way as before. You might use what would normally be your drive time to do things around the house so you aren’t distracted during the day or offer that time to your family and/or pets so they are less likely to interrupt while you are working.

5) Stretch regularly throughout your day

Even if you normally work a desk job, when working from home you are less active than you would be if you were going into the office. Try to stretch periodically throughout the day to invigorate and refocus while also preventing soreness from sitting too long.

6) Invest in your technology and know how to use it

You may not have much say in the equipment that is provided to you but one item we highly recommend investing in is a quality headset. One that limits background noise and has a muting option. We use phone conferencing with screen share and having high quality head sets helps tremendously. Also, make sure you familiarize yourself with the technology you’re using. Prepare for meetings early and make sure everything is functioning properly and that you know how to use the tools at your disposal.

7) Keep it clean

Last but certainly not least, keep it clean! Good hygiene is about more than just who sees or smells you, it’s about being healthy and just feeling better all around. Also, keep your workspace clean and clutter free. Organization is key to working from home and if you have a cluttered desk it can be a major distraction.

We’ve all had the worries of noisy family in the background and distractions while working remotely. These things are going to happen at times. No one knows exactly what the future holds, but if we had to guess, remote jobs are only going to increase in popularity and we truly believe by following the 7 tips provided, you too can be successful in a work from home environment.

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