(BPT) - If you didn't work from home before, chances are you are or have the ability to now. According to Forbes, remote work is here to stay, with projections that 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022.
Whether you already work from home, have a hybrid work schedule or are contemplating switching to remote work, you'll need to know how to do so successfully. Set yourself up for success using these three home office tips.
1. Create a dedicated workspace
One of the perks of working from home is the freedom to work from your bed, couch, kitchen or patio. However, without a dedicated workspace, you'll constantly be hauling your laptop, notes, binders and other office supplies to a different spot every day, sometimes multiple times a day. After a while, what once felt like freedom can become another chore and can slow down your workday.
By having a dedicated home office, you can create a space that you step into every day and feel productive. Your laptop, monitor, printer, papers and other supplies are all in one place, so you can get to work as soon as you sit down. If you'd like a change of scenery, you can still move around and take calls or a meeting from other areas in your home, but you can always return to the security and convenience of your dedicated workspace.
If you have a hybrid schedule, set up your home workspace to mimic your office environment. This will make it easier to switch between spaces and continue your projects, whether at home or in the office.
2. Have the right tools
Now that you've set up a workspace, it's time to fill it with the tools you'll need to succeed. For example, if your work requires you to have several windows or programs open at once, set up two or more computer monitors. Multiple monitors allow you to look at a document, type up a report and attend a meeting simultaneously without juggling multiple minimized windows.
Similarly, having a home printer is incredibly convenient and can streamline your workflow. Even if your job doesn't normally require you to print documents, your home printer will be useful on the rare occasions that you do. Also, to give your eyes a screen break, you can print your documents to read and markup with pen and paper.
To simplify the printing process, download Mopria Print Service. This mobile printing app for Android phones and tablets allows you to connect and print to more than 120 million Mopria certified printers without additional setup. It eliminates the need to install any additional software or drivers, allowing you to easily print regardless of the printer's brand from anywhere in your home. To learn more, visit Mopria.org/Print-From-Android.
3. Identify and manage distractions
Your life is filled with distractions that can take your focus off a pending project. Whether it's the dog asking to play or go outside or household chores hanging over your head, it can be difficult to stay on task. And once you've become distracted, it can be difficult to get back into the swing of things.
To stay focused and productive while working from home, identify and manage distractions that will derail your workflow. When you take a break, let your dog out and play with them, so they're less likely to ask for attention during a conference call. Set time aside before or after work to complete chores and errands, so you're not thinking about them while trying to finish a budget report.
If you're easily distracted by the social media apps on your phone, use a focus app to limit the hours in which you can use them outside work hours.
Working from home isn't always easy, but you can set yourself up for success by tailoring your home office to your needs. Using these three tips, you can easily create a home working environment where you can feel productive and comfortable.