More and more people are working from home. For many, after an initial phase of euphoria, a feeling of disillusionment sets in within a certain period of time. So that this is not the case for you, in this article we present 10 home office tips that enable you to work efficiently and happily at home.
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Problems In The Home Office
Sleep longer in the morning and then straight to your desk in the jogger? For some working from home, this is the epitome of freedom, autonomy and luxury. However, most people report difficulties and frustration after a short time .
Working from home is demotivating and lonely. Work and private life would mix, there would be problems with the structuring of the working day and the workplace, including the technical equipment, would not be satisfactory.
Advantages Of The Home Office
However , studies come to the conclusion that the home office basically offers various potentials . Home workers felt they had more control over their work and were less affected by work interruptions.
Both lead to them being happier with their job and showing more commitment. Working from home is associated with higher productivity and retention of skilled workers. In addition, companies that offer home office would be attractive to potential applicants.
Tips For Working Efficiently In The Home Office
1. Structure The Working Day And Set Goals
In the home office you can organize your work yourself! According to studies, however, this independent management is particularly difficult for many people in the home office.
It can therefore be helpful to structure the working day the night before, to set goals and to prioritize them . For example, the following questions can be helpful : Which tasks have to be completed? Which tasks are the most important and by when do they have to be completed? What are the upcoming appointments and how do I integrate them into my working day?
The ALPEN method , for example, or the tools for the Pomodoro technique presented in the course of these tips offer support with structuring.
2. Start Work At The Usual Time
No morning meetings? It can be very tempting to sleep in longer than usual when there are no work appointments in the morning. Many tend to postpone the upcoming tasks until later in the working day. Unfortunately, this is where the crux lies.
Your customers, colleagues and superiors expect that you can also be reached in your home office during normal working hours . In addition, your tasks must be completed. Delaying the start of work means you have unfinished business to complete while friends and family head home. This leads to frustration and demotivation and does not promote efficient and satisfied time in the home office.
If you stick to your usual working hours instead, it will not be difficult for you to switch between working at home and in the office.
3. Stick To The Morning Routine And Put On Work Clothes
In addition to getting up at the usual time, sticking to the usual routine in the morning is also important for a productive working day.
Don’t start straight from your bed in your jogging suit to your desk. Instead , take your usual bathroom time in the morning to get ready for the work day. Then dress as you would for the working day at the office. This is how you signal that your working day is about to begin. This also gets you ready for impromptu video meetings.
4. Set Up A Permanent Workplace
Do you have your own office? Then you should use this to specifically avoid distractions and disturbances. You also have your work materials together here . You don’t have to set up your workplace anew every day, but can start your working day without any effort.
In addition, the study offers a good opportunity to separate work from life . By closing your study door after the working day, you make it clear that your working day is over – despite working in the home office. This is particularly important here.
If you don’t have a study available, set up your workspace at a table in your home . It is important here: Before you go to work, clear away all unnecessary things from the table and create a tidy environment , which has a positive effect on your concentration and productivity . The other way around: After work, put away your work materials so that you can start the end of the day and are no longer confronted with your work.
Working in bed or on the sofa proves to be unfavorable . These areas are associated with leisure and relaxation and should remain so. In addition, it is precisely because of these associations that efficient and productive work is often more difficult here.
5. Work Ergonomically
According to the Forsa survey, 36% of those questioned said they had suffered from back strains and headaches because of a “poor, non-ergonomic workplace” . At your permanent workplace in the study at home or at the dining table, you can do a number of things to ensure that such problems do not arise in the home office.
With regard to your sitting posture , make sure that you sit healthily:
- Back in your chair to the end of the seat and lean back.
- Your legs should be on the floor with a 90° angle between your thighs and calves.
- Position your arms on the table top with a 90° angle between upper arm and forearm.
- Maintain a viewing distance of at least 50 cm from your screen.
More detailed information can be found here.
Physiotherapists recommend changing positions when working . For example, stand up when you are on the phone. It is also advisable to incorporate simple mobility exercises into everyday work to prevent back, neck and head problems.
6. Use Focus Tools
The majority of those working from home indicate that distractions and unwanted work interruptions would decrease compared to working in the company.
However, some report that it is sometimes difficult to work in a concentrated and continuous manner in the home office and at the same time to take regular breaks. We therefore recommend the use of interval work techniques, such as the Pomodoro technique . Phases of concentrated work (25 minutes) and regular breaks (5 minutes) alternate. After a complete run, there is a longer break.
7. Design breaks correctly
As described , breaks are an essential part of an efficient, productive and structured working day in the home office.
You should also use the short breaks to change your position, stand up and move around briefly. Here you can do the proposed mobility exercises. Continue to relieve your eyes by taking your eyes off the screen and looking into the distance. Also use short breaks to have a drink and air out. So you can then freshly start a new work interval!
8. Use digital tools
In order to be able to work efficiently and successfully at home, you need functioning technology and innovative web-based equipment.
For example, good video conferencing systems, team chat tools and groupware software are important for communicating with colleagues and supervisors, and you should definitely try them out together.
9. Maintain communication
With the right digital equipment, you can continue to maintain contact with your colleagues, superiors and customers. You should do the same, because studies have come to the conclusion that 28% of those working from home complain about a lack of contact with colleagues . In addition, some are concerned that supervisors will assume that you are underperforming or that they do not see how well you are doing.
Against this background, you could, for example, hold regular virtual status meetings with your superiors and discuss processing statuses, goals and further work, but also problems and problem solutions. This in turn helps you to organize your working day in the home office.
In order to keep in touch with colleagues, virtual lunch or coffee breaks via video conferencing systems are ideal.
10. Comply with closing time
The tip for avoiding procrastination when starting work also applies to ending the work day. Closing time is closing time! Once you’ve finished your work, you should leave any other optional tasks on hold until the next work day.
It is very important to create a clear separation between work and free time if both take place in your home. For example, as a ritual at the end of a working day, write down to-dos for the next day so that you can get them out of your head and switch off better.
Also Read: Back To The Office After Lockdown