Working from Home – How to set yourself up to success

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Joe Houghton shares some best practices for making the most of working from home

Workspace

Dedicate a quiet, separate space for work

  • If at all possible, separate working and relaxing spaces
  • Ideally be able to close the door on distractions

Get a proper chair

  • Using a dining chair or couch will set you up for a bad back
  • Get an office chair with proper lumbar support

2 screens if possible

  • This increases productivity and saves constant window switching

Try to put the window in front or to the side – NOT behind you

  • Now we’re all video-conferencing, you should be lit from the side or front, or else you’ll just be a silhouette
  • It’s also much better for reducing screen glare on your computer

RUN A PHYSICAL CABLE CONNECTION FROM YOUR ROUTER TO YOUR COMPUTER FOR MAX INTERNET SPEEDS

Behaviours

Self-care is key when adjusting to working from home – it can take time to figure out a new routine that works for you.

Get up an hour before work start time

  1. Get up, showered and dress for work
  2. Eat a proper breakfast
  3. Do something to relax before hitting the computer

Keep online sessions to less than an hour

Attention spans are far more limited in front of a screen, so set an alarm every 50 mins and take 10 minutes to walk outside, get some water and move around

Use video calls by default

Feeling isolated at home can be a real problem – use video calls to see colleagues faces and you’ll feel much more connected

Agree your “on” times and when you’re off, switch off

It can be easy to be “always on”, but you need mental distance from work. When this isn’t the physical commute, you have to establish this yourself

Ask for help

  • Everyone has different challenges working from home, so ask for help when you run into yours.
  • Be open to helping colleagues – share tips, tricks and what works/doesn’t work for you!

Joe Houghton is an Assistant Professor & Programme Director teaching Project Management at the UCD Smurfit Graduate School of Business in Dublin, Ireland.
He also consults, coaches and trains companies and non-profits, as well as delivering photography tuition and talks all over the world. Connect on LinkedIn

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