At this point in our year of social distancing, many of us have gotten to the point where we’ve gotten frustrated about being stuck at home working, while others have picked up a few tips to still be productive despite the challenges.
Fast Reliable Internet Is The Key To Success
Almost nothing else matters if you don’t have fast, reliable internet access and equipment to take advantage of it.
I have Cox Internet and for my home and it has been consistently fast and reliable however, under normal circumstances I haven’t felt the need to upgrade to Gigablast. Over the past few months though I absolutely have. Between my live streaming shows a few times per week, online gaming sessions, music, and video streaming, as well as uploading large video and image files my bandwidth has been tight. However, Cox makes it easy to upgrade your service package and that has helped significantly.
Some of you may have a door that you can close. I don’t. I have a wide-open loft space and my wife and I both work from home now. That means simple things like client calls, Zoom Meetings, or simply taking a break to watch TV while the other works is a constant challenge.
Being able to close a door is an easy solution for most people but what we’ve done is invested in good, comfortable headphones to help eliminate noise. The key here is that the headphones must be comfortable. Simple earbuds might be fine for walking on the beach but if you expect to wear headphones while listening to music all day then getting something like studio monitors may be the best option.
Schedule Your Time To Work
I have a bad habit of working 20-hours per day and not taking time to enjoy life. It’s a heck of a distraction and I love what I do. However, that isn’t being a good husband and since I love my wife very much, it is important to schedule family time too.
For us, that includes watching TV together as well as a weekly trip to the mountains where we can drink wine under an apple tree while enjoying fresh clean air.
Create a Healthy and Comfortable Work Space
Last year, most of us looked at our “home office” as a part-time alternative to our full-sized desks at work and so many of you normally worked on your laptops while sitting at the kitchen table. That’s just not cutting it anymore.
Desk and Chairs
Instead, I encourage you to invest in things that make your work experience more comfortable and healthier too. For instance, I have a standup desk and an adjustable chair. This allows me to be comfortable while sitting down with good posture but also allows me to stand while working too.
For others that don’t have a dedicated space for their desks, invest in a good lap desk to help make it more comfortable on the couch.
Eye strain is extremely important to avoid too. Make sure you have good lighting including potentially colored lights or an illuminated keyboard if you otherwise prefer dark working environments.
This is something most people ignore but it is extremely important to make sure you are able to maintain a safe and healthy environment for working at home. While you can go out and purchase an expensive air purifier, there are other less expensive options. These include simply upgrading your air filter on your furnace from a simple and cheap fiberglass air filter to something with a higher MERV Rating.
In fact, I did just that but since I don’t have central air, I had to create my own by placing a MERV 13 pleated air filter on the back of a box fan. This simple and easy solution will help circulate air while pulling dust, dander, and other debris out of the air.
While this is hard to judge the full impact, healthy air means better lung health and more oxygen going to your brain while also reducing allergies.
Schedule Time To Excersize, Relax, and Get Out Of The House
One of the biggest traps that you can fall into with working from home is not breaking free of your computer and taking a break. While different parts of the country might have different conditions going on with regards to health and safety protocols, even taking breaks from the computer can have a massive impact on your attitude, mental state, and overall productivity. I like to take some time off to go to the beach in the afternoon at least once a week. That helps me clear my head, get some fresh air and some exercise too. When I don't have time for that, simply going downstairs and jumping on our rebounder for 15-20 min does wonders to get me centered again.
Combined with the methods above, you will be much healthier working from home and that will lead to reduced stress and happier families while being more productive.