5 Tips to Succeed in Your New “Stay at Home” Work Environment
I have seen so many posts and videos about suddenly working from home, and the number of tips and tricks is staggering. A few have been really funny like a video I saw where the worker ended up hiding in the bathroom for peace and quiet. Hopefully, that won’t be necessary for you, so here are 5 serious tips that I hope will help.
Find office space to use
Some people already have a dedicated office space and were able to just sit down and work with no setup required. But for the rest of us, we will need to be a bit more creative. The easiest place to set up a home workstation is probably a dining table, if you have a separate dining room, convert it to your office space. That way at the end of your workday you can leave your computer and paperwork out without having it in the way.
Make sure you have needed supplies
I have several friends who are accountants or work a lot with databases and spreadsheets. For them, multiple monitors are key. If your employer hasn’t provided them, ask around to see if anyone has extra ones, or look on local buy/sell groups. A comfortable chair is important as well. When I work away from my desk, I can only sit for short periods of time before I am uncomfortable. My adjustable desk chair and my footrest enable me to sit longer without discomfort.
Do you need to write things down a lot? Keep a notebook handy, and a pen that writes. I hate when I grab a pen while I’m on a call and it doesn’t write. Or, have a document always open on your computer to keep your notes handy.
Update your software and operating system
I use Microsoft Word and Excel frequently, so I make sure to keep them updated. I also have both an Apple and a PC that I use interchangeably, so I have taken the time to make sure they are both up to date and virus-free. Nothing is worse than sitting down to work and having an unexpected update start to install itself.
How is your internet?
You may not have thought about this yet, but with so many people staying home, your internet connection might not be adequate. Even if it’s just you, there is a bigger drain on the neighborhood network, so consider upgrading your plan and possibly getting a better modem and router. All the preparation in the world won’t help if you keep dropping out of your Zoom meetings. You might even call your internet service provider to see if they’ll give you a faster speed for free. Many of them are offering that right now because so many people are having speed issues.
Dedicate working time
Keeping up with your job and your family can be a big challenge. Some things aren’t within your control as far as timing, but if you are juggling work and family, try to schedule yourself when things are calm. With roommates, spouses, and older kids you can also make it clear when you can’t be disturbed and when you can. A simple sign on the door or near your workspace can be a great reminder, too. And be kind to your family and yourself when the inevitable interruptions happen. Trust me, it’s happened to lots of other people and it’s not the end of the world.
A Final Tip
This is a trying financial time for many of us. Don’t wait until it is too late to look over your finances and make sure you are in control of them. Call your landlord or mortgage company and ask if you can shift a payment to the end of your contract/lease. Talk to your credit card companies, insurance companies, and any loan companies if you need an emergency limit raise or a grace period for repayment. If you don’t have the time or energy to call your cable/satellite/internet/phone providers, please consider BillCutterz, we are all working from home for safety and still making sure you get the very best rates. It only takes a few minutes to sign up and submit your bills, then our team of Savings Experts will go to work saving you money.