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How to Work From Home Efficiently
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How to Work From Home Efficiently

How to Work From Home Efficiently

Working From Home? Here's How to Keep Your Productivity on Track

The AskMen editorial team thoroughly researches & reviews the best gear, services and staples for life. AskMen may get paid if you click a link in this article and buy a product or service.

As more and more?companies across the country?are taking action to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), many employees are swapping their cubicles?for their kitchen tables – at least for the time being.?

RELATED:?Coronavirus, COVID-19, At-Home Essentials

While working remotely from home has become increasingly popular in recent years, for those who are less familiar with getting down to business in their own digs, the experience can feel awkward?and even daunting at times.

Staying productive,?maintaining strong communication with colleagues and not letting work-life drift too much into home-life are all common concerns for the at-home worker, but with a few handy tips and tactics, you're sure to get into the swing of things in no time.

1. Stick to a?Schedule

Although the commute may be a lot shorter, it doesn’t mean you can come and go as you please. After all, if you are corresponding with colleagues,?it is important to be available when they are. This means logging in to start your day?when others do, taking breaks at a similar time, having lunch when everyone else is having lunch and shutting down at the end of the day when your coworkers are also unplugging. Maintaining the same work schedule as your peers will help you be responsive and available, and it will help you maintain that feeling of routine throughout your week.?

2. Maintain a Work Appearance

Sure, apart from your pets, no one may be able to see you at home, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress for the occasion. You should continue the same styling and grooming?habits that you maintain in a work environment. This means showering before you start your workday and?dressing for the occasion. The reality is that the body reacts to its current state and if that is a casual one it could impact your ability to maintain your professionalism. Being professional can be heard on conference calls, read in e-mails and is visible in the case of video-conferencing – at least from the waist up.?

3. Create?a Work-Only Space

If it's possible, try to create?a space in your home that is for work only. While you might not have a spare room to dedicate as a home office, you can still create a 'work-only' station at a spare desk or table in the home.?This will help eliminate distractions and give you that sense of showing up to work each day. It’s difficult to maintain your work focus if you are working in the same room as the television, or worse while the television is on. If you are in a dedicated space you can also close the door. Remove yourself from the rest of the house so family and friends know that you’re not to be disturbed. In addition, your workspace shouldn’t have any of the distractions of home: clutter, books, magazines. It should be dedicated to work and work only and, as a result, be kept in the same state that you would keep your desk in an office. Take some inspiration from these eye-popping home office setups.

RELATED: Expert-Approved Ways to Increase Productivity

4. Make a To-Do List

You should always make a list of what needs to be accomplished within the workday. This will help set boundaries around your work schedule, it will help you know?what?you’ve accomplished, what tasks remain to be completed?and?will provide you with a sense of accomplishment throughout the day. If you are not goal-oriented, it can be difficult to remain focused. A lack of focus can lead to wanting distractions rather than trying to avoid them — and distractions are never hard to find, especially at home.?

5.?Foster a Healthy Work Environment

Working from a dark basement is an unnatural workspace. Humans need natural light. Your workspace shouldn’t be cramped or dark. This is your chance to have the corner office with the window that you always wanted. You can choose where you place your workspace; make sure it’s in a place that is equal or superior to your former office or cubicle at work. You deserve it.

A healthy work environment also includes having the technology that you need to do your job. If you are working with inferior tools, it can lead to frustration and an inability to match the work output of your peers. Make sure you or your company invest?in the appropriate technology to ensure your workday runs smoothly.?

You should also stock up on some?healthy snacks so you don't resort to searching for?your kid's old bag of Halloween candy when that 4 p.m. slump hits.

6. Keep?Communication Flowing

Feelings of isolation and coworker conflict are hard to combat. Some people feel that once you are out of sight you quickly become out of mind. Humans also need a social element associated with their jobs to feel fulfilled at work. As a result, it’s important to make sure you reach out and maintain communication with your peers, bosses and employees. They need to know that you’re involved and accessible.

RELATED: 10 Ways to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal

You can schedule daily conference calls, or make sure you touch base with fellow workers throughout the day — communicating via e-mail is not sufficient. Something as simple as creating?a new Slack channel to discuss the things you and your colleagues would normally discuss at the coffee machine in the office can help keep the conversation flowing and ensure relationships don't become distant or awkward. It may add to your list of things to do, but in the long run, it will help you feel like you’re connected to the people you work with and, in turn, they will feel connected to you, even if you’re not present physically.

Home Office Essentials

Coavas?Writing Computer?Desk


Simple and sleek, this wooden desk has a minimalist, slightly?industrial style that makes it easy to pair with most home interiors. You can customize it and roll?a filing cabinet underneath, place some organizer shelves?on?top or just put a?plant and a coaster on the side, either way, it will provide a solid surface to put your desktop computer or laptop upon and give you a designated workspace while you wfh.

$61.88 at

Homall Office Chair

Office Chair

While your kitchen table chair or couch might suffice when you're working from home for an hour or two, if you are going to be clocking in full days, you need an office chair that provides solid back support and promotes good posture. This is one such chair. Not only can the seat be adjusted, but the back can tilt between 90 and 180 degrees and it is ergonomically designed for optimal comfort.?

$109.98 at

Dell Monitor


While you likely have a work or personal laptop to use while working from home, a monitor isn't quite as essential to getting the job done. Still, that doesn't mean it can't make a?world of difference when you're completing?a full eight-hour workday at home. This Dell monitor is fairly affordable but comes packed with the features you need in a monitor including consistent colors, a flicker-free screen and minimized blue light emissions.

$109.69 at

Simple Elephant Agenda


You know that tip above about making a list for the day? Well, this tool can help with that. In addition to having slots for all the days of the week and monthly calendar sheets to map out all your plans, this agenda also has sheets to map out productivity and outline goals.

$17.99 at

Jabra Conference Call Speaker

Conference Call Speaker

If your typical workday involves a lot of conference calls, it might be worth investing in one of these gadgets to use at home. You might recognize the Jabra from your own office, as it is one of the highest-rated speakers on the market. Thanks to its compact design and easy, portable setup it is a great option to use at home, and it provides a clear, high-quality sound, too.

$149.99 at

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