It has been exactly one year since Coronavirus changed all of our lives, both personally and professionally. There have been countless forgotten masks and daily routine adjustments that we’ve learned to accept as our new normal. Over the past year, we’ve seen home offices pop up all over, our team included. Some at the kitchen table, others creating couch + coffee table desks, and some who actually used their home office as a true office for the first time. It has been a learning experience for all of us, so we’re here to share some of our experiences. So without further ado, here is the MC survival guide to working from home.
#1 Comfortable Chair
If you didn’t work from home prior to the pandemic, then chances are you did not have a comfortable leather office chair at home already. Maybe you have your go-to recliner, but that goes against #6 on our list. It can be wise to invest in a comfortable chair for your workspace. Your back will also thank you.
#2 Stand-Up Desk
Yes, a comfortable chair is a must to get you through the workday, but you also need to get out of that chair. A stand-up desk allows you to move around more and has shown to boost productivity. Working from home is not a one size fits all structure. So, if we haven’t sold you yet on buying a stand-up desk, start with placing a box on your table and setting your laptop on the box to see how you like it.
#3 Podcasts & Music
If you’re lucky enough to have some time between Zoom meetings, break up your day with a podcast or your favorite playlist. A podcast is less distracting than sitting in front of the TV and trying to work while watching your favorite show. The chances are you won’t be as productive as you planned on.
Your colleagues, kids, significant others, and anyone else you live with will thank you for this one, headphones. A decent pair of headphones will help the other people in your Zoom hear better. And anyone you live with will thank you too because besides the people in that meeting, no one else wants to hear your work conversations.
It goes without saying, but we’re going to say it. Stock up on coffee. Simple, done.
#6 Dedicated Workspace
At the start of the pandemic, some were thrilled to be able to work from home. A dream come true! Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would need a survival guide to working from home. But after a few months working from home, something shifts, and the space that was once our escape from work became our office itself. This is the exact reason why you need to dedicate a space of your home as your “office”. Maybe that’s your kitchen table, a spare room, or even a coffee shop down the road. Mimicking that turning on and turning off of your workday will help combat the mental struggle of Coronavirus.
#7 Hard Stop to the Workday
Prior to March 2020, our hard stop to the workday came when it was time to go home for the evening. Even if you continued to work in the evening, there was a hard stop in that transition period from being in the office to returning home. Try to replicate this same pattern in the evening by putting away your computer, turning off your email, and not checking it until the morning. Enjoy your downtime. Do something productive like working out, going for a walk, shutting your computer and putting on your favorite TV show that was replaced with podcasts during the day.
However you look at the events of this last year, we can all agree that our daily routines and lives as a whole have been affected. The past year has been a learning process to transition fully to remote work. If there is anything you take away from this working from home survival guide, it is to not get lost in the shuffle of Zoom calls, emails, and the screen in front of you. Don’t be afraid to close your computer and step away from your desk for a few minutes. You’ll thank yourself for it later.