How To Boost Your Efficiency When Working From Home Office

Home Office, Photo by Grovemade
Photo by Grovemade

Working from home is a dream for most people. At anynines we have the possibility and flexibility of the home office anytime we need, and it is very useful. Imagine you have a doctor’s appointment in your neighborhood, so you can work from home, and go to your appointment easily on time, especially when you live in a metropolis like Berlin.

During this pandemic situation of Coronavirus, for the safety and health of our employees,  we have decided to move our whole business to the permanent Home Office until further notice. 

If you are new to Home Office or working remotely, you should know that changing from home mode to work mode has its challenges. With some small steps, this transition can be speeded-up. 

Here is an overview of necessary equipment and hints for your Home Office and Remote Work: 

Home Office Essentials

First, you need to prepare some elements to be able to handle and manage your work from home with the highest efficiency possible, compared to working in the office vibe. 

Equipment

Prepare your workplace at home with the necessary elements and let it be your work mode space. Your mind will get used to it and the transition from home mode to work mode will happen faster every day. 

Laptop

Your computer systems are your most important equipment to be able to fulfill your work, wherever you are.

Headphone and Microphone 

You all have routine meetings. During this time, for handling virtual meetings, you need the proper equipment. 

External Hardware

Some of you may need an external mouse, keyboard and monitor for more efficiency.

Other elements

Don’t forget about proper adjustments for your working environment: 

Desk and chair

You are sitting all day, it’s important to keep your desk, chair and sitting position in an ergonomic way. 

Click on this link to learn more about the right height of the desk and monitor and the right position of the chair.  

Light

Light can create a happier and healthier environment. Lack of light can cause both physical and mental ill-health effects, such as eye strain, headaches, fatigue and also stress and anxiety. 

During summertime, it’s easier to have proper light in your home office and workspace. For some countries with longer wintertime, it’s useful to prepare proper lights. 

Home Office, photo by Samule Sun
Photo by Samule Sun

Communication

Communication is one of the most important elements of work. Not only for fulfilling your tasks but also for avoiding feeling isolated. 

Email

The easiest way to communicate with colleagues for longer discussions and follow-ups is Email. 

You may receive a lot of notifications from instant messaging apps and forget to check them. But you can schedule quality time to check your emails and follow up with discussions. 

Slack 

Slack is one of the most popular tools for teams and communities. Every department can have its own channel and you can create a channel for each project. Private chats and private chit-chat groups are possible too. It is an all-in-one virtual communication tool. Voice and video calls and screen sharing are also possible with Slack. You can check more features here

Other tools

Here is a list of some other communication tool that can be useful: 

Cloud Storage

You have data and files to share with your team members and other departments? Instead of sharing files one by one, having proper cloud storage for the whole team is one of the most important elements of remote work. 

Google Drive

Google is one of the best cloud storage providers with all necessary services such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, etc. Google Drive provides personal and business access. 

Dropbox 

Dropbox is a file hosting service that can help you manage a shared folder with your team members and ease their access to your common files.

Project Management & Work Organization

You have tasks and subtasks with your team members which are related to each other, even if you are not working remotely. The easiest way to handle these tasks is by using project management tools.

Asana

With Asana you can have different elements of project management and file storage all in one place. 

Trello

Trello is a web-based Kanban-style-list-making application and helps you manage different working elements such as project management, file storage and communication in one board. 

Basecamp

With Basecamp, you can break up your work into separate projects. You can access Basecamp on the web and phone or download a desktop application. It has the character of a social media tool. You can chat with your team members and share related files in the proper space you have for each project. 

Other tools

Productivity Methods

Fulfilling daily tasks and working properly, can be handled by using productivity methods:

Time Management

You need to manage your time, setting up meetings and focus time slots. 

Google Calendar

If you are using Google Drive, it’s more convenient to use Google Calendar as well. Setting up your meetings and free time slots and giving access to your team members and colleagues in Google Calendar is easy (especially when you are using Google business services). Team members can subscribe to each other calendars, see the free time slots and request a meeting easily. Writing a description and meeting agenda is possible too. 

Calendly 

Calendly is a simple way to show your daily schedule to your team members or clients. 

Other tools

Sports and Meditation

You are using public transportation, driving cars or riding bicycles to work. Some of you go to the gym regularly and you are gaining enough exercise for your body.

You have to dedicate some time to Stretching exercises and meditation during or after work while you are in your Home Office. 

Workout, Photo by Kelly Sikkema
Photo by Kelly Sikkema

Stretching Exercises 

  • Stretch your neck
  • Tuck your chin to your chest
  • Stretch your shoulder
  • Stretch your feet
  • Stretch your back and chest
  • Stretch your forearm and hand

Watch the video here: Click

Meditation

Here’s how to meditate during work breaks: 

  • Sit or lie down on the floor
  • Close your eyes
  • Breathe deeply in a rhythmic pattern 
  • While you’re breathing deeply, turn your focus on each breath 
  • As you become more experienced, you’ll find that your mind will be less distracted and more able to focus on each breath 
  • Start with five minutes of meditation on the first day and build daily by an additional five minutes until you can comfortably meditate for 20 minutes each day

Challenges 

Here are some challenges our team members experienced:

  • Staying at home makes me feel isolated and depressed. Daily meetings during working time, chatting with team members and also video calls are the best solution for me. I talk to my family every day now. 
  • When I am at home, my cat thinks that I am free, so I need to take some breaks to play with him. This way, I feel more fresh and concentrated when I am working. 
  • Not having the equipment I’m used to working with at home, is decreasing my concentration. anynines solution was very simple and useful. We can take any equipment we need from the office to our Home Office. 
  • At first, it was hard to explain to family members that I’m working and I’m not able to spend time with them or do something for them during my working time. 
  • Having kids around during working time needs more organizing skills. Depending on their age, we can do several techniques to control the situation in an efficient way for them too.
  • Remembering to move and stay fit, when working from home, is a challenge for me. The solution is using workout and fitness apps
  • Distraction by awaiting household errands (like cleaning up, repot plants, gardening). My solution is: Scheduling my day in separate time slots, at first I dedicate 2 hours for concentration on work, then I take a break to handle the distractions and private tasks like cooking and continue this routine. 

Further tips

Here are some tips for helping you to speed up the transition from home mode to work mode and increasing your efficiency as much as working in an office vibe. 

Working tips

Prepare your mind in the highest productive mode:  

  • Wear different clothes, don’t start working in your pajamas 
  • Set work hours for yourself and do everything in your power to stick to them
  • Remember to take a time out throughout your day
  • Organize a desk or table just for work
  • Prepare enough beverages for working time
  • Put a plant on your desk
  • Keep your daily routine: 
    • Start work at the same time you usually arrive in the office
    • Take a lunch break
    • Listen to Music
  • Let your team know when you start to work
  • Schedule same working time slots when you are in different timezones (International teams) 

Work-life Balance tips

Don’t let working from home control your life:

  • When your daily work is done, back-up, or push GitHub, then turn off your system
  • Maintain your work-life balance 
  • Do some Yoga or Stretching exercises
  • Go walking
  • Avoid feeling isolated, keep talking to colleagues, family, and friends
  • Limit time-wasting activities and people 

Summary 

If you want to work successfully at the Home Office, you need to prepare the elements and equipment for a proper workspace and daily work. 

Elements such as Computer and Hardware and also necessary software.

Don’t forget to start your days, as usual, keep your communication with your team members, take sufficient breaks and meditate for better efficiency.

Sources

[1] Working Remotely: A Complete Guide to Turn You Into a Pro

[2] How to Work From Home: 20 Tips From People Who Do It Successfully

[3] 11 Essential Tips for Managing Remote Employees

[4] How to manage a team remotely

[5] What to look for in a home office

[6] Working in times of the Coronavirus: Home Office as a challenge 

[7] Corona: labor law, home office, short-time work allowance – what employees need to know

[8] Coronavirus: How to work from home, the right way

[9] Everything you need to set up your new coronavirus-ready home office

[10] 13 Home Office Upgrades You Need If You Work Remotely

[11] 5 Habits for Crafting the Perfect Remote Work Day

[12] The Remote Working Parent’s Survival Guide

[13] So You’ve Been Told to Work From Home. Now What?

[14] 18 Remote Work Tools for Happy and Productive Employees

[15] 27 Tools every new remote worker needs

[16] 17 Best Time Management Tools You Need to Check Out

[17] 42 Best Project Management Software and Tools (2019 Update)

[18] 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

[19]  11 of the Best Meeting Scheduler Tools to Organize Your Day

[20]  Scheduling Software

[21] Best Communication Tools for Remote Teams

[22] 18 Tools Our Remote Team Uses to Stay Connected, Productive and Sane

[23] Best Shared Calendar Apps for Your Business

[24] Remote Work Wiki 

[25] Ergonomic Office: Calculate optimal height of Desk, Chair / Standing Desk

[26] How Does Lighting Affect Mental Health In The Workplace

[27] Five Best Productivity Methods

[28] How to Work From Home With Children

[29] How to work from home with kids around

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