The coronavirus pandemic has been making headlines since the start of the year, and it continues to be in the news daily. Although the virus has been controlled in several countries, cases are still rising in America. The USA has the highest number of cases and death worldwide, and as cases refuse to fall, federal and state governments are advising that people stay at home unless it is essential.
As a result, the US government has also advised that people work from home where possible, and more people than ever are working from home. However, although this means that people can now work without fear of catching the virus, it has been a difficult change for many, especially for those who live in small apartments or have a large family at home.
It has also been estimated that ¾ of Americans are not able to work from home. In challenging times like these, you must prioritize your family’s safety. If you are currently in a role where you are not allowed to work from home, you may want to consider making a career switch so that you can prioritize your safety. Make sure your CV is up to date and has a professional look. If you have a hard time writing a CV you can use an online CV builder to help you.
If you have been struggling to work from home, here are some easy ways you can get rid of some distractions in your home and create the perfect work-from-home space.
Create a dedicated office space
In a busy household, it can be incredibly easy to work in the kitchen or the living room. However, if you have space, you should try and turn an entire room into a dedicated space to work in. If you are not so lucky and live in a small apartment, make sure you establish an area where you can use your computer, talk on the phone, and keep important documents stored.
Whatever you decide to do, you must keep your work life and home life separate. Unless necessary, you should keep your bedroom and any relaxing spaces separate from your workspace. Otherwise, you may struggle to relax and sleep as you will be used to thinking about work in these spaces. A dedicated office space will help keep distractions at a minimum, especially if you are in a room where the door can be closed.
Invest in your office space
If you want to make the switch from working in an office to your home more smooth, you should make sure that your home office has all of the equipment that you would expect in a normal office. For example, you should have:
- A reliable computer
- A strong internet connection
- Office supplies
- A printer
- Comfortable office furniture
Making sure that your home office has all of these items will help you get used to working from home, but will also reduce distractions (such as running to the print store or waiting for the internet to speed up).
Although it is important to invest in office supplies, you should also consider investing in the aesthetics of your study space. If you like the way your office space looks, you will be more willing to spend time in there and won’t get distracted as much.
Keep to a regular schedule
For many people, working from home means that they get to relax their usual schedule. There is no commute, so people tend to wake up later and start work later. However, this can have a negative impact on your productivity, especially if you are not yet used to working from home.
If you want to minimize distractions and improve productivity, you should aim to keep a similar schedule to what you’re used to. Although you no longer have to factor in the commute, you should try and keep your working hours to 9-5 or whatever hours you are used to.
Many people who work from home also struggle with a good work/life balance, as the lines between work and home get blurred. Setting a regular schedule will mean that after your dedicated office hours, you can fully switch off and relax, and not have to worry about work until the next morning.
Take regular breaks
Without breaks, your mind may start to struggle and get distracted under the strain of working constantly. Regular breaks (and times for meals) are an integral part of maintaining your sanity while you work from home. Set regular times of the day where you take a dedicated 30 minutes to an hour away from your screen. You can use this as a time to check up on the rest of your family, to eat, to walk, or to just watch TV for half an hour.
Invest in headphones
If you are easily distracted or are working in a busy space like the kitchen or the living room, you should consider investing in a pair of noise-canceling headphones. These headphones emit a frequency into your ear that helps to muffle household noise. These can be especially useful if you are a working parent and your children are having to be home-schooled as a result of the pandemic, as they work as a great indicator for your family. When they’re on your head, it means that your family needs to leave you to concentrate on your work.
Turn off unnecessary electronics
Unless you need to use your phone for work purposes, make sure you switch it off before work or put it in another room. Many of us can be prone to reach for our phone when stress begins to set in as a distraction, so removing it from your workspace means that you won’t be tempted by technology.
Working from home has allowed many of us to carry on earning while staying safe at the same time. However, it hasn’t been an easy adjustment. Make sure you follow the above advice to cut out the distractions while working from home.