It has been 60+ days since the Stay at Home Chicago order was issued in March. Whew. It has been an interesting past 2 months and the world as we know it is shifting to its new norm. What does that look like exactly? No one knows for sure but I imagine that a lot of the processes we’re used to are more than likely going to change.
As of May 29, Illinois will move into another phase of its COVID-19 plan. This will allow more flexibility in regards to dining, shopping, services, and gatherings but there are still guidelines that you must follow. This means that, yes more people will be returning to work, but a lot of us will still need to work from home. There are even companies, like Twitter, who announced that their employees have the option of working from home for however long they’d like. As the world navigates the pandemic and work arrangements, you should be prepared in case you need to work from home for 60+ more days.
Here are some tips and ideas on creating the ideal remote work space to remain productive throughout the day.
- Invest in a desk. It may be tempting to grab your laptop and chill out in bed or on the couch but ideally you should try setting up a designated work space in order to keep your work life and your personal life from clashing. This also creates necessary boundaries when it comes to working remote. When you leave your desk, it will feel like you're leaving the office. You don’t need to purchase an extravagant desk if you don't want to. There are plenty of desk options on sites like Amazon and Target that you can transform into your work space.
- Purchase comfortable seating. To allow your space to be more comfortable, your desk chair is just as important to your set-up as your actual desk is. Your employer may require you to be online from 9-5 and could include long periods of sitting, just as you would in the office. You may want to swap out that dining chair you're using and invest in something more comfortable. Amazon is your friend when it comes to weighing affordable options. And if you want to opt out of getting a new chair, try browsing for chair cushions that could also help you stay comfortable throughout the day.
- Keep a notebook handy. Everyone isn’t as accessible now that you're working remotely. You can no longer just swing by someone’s office to ask a quick question about something you missed in a meeting. So during your zoom meetings, webinars, and other work calls, make sure you keep a notebook and pen nearby so that you can quickly jot down any necessary notes that you need to remember.
- Stay on track with a desk calendar. It’s a possibility that you feel even more busy now that you're working remotely. If this is the case, organization is key. Invest in a desk calendar to keep track of daily meetings, etc.
- Avoid Distractions. There can certainly be noise challenges as you work from home such as airplane noise, water running, etc. Investing in noise cancelling headphones can prove to be useful if you are frequently on the phone. It’s a bonus if the headphones have a mic! It will just make your audio clearer and allow for a smooth phone call with little to no interruptions.
- A mouse with no tail. Okay not a literal mouse but a wireless mouse! Yes, your laptop has the trackpad but the wireless mouse will improve your precision and speed. You can find wireless mice for both MAC and PC.
- Set the vibe. Did you know that there are some scents that help you work more efficiently? Try looking into cinnamon, peppermint, rosemary, orange, or lemon scented candles to help increase your productivity.
Bonus Tips: Set up a daily routine. It’s easy to work from morning until night without even noticing sometimes. Try to keep a schedule so that you're having a healthy remote working life and take breaks when needed! Also be sure to incorporate meals throughout the day. Working from home may have you forgetting to eat lunch since you're working so hard. In addition, make sure you're getting the adequate amount of sleep.
What are some other work from home essentials that you would recommend?