A new trend has emerged around the world – working from home. Neither companies nor their employees thought it was possible until it was. It was only considered wishful thinking to imagine yourself working from home every day until the COVID-19 pandemic changed our perspective of life as it was. I had wished many mornings to be able to work from home. That maybe someday I could just pull out my laptop right there in my bed and start working, instead of getting up and getting ready to commute for an hour and then finally reach the workplace. Then it all came true, we were sent home and have been working from home for several months now and probably would continue to do so for a few more.
I would not lie, working from home is great and has a lot more pros than cons, but maintaining the work-life and personal time balance becomes very hard when you never get out of the house. Staying focused on your work also becomes a struggle if you are like me and are not much of a disciplined type. Over the years, we have been conditioned to work at the office and party later. Therefore, it becomes very hard to shake that conditioning right away and get to work. I have spent months trying to avoid distractions and minding my own business while working, but trust me, I may have made some progress but it is not easy.
Especially if you are married – God is with you. ☺ I truly believe it is wonderful to be spending more time with your spouse and children but as a single person, I think it is a little easier to maintain a routine than it is with children. All I have to do is to wake up, walk my dog, have breakfast, and get to work. The married people have just too many variables going on, but bravo to all of you out there holding up so well.
Internet and Home Phone
Now, if everything else had been sorted, there come the resources required to be able to work from home. This includes an internet connection, a computer with some accessories, some furniture, etc. However, first things first, you will need a reliable and high-speed internet connection and a landline phone if you get lots of work calls so that you can keep your personal phone free after hours. In case you want to know your options, you can go to www.localcabledeals.com to search for the best bundle deals in your area. Enter your zip code to check if AT&T internet and home phone are available at your location as they offer their top-notch services at economical prices. The internet speeds go up to 1Gig and the home phone comes with unlimited nationwide calling. Try to go for the unlimited data plan so that you do not have to worry about running out of data. Since we spend most of our time at home nowadays, it is easy to run out of data while binge-watching and you wouldn’t want to be cut off during a work meeting because you watched too many episodes last night.
A Table and Chair
This may seem obvious but I know many people who still choose to sit on their couch with their laptop on the coffee table to work for hours. This is just terrible for the posture. Working from home was meant to keep us safe, not create other health issues. Therefore, I cannot stress enough on the importance of an ergonomic chair and a proper work desk. Trust me, your body will thank you later, and your productivity will increase dramatically when you have a designated space for work.
We have already discussed that a solid internet connection is a backbone of working from home. However, nobody uses an Ethernet cable to connect to the internet these days. Wi-Fi has become the need of the day as we are always on our smart devices, connected to the world, 24/7. Therefore, to ensure seamless connectivity throughout the house, you need to make sure that you have a good Wi-Fi router that does not leave any dead spots and allows you to experience the maximum speed of your internet connection. If your house is too big for a single router, then consider getting an extender or a mesh system.
Headphones / Earphones
All our meetings, discussions, etc. have moved to the virtual world. We can no longer tap our colleague on the shoulder and quickly discuss a report we are working on. That means there are a lot of audio calls, video calls, voice messages, texting, and whatnot. For you to stay ahead of the game, you need a good pair of headphones or earphones that can ensure optimum sound quality. Choose a pair that is comfortable and has a good mic as well. You would not want to be the center of all the commotion in the team meeting, would you?
I may be mentioning this last but it is surely not the least. With cybercrimes on the rise, we cannot be cautious enough. At the office, the company makes sure that our networks are protected, but when at home it falls on us to ensure the security of confidential work data. If you are using a company device, you may already be protected but if it is your personal device then make sure you install a reliable security suite and use a VPN during work hours.
These are just a few basic tips to start setting up your home office. This is an ever-evolving space that changes with the capacity of your work, so add or subtract whatever seems necessary.
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