Working from home is fast becoming one of the most popular and common ways to work, as more businesses are realizing the immense benefits this can have on worker well-being, productivity, and savings on commercial spaces and offices.
Homeworking has many benefits for businesses, some that still are yet to be fully realized, and the flexibility of this arrangement often works amazingly well for employees working from home too. But it can also take some getting used to, especially if you’ve never worked from home before.
As with all changes in the workplace, there has to be a period of adjustment when fundamental changes in practice take place, and home working is one of the most revolutionary changes to working practices in many years.
However, this can take a toll on employees in different ways, and it can also leave people confused about how best to set themselves up for home working.
What Do You Need to Work From Home?
Comfort, organization, and productivity are all really important when working from home, but there are other things you need to work from home successfully too.
In this guide we’re going to look at some of the most important things you need to ensure you can work from home successfully and efficiently, maintaining your quality of life and balance while also excelling in your role.
1. A Workspace
The number one most important thing you need to work from home is a dedicated workspace.
For most people, an office is the best way to arrange this, and having a separate room or space where you can go to get into the work mindset helps immensely with productivity and organization.
However, not everyone has a spare room to turn into an office, and while it may be tempting to work from your bed or sofa, this can often lead to all sorts of problems, including poor posture and a lack of motivation.
Setting up a desk, even if it’s not in a separate room, is really important for engaging with your work and helping to resist bad habits or other temptations while working from home.
Privacy is really important for working from home, and this is probably one of the most difficult things to create if you have a busy home life or a lack of space.
Being able to concentrate often requires proper privacy and quiet, and even if you find you don’t require these things, having a separate space with which to take calls or have meetings is pretty much essential for home working.
Finding a solution to this issue is key to ensuring you’re able to get the most out of home working and don’t find yourself getting overwhelmed or frustrated.
3. A Good Computer Or Laptop
Working from home almost always requires some form of computer, so if you’re being made to work from home, make sure your employer is providing you with the equipment you need to work efficiently.
It should not be expected that you provide your own work laptop or computer if working from home is required, so make sure to enquire about this and establish this early on.
It’s also important to note that your equipment should be well maintained and powerful enough to facilitate efficiency, as nothing slows down work more than an ancient and slow computer.
4. A Good Internet Connection
Another really important thing you’ll almost certainly need for working from home is an internet connection.
You may already have the internet, but if you’re using it a lot for working from home your employer may offer to pay for or subsidize your costs, as they are technically saving costs while you use your own home internet connection to do work.
Not all companies will offer this, so tread lightly, and make sure you have the connection you need to do the job you’re being paid to do, as a slow internet connection will lead to massive inefficiencies which benefit no one, especially not your employer.
Moving away from logistical requirements for a moment, another thing you’ll need when working from home is a lot of discipline.
Working from home opens the door to a lot of distractions that can make your productivity stagnate or suffer, and you need to be able to force yourself to work even when there are a lot of distractions.
You can help yourself by using some of the tips we’ve already mentioned and can also facilitate discipline with the following advice too.
A solid routine is a really important tool when working from home, as it also helps to avoid distractions and stay on target.
Working from home can often make the days blur into each other, especially if you don’t have a regimented routine, so it’s best to reinforce a good routine early and stick to it to facilitate good efficiency and productivity, as well as a good work-life balance.
7. A Good Desk
Another thing you’ll need is a good desk. If you work from a computer, a good desk will make you more comfortable and motivated and can prevent serious health issues such as carpal tunnel and arthritis which can be caused by excessive computer usage and improper working conditions.
8. A Good Office Chair
Another part of the above point is getting a comfortable office chair, which will help you maintain good posture while you work and make you more comfortable. This is especially important if you spend multiple hours a day sitting at a desk.
9. A Way To Switch Off
After the work is done, make sure you have a way to switch off and leave your work behind you. Just because you’re working at home.
It doesn’t mean you always have to be available to work, or that you should work outside your office hours of work. Make sure to not ‘bring your work home with you’, even if you are working from home!
Overall, working from home has the potential to be hugely beneficial for everyone involved, but it can take some getting used to.
Use the above tips to get the best start possible when working from home and to avoid falling into traps that could jeopardize your performance, health, or well-being.