Over the last few months many of us have been working from home in less than ideal conditions, with the expectation that we would be heading back to the office pretty soon. Today, though, the outlook seems less certain. Working from home for all or part of the week looks likely to be here for the foreseeable future. So creating the right home office environment can make the difference between a frustrating day at the laptop and a highly productive one.
With this in mind, it makes sense to iron out those work-from-home niggles, perfect your home working environment shipshape and maximise your work-time effectiveness. So here are some top tips to create your perfect home office.
Decide on a dedicated work space Now that working from home is a more permanent fixture, it’s time to find a proper space for your home office. It doesn’t need to be a fully fledged book-lined study – but it does need to be somewhere you can ‘go’ to work and where there are minimal distractions. Think creatively. A spare bedroom, a Harry Potter-esque desk under the stairs – it can be anywhere that allows you to properly separate your ‘home’ and ‘work life’ so you can switch off and switch on effectively.
Find a schedule that works If you are an early riser and tend to do your best work in the mornings then allocate these hours to those more brain-intensive tasks and schedule online meetings later in the day. It’s also good to set clear expectations with other members of your team and to understand their preferred routines. This goes for people you live with as well – if they are aware of your work schedule, there is a much lower risk of getting interrupted in an important Zoom call.
Take a break When you’re in the office, it’s easier to take breaks without even realising it – having a quick chat by the water cooler or popping out to grab a coffee. When you’re at home, though, it can be harder. Carve out time every day to get away from your computer, go for a lunchtime walk or sit outside with a cuppa so you’re away from your computer and other screens. You’ll be more productive throughout the day if you allow yourself to recharge and give your eyes a rest.
Decide what home office kit you really need It’s very easy to browse stationery and office equipment and be tempted to splash the cash on things you might not actually use. Start with the basics – and check what your company will pay for. For example, your firm may pay for a new computer if the one you have is slow and unreliable. A printer is useful but if you only need to scan items occasionally then consider using the scanning facility on your smartphone instead.
Make sure your broadband is up to the job Having ultrafast, reliable broadband connectivity is a must for anyone working from home. Lots of providers advertise ‘fibre’ broadband but actually ‘subdivide’ the optical fibre coming out of your local phone cabinet and then share it between multiple homes, which can lead to digital traffic jams at peak periods and slowing down your service. So If you’re tired of fighting with spinning wheels and drop-outs, and Zoom calls that constantly freeze, it’s time to move away from substandard, part-copper and fake fibre broadband and switch to an ultrafast, supremely reliable connection.
By choosing a full fibre (aka Fibre To The Home/FTTH) broadband provider for a fibre-optic connection that runs right to your door. This way, you’ll get exactly what you pay for 24-7 without frustrating drop outs or slowing down of service at peak times. Connect multiple devices at the same time and have the peace of mind you can use the internet how you want, when you want. The great news is, Truespeed is live in multiple villages across the South West so you could be enjoying 200Mbps guaranteed speed, full fibre broadband sooner than you think. Simply visit truespeed.com or call our friendly Bath based team on 01225 300370.