When most of us started working from home, it was supposed to be a temporary arrangement. The existing home offices were mostly storage-guest-computer rooms unprepared for workflow efficiency. Many people started at the kitchen table and have been trying to design a better at-home workspace from there. As time went on, it became apparent that working from home is, in fact, not so temporary.
Many employers made WFH a permanent policy or developed a hybrid-team style; while many professionals decided it was safer and more comfortable to keep working from home for as long as that remained an option. Now, here we are, over a year later and it’s time to get serious about building a solid workflow and WFH strategy. Everyone’s needs are a little different. You may have found that you work best with the radio on, or the window open, or that taking a walk with lunch is essential for afternoon focus.
- Redesign & Refresh Your Work Space
- Mix In Alternative and Off-Site Workspaces
- Reassess Your WFH Habits – Build a Better Routine
- Discover Your Ideal Refocusing Lunch Hour
- Optimize Your Communication Strategy
- Consult with Other Business Experts
- Make It Yours
Like any good business endeavor, it’s time to take another look at your remote workflow. What could be improved? How could you boost productivity, satisfaction, and empowerment in your space?
Redesign & Refresh Your Work Space
Many home offices today are still in that thrown-together design. But now that you’ve fully taken ownership of the space, it’s time for a refresh. Rearranging furniture into new floorplans can actually boost your creativity and problem-solving skills, not to mention improve your work environment. So clear out any clutter and try a few new arrangements with desk, chair, and shelf.
A clear and open floor plan will help you focus. Natural light may provide more motivation. Having everything within reach can boost your productivity. Just hanging a little art on the walls can make a positive difference in your workflow and daily satisfaction. Take control of your home office, make it yours and try out new designs that might improve your experience.
Mix In Alternative and Off-Site Workspaces
Getting stir-crazy? Miss the faint buzz of office people around you? Consider a few alternative work locations outside your home office. Set up your patio furniture for a nice back-porch working setup. Or take your laptop to the coffee shop for a few hours of surprisingly deep focus alongside your mocha latte. If you need absolute quiet, look for one of the new public workspaces that provide smart booths.
Mixing up your working location is a great way to shake out the cobwebs from a tough year of WFH and help you refocus on what really matters – getting those projects done with your best work. If you really miss the office, check out a co-working space. You might be surprised how much more you can get done.
Reassess Your WFH Habits – Build a Better Routine
Embrace the new year with a new work routine. Reassess your WFH habits and build something that works even better.
Consider adding exercise to your mid-day routine to get pumped instead of feeling that afternoon drag. You might set a water filter by your desk for quick and easy rehydration. Or set a schedule to check your email and messages as an efficient way to reduce distractions. Your work routine has a significant influence on your productivity, focus, stress level, and mood throughout the work week. Experiment. Try a few different changes to discover what really works best for you.
Discover Your Ideal Refocusing Lunch Hour
The lunch out is an essential part of your workday. Everything from what you eat to what you think about can set you up for a better second-half of your workflow. Because you’re at home, you have some incredible freedom to build yourself the ideal refocusing lunch hour.
Experiment with different lunch menus. Swap the sandwich for a meaty salad one day, and try a bowl of casserole the next. Which is more energizing? Try meditation over lunch for one week, then cardio to music the next, then try a lunchtime walk or run to see which leaves you the most focused and pumped for the afternoon shift.
Optimize Your Communication Strategy
WFH communication can take place on a wide range of channels. Does your team still do Zoom meetings, do you prefer SLACK chat, or have you moved to the Metaverse already? You may spend half your time on the phone and the other half answering emails. Whatever communication channels are needed for your current role, perfect your style at home.
If you are on camera often, embrace that and build your home office into a mini broadcasting studio. Get yourself a ring light and a noise-canceling microphone. Work with your broadcast software during off-hours to master all the tools and tricks so you’re ready to hold meetings like a pro. Build a better window arrangement for your chat conversations or explore your metaverse space solo so you know how to access every conference room and presentation feature before your next meeting.
Consult with Other Business Experts
A little coaching can go a long way, especially when it comes to mastering your own space. Being at home can make you more susceptible to overlooking flaws in your space. An outside eye, however, will be able to quickly tell you where your pathing, storage, and even your daily routine could clearly be improved. Even if the changes take you a little outside your comfort zone. Working with a professional coach can help you step out of the box and truly see where you could optimize both your home office space and how you use it.
Make It Yours
Most importantly, it’s time to make your work-from-home routine, environment, and workflow truly yours. It’s time to assess the offices we built during the transition and use that business analytic ability to make official and empowering improvements. Embrace the new year by making your office, routine, and tools your own. Optimize for your own productivity and satisfaction, and you will find new levels of WFH success in the new year.
To set up a dedicated workspace at home and take charge of your home office potential, contact us today.