Working from home or telecommuting has been practiced for decades. But these days, this kind of setup has been gaining so much traction and popularity that many are more inclined to make the switch. After all, what’s not to like? You can work in the comforts of your home, in any space you choose, get dressed based on how you feel comfortable, and most importantly, save time commuting to the office each day.
What most people don’t know is that transitioning from an office environment to a home office environment is not that easy to do. There will be “small nuances” you never thought you’d miss but suddenly feel have played a key role in the whole working ambiance.
If you’re a social butterfly, making this switch might be especially challenging to do. You’ll miss the quiet (or maybe not so subtle) sound of people talking, walking, shuffling paper, tapping on their keyboards, or clicking on their mouse. The white noise often adds to the appeal of working productively for some people, especially those who enjoy physically working with others rather than in solitude.
Here are a few tips you can do to make your transition a little easier:
Find your spot
Scan your whole home for space you’ll claim for yourself to turn into a home office. There should be ample space to accommodate all your furniture and work needs. Check for access to a power source to make sure you don’t end up running here and there just to get yourself connected to a wall socket. Lighting should also be assessed. Does it have ample light that will be friendly to your eyes? Do not take this one for granted, you need to be honest with your lighting situation. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting eye strain in just a few hours of working. Make a list of the things you’ll likely need such as an extension strip, auxiliary lighting, and maybe a side table or shelf to hold your office supplies.
Get a good table
While you’re still in the planning stages, look into ergonomic tables. This is a good investment for long-term work from home settings. Even if you decide much later to switch back to the office setting, you can still use this for a variety of purposes at home. A great type of ergonomic table is an adjustable table that you can easily turn into a standing desk and reset to the regular setting to use with your favorite chair. These tables are specially designed to provide maximum comfort to allow you to work for hours without the developing pain or soreness that you might commonly experience when at the office.
And while you’re looking into ergonomic tables, pair that up with a good ergonomic chair that will allow your body to remain comfortable while maintaining and promoting good posture. You’ll also achieve several great health benefits such as the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and even be good for your mental health. Remaining comfortable while you work for long hours will keep you focused and happy. As a result, you can expect to remain productive no matter how much work you need to be done within your schedule.
Set your facility proximity
After you’ve chosen your spot at home to turn into your home office, an easy way to slowly transition is to think of the rest of your home as an office. Your kitchen area is your pantry where you’ll head to get a snack. The bathroom is another area that you should think of; this shouldn’t be too far from your spot so you can access it easily when you need it and even save a bit of time. Of course, this is probably not as far as what you had at the office. The rest of the rooms at home can be thought of like your usual stockrooms or closed offices from other stuff you don’t normally interact with.
Decorate your space
To ease you in, initially decorate your workspace the same way you did with your desk at the office. This will spare you from the initial shock and adjustment period of getting used to not seeing certain familiar things. Then when you feel you’re getting used to this kind of setting, you can gradually start redecorating and reorganizing the space according to your taste and preference.
Keep in touch
You are only physically distant from the people you used to work with at the office. But if you’ve managed to create friendships through the years, take advantage of technology and keep in touch with these people through social media, SMS, or the occasional phone calls (of course, do this when you know you’re both not busy with work). Never just detach yourself from your social circles just because you’re moving to a work from home setting. Doing so will affect you in more ways than you think is possible. And once you’re personally getting affected by the detachment, you’ll notice that you’re no longer being productive or are becoming more prone to brain fog. Remember that a good social life is always healthy.
Before you start transitioning, you need to first do one thing: put yourself in the proper mindset. Acknowledge what you’re about to do and how it will be different from the way you’re accustomed. This will help ease you in. And to make it easier for you to understand why transitioning is important, think of how fish cannot just be dumped inside your aquarium at home. Like the fish, you need to first be acclimated to your new environment so you can comfortably move and do your tasks without the constant feeling of adjustment.
Moving to a work-from-home setting is not a difficult thing to do, but it should also not be taken lightly. As a social butterfly, you may need to do a few more things to avoid the feeling of dread in the long run. You will crave the social interactions and the usual activities you do outside. But once you get the hang of things, you’ll be happy you made the switch. Just don’t forget to take breaks every once in a while and take care of yourself.