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Adjusting Your Remote Workspace to Be More Successful

Published August 26, 2020

From commuting to the office to working at your dining table, the COVID-19 pandemic permanently altered the structure of how we work. The ability to be a remote worker has the possibility of increasing work-life balance and productivity with the right workspace, mindset, and routine.

Here are six tips that can help improve your workspace and tackle the WFH transition.

Creating a Work-From-Home Routine

Many individuals who work from home can become accustomed to waking up and logging onto their computer, which eliminates a basic morning routine. It is easy to get lost in the monotony of the day when you are alone. Not having a solid morning routine can eventually lead to burnout or feeling worn down.

Follow the same routine you would have if you were reporting into your office or school. It may seem unusual to set your alarm for the same time, especially when not having to worry about a commute, but think of the household tasks you could accomplish in that time. Besides household chores, other morning routine ideas include exercising, cooking breakfast, or spending time with your family.

Using your lunch break to disconnect from your workspace can re-enforce work-life balance boundaries. Your lunch break could include going on a walk, reading, calling a loved one, or running errands.

At the end of the day, remove yourself from your workspace and spend the evening decompressing. It is important to maintain a healthy work-life balance, even when the two seem to bleed together.


Define and Make Realistic Expectations

It is important to set boundaries while working remotely. Working from home is not secret code for a “staycation”. You are expected to complete your assigned projects and to the standards that you would normally follow.

Reduce stress and set realistic expectations by starting off your work day by reviewing what is on your plate and divide your tasks. Scheduling project work time into your calendar is also an effective way to manage your workload.

Communicate your priorities to see if you may need to realign with your team. The process of constantly re-evaluating your priorities will help keep you grounded, even when not in the office.

An over the shoulder view of a remote work meeting.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Communication is often taken for granted when working in the same office space with your colleagues. Organizational communication becomes increasingly difficult as distance is added. It is crucial to remember to communicate with your colleagues and supervisors.

Don’t just communicate, OVER-communicate.

Keep those you work closely with updated on your priorities, progress, and accomplishments. Things that may seem minor to you, may be a key catalyst for another individual. Emails, phone calls, and virtual meetings are all great ways to foster strong communication.

Plan a Workflow

Similar to implementing a routine, it is a good idea to establish a workflow. Most individuals start their day by checking and responding to emails that may have come in since the previous day. You may need to review your calendar to see what may come in the way of your workflow, this way you can plan accordingly.

Your workflow should feel natural and do-able. If you are having trouble “crossing things off your list”, you may need to re-evaluate your workflow to be attainable.

Woman at standing desk home office talking on business video call while on a treadmill.

Create a Workspace with No Distractions

It can be difficult to form boundaries when it all runs together at home. Creating a workspace away from your normal living space can be a vital component to your productivity. In the best circumstance, your new workspace should not have any additional distractions including; a television, pets, and even children.

You can always work from your couch or dining room table in a pinch, but it can be relaxing to retreat to a designated workspace. Creating a separate area at home will also continue to fortify healthy boundaries between work and home life.


Be Kind to Yourself

Working remotely is not always an easy feat, especially when most of us have external factors to account for. It is possible to be overwhelmed by working from home. You may try your best to follow a routine and still feel like you aren’t doing enough. This is normal and you aren’t the only one feeling this way. Just know that there are many more people who feel the same way, maybe even a co-worker!


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