Working from home has become the norm for many people. There’s no commute, no travel costs. But it can also come with distractions and awkward workspaces. How can you make your space productive when not in the office environment?
In this article, we will be looking at how to make your work from home (WFH) apartment truly productive.
Scroll down or use the links below to jump down to exactly what you want to learn!
- Check Your Wifi
- Create An Office Environment
- Online Tools
- Working From Home Productively
Check Your WiFi
Your WiFi may be fine for everyday family life, having your TV, laptop, and maybe a couple of phones connected. But is it set up for you to work from home? You need to look at what you will be using to WFH daily. What kind of systems will your computer be running? Do you use a phone for work? Maybe your company uses CCaaS meaning you work as a contact center operator from home; if so, you’ll need a strong and stable connection.
Once you know what you will be using, you can talk to your internet provider about what internet speed is best for you. There are also calculators online that will do this for you. But your internet provider won’t always tell you the maximum internet speed available in your area. You should check this out yourself before paying for higher-speed plans that may not be cost-effective.
If your workspace is far away from the WiFi router, you should look at WiFi extenders. These little gadgets help boost your WiFi connection which walls or other structures can obstruct.
Create An Office Environment
When working from home you need a proper place to work. This can be difficult if you rent a small apartment, or have to share your space with roommates or children. But there are some simple things you can do to create an office environment.
Get A Workstation
You may think you don’t have room for a proper workstation in your apartment. But it is essential for work/life balance when working from home. Sitting on the sofa with your laptop will just be distracting, especially if someone is watching TV.
These are some of your desk options:
- Folding desk: This option is good for those who want to pack their desk away or need to be able to move their desk space.
- Stand-up desk: This would work well for someone who uses their laptop in short bursts and only has a small space to work in.
- Wall-mounted cabinet: If your workspace is somewhere like your bedroom, you don’t want to look at it once you’ve finished working. A wall-mounted cabinet will fold away so you won’t have to think about work on your days off.
- Laptop stand: This is a good option for those who have no space for a desk at all.
Use The Correct Chair
A lot of people make the mistake of sitting at the dining room table to work. Long-term, this will not be good for your back. If you’re going to be sitting down a lot, invest in a good chair. Make sure it is the correct height for the table you are sitting at and has the correct support.
If you don’t have the room, or the budget, for an office chair, you can buy attachments for your chair. These include backrests to help with your posture and cushions for comfort.
Set Up Your Computer Properly
Sitting with your laptop on your lap may be fine for sending the occasional email. But to WFH effectively, you need to set your computer up properly. If you have recently transitioned to remote working, look at how your computer was set up in your office. You may need to switch from a laptop to a computer or use two monitors to be more productive.
WFH shouldn’t mean paperwork on the kitchen counters or notes lost down the side of the sofa. You need to be as organized as you would be in the office. If you have recently moved into working from home or are likely to be moving apartments soon, you don’t want to lose track of your work.
Storage can mean a small cabinet that fits under your desk or a desk organizer, depending on your needs and space. You could also get a small noticeboard for any work-related reminders.
Look At Lighting
There is a reason why offices are usually so brightly lit. Your soft bedroom lighting may be relaxing, but you can’t be productive in a poorly-lit space. A desk lamp can be a simple way to change from home lighting to work lighting. Alternatively, LED strip lights may be a good solution for those of you who do a lot of video calls.
Block Out The Noise
It’s not easy to lock yourself away to work in an apartment. But being disturbed by noise is one of the worst ways to lose productivity at work. The easiest way to combat this is noise-canceling headphones. If you do have dedicated office space, you can look at sound-proofing options, such as strips around the doors.
There are many virtual tools to help you stay connected when working remotely. You may have heard of Zoom, Skype, and Slack, but what does VoIP mean for remote workers? You don’t need a phone line to make calls, and you can use your work phone number to receive customer calls at home.
If you are a hybrid worker who needs to access their work desktop remotely, you should look at RDP vs VNC. Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) supports users who are all logged into the same server. In contrast, Virtual Network Computing (VNC) supports multiple platforms.
Using productivity tools, such as Airtable by Make to connect your apps will also streamline your home working.
Working From Home Productively
When working from home, it is important to keep a balance between work and home life. To be truly productive, you need to have a dedicated workspace. It can be one that fits into your apartment or that can be packed away at the end of the day. Proper lighting, a good chair, and the right setup will go a long way to optimizing your space and productivity.
If you plan on investing in your office, you should also look at whether you need renters insurance. That way, you can be sure any pricey new office equipment is protected.