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Whether you’re a freelancer, a college student, or someone who works from home in another capacity, having a work space in your home that is compatible is essential. With a newfound freedom of being able to work in sweatpants, it’s important to feel and keep productive. Making your space at home somewhere you enjoy working is key to keeping you focused on your tasks at hand.
When working from home, you need a comfortable place to work. Avoid having your laptop on the sofa with you; a hard surface is better. Working at a desk or a table will be infinitely better because you won’t be tempted to nap. IKEA and other stores that feature ready-to-assemble and semi-customizable products allow you to make your own desk by choosing different legs and tops.
If you already have a desk, look into standing desks. Sitting all day is actually pretty unhealthy, so having the ability to stand and work will help your back. Ergotron has a really useful tool to help you set up the ideal workspace.
While we’re talking about sitting, investing in a chair that supports you, is comfortable, and looks stylish in the room can be tricky but essential. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, you’re more likely to be distracted from your work, which is one of the major fallbacks of working from home.
Trying chairs at your local office supply store will help you work out and if you want something that helps with your posture, investing in an exercise ball chair might be a fun way. If you’re easily distracted, however, maybe stick with something less fun.
This may seem obvious, but having reliable internet is key. If you have a deadline or a video meeting, you’re going to need reliable internet to be the best employee possible. Compare internet options to help you decide what will work best for you and your home office. There’s nothing worse than missing half a meeting because you’re internet cut out.
Unless you have amazing self-control, you should consider a plugin that blocks time-suck websites.StayFocusd is a Chrome plugin that allows you to block certain websites forever or for chosen hours. It forces you to ignore Facebook and Twitter until lunch. If you’re likely to pick up your phone and look on there, you can download apps that do a similar thing.
Working in a place that’s too light or too dark can really mess with your eyes, especially when you’re spending so much of the day looking at a screen. There are plenty of articles out there talking about the dangers of “blue light,” and many suggest turning on a to help your eye strain.
One benefit of working from home is avoiding the ugly overhead lights in many offices, and having a table lamp will be helpful if you’re working in the evening. Again, IKEA has a cool one that allows you to charge your phone on it. The future has arrived.
Working from home is an art form that you have to hone. There are often too many distractions in your home and no boss or colleagues around to hold you accountable. Having a pinboard or whiteboard in your line of site with your goals on can help to keep you on track. Setting yourself actionable, smaller tasks helps too. Instead of “write article,” have the steps written out so you can cross more off quickly.
For me, it’s nearly impossible to write while listening to words, so I have a finely tuned instrumental playlist on that allows me to drown out my roommates while not distracting me with my desire to sing along. It’s a mixture of classical, acoustic instrumental, pop covers, and soundtracks.
Sometimes being in the same environment all the time can hinder productivity, especially if you’re living and working in the same place. Find a coffee shop or library (if you don’t have video calls of course) nearby that has good internet so you can escape. If you’re in a coffee shop, buy something every two hours so the staff aren’t resentful you’re using precious table space.
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