Due to the consequences of the recent global corona pandemic, many people are currently tied to an office at home. You too?
If you are not used to it, the prospect of a permanent job at home can be quite frightening. Every day there are more things than usual in your own four walls that remind you of your work. Can you work at home as well and effectively as in the office?
Here are some suggestions to improve both your productivity and your health in your home office.
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Set up a special work area
Your workspace does not necessarily have to be a whole office room. It can also be a table in a corner that you set up as an office. It is important that your personal workspace has a fixed place and does not have to be set up anytime you want to start working.
For more privacy you can, for example, put up a screen or partitions, which will turn the area into a small “office cabin”.
Ideally, you should use a separate computer for work. If that’s not possible, use separate data storage locations (such as an external hard drive) and separate user accounts to keep your work files safe.
Hold on to a firm morning routine
It is easier to start working on time if you maintain a regular morning routine. This routine can start, for example, by going for a jog immediately after getting up. After showering, prepare a quick healthy breakfast (e.g. smoothie and coffee). Immediately after breakfast, you settle in at your workplace and get going. Try to start with the same rhythm every day and sit at your desk at the same time. Like this your working day begins more focussed.
One more comment on the clothing at the desk, because self-discipline can be very fragile. It helps many people to dress as if they were in the office. It doesn’t have to be a suit, but a pair of jeans instead of sweatpants can positively influence your work attitude at your home desk.
Select and maintain regular working hours
Do you have fixed attendance times at which you must be available? If not, set regular working hours and stay disciplined.
You should have clear guidelines to help you find a healthy balance between work and leisure. To help you keeping your schedule, you can use smartphone or PC applications or a simple alarm clock to keep an eye on your timing and remind you of breaks and end of work. Give it a try!
Make regular breaks
Stick to the breaks that you know from your normal office routine. This is important so that you can relax from working on the computer and get your mind free for new tasks. If you can work with flexible working hours, you should also stick to a fixed schedule. A fixed rhythm helps you to work productively and efficiently.
If you have problems making breaks or if you notice that you end breaks too early, work with timers or appropriate PC applications. For example, there are programs that can block access during breaks so that you can not shorten your breaks.
One more tip for a short recovery break. Lie backwards on your yoga mat, set an alarm clock and listen to meditation music for 15-20 minutes. Lie very relaxed with your legs and arms stretched out (palms pointing upwards). Close your eyes and concentrate on the music. When the alarm clock rings, sit in a relaxed cross-legged position for 1-2 minutes, enjoy the peace and quietness and stabilize your circulation. This kind of break helps you to recover mentally faster and to be able to continue your work with fresh energy.
Establish rules at home
Unlike your normal office colleagues, your family does not have to follow company guidelines. Children do not always understand the difference between working at work and working at home. Therefore, it is important to agree on rules so that work and family life do not clash.
If your spouse also works from home, rules for room partitioning and housework must be agreed upon. This is important to avoid disturbing each other. Vacuuming or cleaning up is taboo when your partner needs to concentrate.
Remember: Just because you are now working from home does not mean that you have more time for housework. Explain to your children that they must not disturb you while you are working. When they are a little older, set daily learning tasks for your children so that they are kept busy in a meaningful way.
These are some ways you can set up a healthy and efficient home office and manage to balance work and leisure. Do you have any suggestions or further ideas for others who also need to work in a home office? We look forward to your comment!