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Awesome Work from Home Tips for 2021

Times have changed and 2020 likely introduced you to working from home for the first time. If you’re used to working in a quiet office, but now are working with a noisy family, pets and other distractions, the transition can be very disruptive. Here are some awesome tips for 2021 to make working from home easier, more comfortable, and productive. 

Your Home Office Setup

Since you may have some time off for the holidays, now is the perfect time to re-organize your home office and improve your workspace. You’re probably doing a lot of video calls, so look around your office and see what others might see in your work from home video meetings. 

Is your background distraction-free?

Move or rotate your desk so you have a nicer background. Check to see what your clients or peers see and make sure it’s what you want them to view. Make it look professional, tidy, and fresh. It will  reflect how you keep your home and live your life.

Where is the light coming from?

If the light is in front of you and very bright, you will become a shadow. Lights from behind you will blind your coworkers. Move the lighting around with your camera on until you are satisfied your coworkers can see you in a flattering light. 

Is the room quiet?

If you are working someplace in the open where you can’t shut a door, it might be time for a little sign for your housemates that indicate when you are on a call. Everyone will be experiencing some background noises and interruptions periodically, but not constantly. Make sure you are as noise and interruption free as possible.

The Perfect Zone for Working from Home

Now that you’re set up in your own personal space, you can do whatever you need to get your work done effectively. There are a few things you can do as part of your routine to help you get into “work mode.” 

Get a desktop cold air humidifier and diffuser.

For about $17 and the size of a large mug, these little diffusers allow you to both add moisture to the room and provide aromatherapy for your mental health. One small essential oil bottle will last a long time since you only put in a few drops with each use. Fragrances like peppermint or citrus can help wake you up. If you are stressed, oils like chamomile or lavender can settle you down. 

Sooth your eyes with blue light blocking glasses.

These inexpensive glasses help block the blue light spectrum that shines out from your computer screen. Blue light can exhaust and strain your eyes. Wearing blue light blocking glasses during the day may help you sleep better at night while relieving stress and tension during the day. 

A hot and cold tumbler is a necessity.

Getting a large tumbler that can keep hot beverages hot in the winter and cold beverages icy in the summer is a must have for your workspace. There is nothing worse than grabbing your mug after a long meeting only to find your coffee or hot tea is cold, or all the ice has melted in your lemon water.

Noise cancelling headphones help shut the world out.

If focus is challenging for you, noise cancelling headphones might do the trick. You can wear headphones with or without listening to anything for the noise cancelling effect. They are great for meetings too, so all you hear is your coworkers, and not your cat meowing. 

Take breaks every few hours.

Yoga, window gazing, a walk around the block, petting your pets; any kind of break works when you are working from home. Things you couldn’t do at the office are now perfectly acceptable in your own personal space. Get up and move around. Get out of your office chair and do something else. Read, knit, get a snack, whatever you can fit into your designated break time, you can do now. Pause your work for a focus refresher and mental health boost. 

A lot of people feel working from home doesn’t fit well with their regular work routines. Having your home life and work life meshed together can be tough, but adjusting your workspace can also produce a boundary between home time and work time. Setting up your diffuser, filling your mug, and adjusting your lighting can also become triggers for your brain that say, time to get into work mode. It’s a good idea to create visual boundaries between work and home, as well as triggering routines that help you get mentally ready for a day of work.

Photo by James McDonald on Unsplash

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