Due to the current global situation, most people, in matters of worrying and safety, turned their day-work to an option not so used until now: the home office.
The home office is a modality of work that allows people and businesses to connect at a distance.
What was unusual for many companies has become a necessity with the global situation about COVID-19. So on this blog post, we create a special guide for you. If you have started the home office now, rest assured, this guide will help you.
What tools do you need to be productive during your home office period?
In a home office work, you will probably need these following items and tools:
- A notebook;
- Great Internet connection
- Personal Messaging Apps (Skype, Messenger, and WhatsApp).
- Business Messaging Apps (Google Hangout, Slack, Trello).
- Cloud Computing for save and document projects (Dropbox, Gsuite, Google Drive).
These apps have transformed the way people communicate, share information, and do their jobs. These tools, along with the current situation, were the push that the Home Office needed to consolidate. Based on the concept of Cloud Computing, allow you to store and share the most varied types of files on the web, from text, images, audio, video, and spreadsheets.
In this context, any job that requires only a computer and a good internet connection can have its actions and tasks performed in the Home Office mode.
The professions that stand out in remote work are from areas such as advertising, design, journalism, photography, and programming language.
The “Home” Office?
Although the literal translation indicates that the term “Home Office” is that you transform a room in your home into an office (a workstation if you prefer), it is not limited to just by that. Professionals who work at the “home office” style can choose alternative locations besides an office.
In this case, to perform his activities, he may well take his notebook and smartphone to a location that allows access to the internet. Such places can be at home, a cafe, a hotel, an airport, a park or a coworking.
Coworking? What is this?
Coworking comprises an office environment that brings together professionals without ties and who work remotely and understand it as a shared office.
You rent a space to carry out your activities and even expand your professional contacts. Coworking spaces usually charge their customers for hours, daily or monthly fees.
Home Office brings productivity?
Some companies encourage their employees to work in the Home Office to make savings in transportation, food, and infrastructure. Besides, when an employee works in a more pleasant environment, its productivity and quality of life increases.
The company Owl Labs, conducted a survey interviewing with 3,028 employees worldwide. They identified that productivity and focus is the main reason why respondents chose remote work. The State of Workplace Productivity also researched with 2.009 workers having the same result. According to SAP’s research, in 2018, the number of Home Officers worldwide corresponded to 32.5% of professionals. In 2019, that number increased to 35%.
Another example is the research done by Indeed that shows the main benefits of the home office for organizations:
Increased engagement (57%), Turnover rate reduction (52%), Reduced absenteeism rate (50%), Operating cost savings (50%) Reduction in benefit costs (31%).
Therefore, companies can only gain by making their working methods more flexible, especially in terms of engagement.
With the home office’s option, it is possible to retain the best talents and have more motivated, committed professionals – who would say – involved with the company.
How to work at “Home Office”
Home Office is not an accessible modality for all professionals. It is more suitable for some professions that depend on a computer and a good internet connection.
If you are looking for home office work, be prepared to find some characteristics that may change from company to company:
- 100% Remote: it will not be necessary to show up at the company’s headquarters or office even if eventually.
- Hybrid Home Office: Companies that offer remote and office options. Many companies use that option to have presential meetings, once in a week or even monthly.
Home Office’s Benefits and Disadvantages
We have to be careful because the home office can be much satisfying, but also it can be a big problem. We separate some of the pros and cons of home office work.
Besides productivity, there are some real advantages when you are doing home office, such as:
Economy: is a fact that when you don’t go to your company’s place, you don’t need to worry about the money for the bus or subway, money for you to lunch (when the company won’t have a lunching hall), even the money to fuel your car. The home office allows you to have better control of your money and have a great saving at the end of the month.
Autonomy: Related to your displacement from home to work, the Home office gives you more space and time. You have more freedom to manage your schedules in some cases. It also gives you the flexibility to adjust your labor time with personal issues.
Freedom: You can work as you want, making your labor time as long as you deliver the best results. Pay attention to it! The home office doesn’t mean weekends or holidays.
Distractions: The attention to your pets, phone calls unrelated to work, TV noises, family issues can stop your activities, concentration, and productivity.
Interactivity: Instead of noises and presence, some people can’t work in a place being alone. They need to be in an environment that allows interaction and integration with others. Assess whether it is your case.
Workload: It is common for home office employees to believe that they will have time to complete all tasks and not stipulate rest hours. Here are some tips:
Home Office Tips
Let’s talk about how you can manage your home office setup to be an effective employee. We separate some home office tips for you:
Here are some tips for you who want to work from the home office.
1. Be at the Right Environment
Look for rooms in your home that are suitable for you to exercise your activity. This room should be somewhere quiet so that you can pay attention to your daily tasks. Think about the ergonomics and layout of the furniture, preventing you from having posture and health problems.
If there is no possibility of finding a space in your own home, look for a coworking space in your city. These spaces are usually in technology centers and shopping centers. Most of the time, this choice is very worthwhile. Just be aware of current isolation issues regarding COVID-19.
2. Avoid unnecessary distractions
Once you’ve defined where your remote workplace will be, make sure it’s free of distractions. This means having a space where you can focus on your tasks without being interrupted by family members or pets.
In the case of relatives, it is important to make it clear that it is not because you are working from home that you are available for family tasks. You have your obligations like any other professional, and, therefore, you need a space dedicated to your profession.
As for pets, leave the moments of interaction for your breaks. Otherwise, you can easily lose focus and have your overall performance affected if you can, separate food and water for them before starting to work, replacing them in your breaks.
3. Work in a Quiet Place
It is very difficult to maintain productivity and concentration if your work environment is not conducive to staying focused for long periods.
Therefore, ensure that the location is little affected or free of noise, such as the noise that usually arrives through the windows, such as heavy traffic on highways, construction work, and animals.
And if you live with other family members, ask for the noise to be reduced. Other people will likely want to watch television, listen to music, and cook while you work. Likewise, children’s play can also be disruptive. One good option is to use earphones. They will avoid some noises but don’t work with music if you are a distracted person. Work with music can be very relaxing, but it can also be a huge distraction.
4. Attention to ambient lighting
It is essential to have lighting consistent with the activities you need to perform. First, because you must not force your vision in any situation. Afterward, all the objects you use need to be well lit to avoid setbacks.
At first, it may be that the daylight is sufficient to ensure the lighting of your entire work environment. Try to see if you are comfortable with this situation and have no difficulty seeing any object, screen, notebook, and other materials.
In the middle of the afternoon and at night, it is already necessary to use electricity to supply the lack of natural light. Its position with the light source must be such that there are no shadows on your equipment, avoiding wear and tear on your eyes and wasting time on tasks.
5. Have a Stable Internet Connection
The web is the engine that drives many professions today. It is one of the factors that allowed the diffusion of the Home Office. So, have a considerably fast and stable internet plan.
Your internet plan should have a reasonable rate of speed for downloading and uploading data. From 1MB to 10MB, respectively, they are already sufficient to perform their functions. Of course, the higher these numbers, the better.
6. Plan the Day’s Tasks
if you plan your daily work tasks carefully, your workday at home can be highly productive and pay off.
List the most important tasks and complement the less important ones. Make a list of obligatory commitments that need to be met that day, and include spaces for minor things, including contingencies.
Remember: respect your mind and body; this should all be done within your working hours and in a healthy way. Consequently, there is no need to sacrifice rest breaks and continue working after hours.
7. Create a Routine Schedule and Maintain Organization
Keep papers and documents saved and in order. It will save precious time and then establish your routine schedule. This is very effective for the Home Office. The organization between working hours, time breaks, and documents and spreadsheets avoids problems and improves your performance.
Currently, some online tools related to productivity, such as Gsuite and Trello, make it much easier to manage your time and help you organize your work routine better. Be sure to use them.
8. Make Periodic Breaks
Like any other prolonged activity, it is always recommended to take regular breaks during your homework. Ideally, every 1 or 2 hours of dedication, you should take a 5 to 15-minute break. But what exactly to do in this interval? Simple: it can be stretching, moving your legs to the kitchen to get a coffee or a light snack, or even checking the latest messages on your cell phone, listen to some music can also help to relax and put your thoughts right. But, of course, don’t confuse these moments of relaxation with procrastination. Social media, TV series, games, WhatsApp, and other day-to-day distractions that compromise your function. So, run away from temptations!
Some warning tips
We separate some warning home office tips for you to pay attention to. It is very common people make some of “mistakes” that we’ll talk about it. Check it out!
Home Office is NOT for everyone
Obviously, not all functions allow remote work. Some management positions require the presence of the professional for constant meetings, interactions, and supervisory tasks. For employees, the home office only works if the company has the necessary structure for this modality.
In other words: online communication tools have to account for all the job’s tasks and responsibilities. Also, you need to have a favorable home environment, a willing family to collaborate, and a suitable office.
Home office is NOT an easy money job.
No home office work generates high earnings in a few hours. So if you have ever received one of these “extra income without leaving home” offers with attractive prices, be aware that most are misleading. In fact, remote work is usually even more intense, as there are no typical office interruptions. If you are self-employed or freelancer and earn on delivery, you are likely to be even more dedicated to the job. It is also easy to overcome the fine line between work and personal life in the home office. Thus, many remote workers end up being stressed by the overload of tasks and the difficulty in “working hours.”
Home office is NOT working with night-suit and slippers
If you think working in pajamas and slippers in front of the computer is good, it’s because you never put it into practice. It may be fun at first, but clothes have a big influence on our behavior and discipline. A careless attitude can lead to neglect of tasks and compromise seriousness, even if unconsciously. So if you want to deliver quality work and stay in the home office, it is best to dress like you are in the office. Don’t exceed! It is unnecessary to work on suit and tie but wear clothes that will remind you of the regular routine. It is very important to cause a good impression on a conference call and other meetings.
Homeoffice is NOT a forever condition
When working in a home office for a company, you are unlikely to spend much time away from the office. Normally, remote work is released between one and three times a week. Even in cases where 100% of the distance occurs, you must attend face-to-face meetings weekly or monthly.
These periodic meetings are important to maintain alignment with the company’s strategies and links with people. After all, the human factor is still irreplaceable in labor relations. So pay attention to the meeting apps such as Skype, Google Hangouts, and Google Agenda.
Items that cannot be missing from your Home Office
The notebook stand is essential to adjust the height of the screen so that your posture is correct. Find someone that includes a cooler. This will keep your machine always cool and avoid problems such as slowness and instability. High temperatures can shorten the life of your notebook, making support investment in your assets.
One important investment is to have a good mouse. There is nothing more uncomfortable than having to type on the notebook’s keyboard, especially if it is on a stand. A good suggestion is you also include an external keyboard and mouse on your workstation. It promotes ergonomics and prevent wear of the notebook and reduces the risk of overheating. Of course, it will be the end of those accidental bumps on the mousepad that hinder your performance.
Samsung’s research reveals that the use of two monitors increases the productivity of users by 28%.
During the test, whoever used the extra monitor could reduce the time to perform the tasks. An extra monitor increases your viewing area and makes work faster and more efficient. It’s more comfortable and excludes some page change movements.
A good headset cannot be missing in your office. If you work with audiovisual, the use of the equipment is obvious, but there are other functions. Many people work best listening to music, for example, and can benefit from this immersive experience. Besides, it is a way to escape unavoidable noises, such as the neighbor’s renovation.
The chair is your primary investment. You have to buy a good chair more than anything. Your comfort is going to define your productivity level. It guarantees the ergonomics necessary to maintain attention and energy. It is no use investing everything in the latest generation of electronics and buying any chair. It guarantees the comfort and ergonomics necessary to maintain attention and energy.
Don’t matter if is a planner, a post-it, or a digital document. Always document your work when it is fresh on your memory. As long as you have a way to keep daily records of tasks, to-dos, and ideas, you will have more control over your actions and decisions.
Just like in the office, you will have moments with a lot of workflows, and you will have to remember all the details to avoid missing deadlines. Therefore, quick notes are essential in everyday life.
The home office can be very stressful in a way that you lose your sense of space and time. So it requires even more organization and planning so that all tasks are completed on time. In this kind of work, no one will be controlling your agenda or supervising your actions. So, separate calendar, agenda, planner, or write down your meeting and other works at the electronic planner in your notebook journal to keep appointments and tasks up to date.
Home Office, as a fact, is an alternative way of work that is gaining space due to all the global situations. Many companies, to stand against all the economic odds and issues, are adopting this attitude. On the other side, many employees are also adapting to the new job era. Be at your home, doing your job can be very pleasant or a huge problem. As you don’t work at the office, you need to pay more attention to your routine and plan your day to avoid any kind of distraction and noise. Also, you need to be more effective and ready for a different and sometimes harder workflow. Have a good posture and attitudes can change the way you work and your final results. In a good perspective, it arranges the familiar and comfortable environment of your home with your job. Using it wrong, it can cost you a job or even a whole career. So be ready and steady!
Are you working at the home office? Do you prefer this way, or so think it is more likely to work at the company? Leave your comment!
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