Transitioning into the remote workforce can cause a drastic decline in productivity levels for new remote workers, as there is a significant struggle to maintain the drive that an office environment brings. To help you stay motivated and boost efficiency, here’s a guide on how to build a virtual work environment that brings your office right into your home.
Working from the comfort of your home can take a toll on your ability to work effectively, especially if you’re new to this work style. Working in the one place you’ve always deemed void of office activities takes a while to get used to and will disrupt your workflow while you try to pull yourself together.
However, you can put yourself back on work mode without jeopardizing your level of productivity or homely comfort. With the proper schedule and tools, you can create an office atmosphere that prompts you to get your work done at home.
Why a great work from home experience matters
1. To keep away from depression and frustration during a pandemic
Maintaining a stable work-life balance amidst the pandemic as you work from home could be pretty difficult. Your social interactions, especially the physical ones, have been placed on hold, making it a struggle to draw a line between work and your social life. And this could lead to a feeling of isolation, depression, and frustration.
To counter these negative emotions, you’ll need to carry out indoor activities that cheer you up. You could do some yoga, play games online, listen to some music, watch your favorite movies, place a video call with your loved ones, or learn how to cook your favorite meals.
However, these activities require dedication, as they may seem a little time exhaustive at first. But with time, they become a huge part of your day, and you’ll always look forward to it.
2. To help you stay optimistic during the period of crisis
A stable work-life balance will also help you stay hopeful and positive, even as the economy experiences a remarkable decline in its revenue and function.
Completing your tasks at work and enjoying your “me-time” will give you a sense of fulfillment and keep your head clear from the economic crisis going on around you.
3. To continuously explore yourself and improve further
Working remotely can expose you to an exciting and more productive version of yourself if you learn to prioritize your personal time just as much as you do with work. This work style gives you the opportunity to learn a course, acquire a skill, or generally cater to your mental health by taking daily breathing breaks.
When you maintain a stable work-life balance, you’re able to get engaged in activities that you always thought impossible when you worked at the office.
Must-have elements to set up the perfect virtual working environment
1. Daily task tracking
To set up an efficient work environment at home, you need to keep track of your tasks and keep your finger on the pulse. You can have each task, action plan, and deadline written in your journal or note-taking apps.
However, automating this process is best, as the distractions at home may cause you to forget easily. So, you could adopt the use of some productivity tools that’ll constantly remind you of the tasks you need to complete and avoid procrastination.
2. Stick to your regular office work hours to stay productive
Working from home doesn’t mean you have to abandon your regular work hours completely. While flexible working hours remain one of the top benefits, remote workers enjoy, sticking to your office’s standard work hours will help you get your job done right on time.
When necessary, you need to maintain all office practices; bathroom breaks, lunch hours, and a little social interaction. Maintaining the traditional office hours will help you avoid the pressure of your workload as you get closer to the deadline for each assignment. It is also ideal for remote teams that need a convenient time to hold meetings where all members would be present.
3. Avoid news that negatively affects your mood
Many countries are still dwelling in the covid era and experiencing an economic crisis. So, chances are that you get to see at least one bad news every time you connect to the world outside via social media. And this may have a negative impact on how you feel or disrupt your workflow.
Be sure to stay away from social media groups or personal accounts that upload negative news content. Restrict your social media visits to after-work hours to help you stay connected to the job right in front of you, without any distractions.
4. Set your mid-pandemic and post-pandemic goals
You need to bear in mind that working from home is a temporary work style, and you won’t be spending the rest of your life that way. You will get to see your colleagues and distant loved ones face to face sooner or later.
To stay positive and empowered, highlight goals you desire to achieve during and after the pandemic. These goals give you something to look forward to. Setting your goals with OKR is a better approach, as it keeps you on the right track and helps you measure your own and your team's progress.
5. Connect with your virtual team occasionally
Staying connected with your team members will also help you stay in work mode. Your conversations don’t have to be work-centered. You could simply put a call through from time to time; to see how they’re doing, catch up on what you’ve missed, and discuss how well they’re handling the newly adopted work model.
Try video conferencing apps and other apps that create virtual environments if you intend to communicate with a large number of your team at once to suppress boredom and build a better bond.
6. Create a physical office space
To make it feel more like you’re present at the office, set up a physical space for work activities right in your apartment. Your mini workstation can replicate your office space and will help you stay productive while working from home.
Get an ergonomic table and chair positioned comfortably in any space that can accommodate you and your office equipment. It gives your apartment an extra touch of the office atmosphere as you work from home. You will also need a solid wi-fi connection, a notepad to help you jot down quickly, noise cancellation headphones, stationeries, and other items personal to your ability to stay productive.