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Working from home was already on the increase well before the COVID-19 pandemic and a survey from Enterprise Technology Research revealed that the number of people working from home would double in 2021, equating to approximately one in four workers. If you’re new to working from home, there are a few dos and don’ts that can help ensure a successful transition.
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Create a Private Work Space. If you’ve been lucky enough to buy one of the homes for sale in Toronto or anywhere else with an extra room for an office, you’ll have the perfect workspace setup. But if that’s not the case, you might be able to incorporate an office space into your garage or bedroom. A large walk-in closet can work perfectly. Or, if you’ve got room in your yard, maybe consider building a “man cave” or “she shed” type of structure to provide a private space to work. The key is to ensure you have an area where you can focus and that’s enjoyable to be in. If you’ve got a window, try to arrange your desk so that it faces the outdoors as being able to look out at nature can increase productivity and give your eyes a break from your computer screen.
Set Boundaries. Unless you live alone, setting boundaries is a must. Try to stick to a schedule and let family and friends know when you’ll be working and unavailable. When you’re done for the day, avoid doing any work tasks, including checking your email, as it’s easy for your work life to start blending into your personal life, increasing the odds of burnout.
Get Out of Your Pajamas. Aim to get out of your pajamas most days. While you might not have to leave the house, it can help you be more productive during your work hours and make it easier to separate your work life from your home life too. Plus you don’t want to get yourself into a place where you’re wearing the same clothes day after day, slouching on the couch, and letting hygiene go.
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Forget to Take Breaks. It’s easier to remember to take breaks when you’re at the office or in some cases, they might be scheduled for you. Be sure to do the same at home, ideally getting outside and breathing some fresh air. It will relieve stress while providing your daily dose of vitamin D. When the weather doesn’t allow, at minimum stand up every hour or so and walk around for a few minutes or stretch.
Let Things Pile Up. Clutter is a distraction – avoid having stacks of mail, paperwork, and other items that clutter your workspace. Your desk should only include the things that you really need. To keep papers organized, use baskets or a filing cabinet.
Don’t Get Sucked Into Social Media. Continuously checking Instagram, Facebook, and whatnot is an obvious distraction that’s going to make you far less productive not to mention it’s bad for your mental health. Just a quick check on a notification and suddenly an hour has gone by, a bad habit to get into. Turn off notifications and set up times for checking them instead.