Back in January there were some rumblings about a virus on the other side of Earth, but for the most part, life in these United States seemed pretty much “normal”. In late February, a lot of us were in D.C. at GAC and weren’t really thinking about masks and hand sanitizer. And then came March. The doors to our offices got locked up and we were all sent home (ok some of us were already at home). As someone who’s been working from home for some time now, it can definitely be an adjustment at first. If you’re still spending a lot of time in your home office, here are a few ways you can make sure your home office is as productive as your actual office.
Invest in it: An outlet near your dining room table does not equal a home office. You need a room in your house that will let you get away from distractions. During this “stay at home” period, the biggest distraction you’re probably dealing with is the other people in your house. Being the only one in my house and having a dedicated office is nice. If you have a room you can make your office, make it feel like a real office. Get a nice desk with storage, enough outlets/powerstrips for everything you need, good lighting, and maybe even a mini fridge for holding six-packs of b … soda.
Keep office hours: Another bad thing about distractions at home is that you’ll find yourself working into the night. Think about what time you normally get out of your car at the office and what time you normally get back into the car. The time in-between is the time you should be spending in your home office. Make sure you’re managing your time well and you’re not turning 8 hours of work into 12.
Straighten up: My desk at my old office was always in pristine shape. My desk in my home office is not always in pristine shape. Get rid of the clutter, toss those to-go coffees, take your plate from lunch last Tuesday into the kitchen and put it in the dishwasher. The great thing about cleaning up is once you get started you usually won’t stop until it’s perfect. And you’ll feel pretty dang good when you get to look at that finished product. Now … get back to work!