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The recent changes may have you making a rapid switch to working from home.

At Joyce Contract Interiors, our designs are all about efficiency, aesthetics, and comfort. We strive to make your office space feel just like home. However, we can also help our customers and our own staff members adjust to working from home when the office is not available. Under the current circumstances of COVID-19, we know that the majority of people are making the switch to working remotely. The Joyce Contract Interiors team wants to offer some helpful and informed recommendations to make the switch as smoothly as possible.

Take a breath and learn to wait.

One of the first steps to take in switching to working from home is to take a deep breath. There are a number of changes happening every day and keeping up with the news or social media can be anxiety-provoking. Pausing, taking a breath, and reminding yourself that you are going to be okay is important to do before setting up a home office. You do have options and we are going to help you come up with ways to work from home without sacrificing all of the benefits of the office. The second step is learning how to wait. There are a lot of unknowns about COVID-19 and about how the switch to remote working will go. Practicing patience and remembering that the transition may go slowly will help you adjust to the circumstances and prioritize your needs.

View working from home as an opportunity.

While there are a number of advantages to working in an office among peers and coworkers, there is a lot to gain from working from home as well. Being mindful of what is lost when your job is no longer in an office setting will help you prepare for issues that can arise at home. With that said, however, this is an opportunity. You will likely save time with no commute, experience more interactions with family members or housemates, and, finally, set up workspace exactly how you want it. By offering some tips for working at home effectively, the Joyce Contract Interiors team is here to help you make to most of this opportunity.

What is the best way to set up your home as the optimal work environment?

The bottom line is there is no perfect way to set up your work environment at home. In fact, there are many ways to optimize your workspace at home. However, there are a few themes that are important to keep in mind in order to remain productive, stay connected, and function at your best. Whether you already have an office space set up at home or you are used to sitting on the couch when you are working, keep in mind our recommendations to create the optimal work environment from your home.

Keeping an eye on productivity is tricky when you are working remotely.

One of the biggest challenges working remotely from home is maintaining the same level of productivity as in the office. Without the normal boundaries of workspace and home space, it can be a challenge to feel productive the same way you do when you leave the office at the end of the day. Our office furnishings are designed to boost productivity without losing the comfort of feeling at home. It is certainly possible to attain both comfort and productivity, whether you are working in an office or in your home. Following the tips below will help.

Having a great at-home work set-up is important in order to keep your sanity.

Switching to working from home is anxiety-provoking; it’s a major adjustment. Just as some people are introverts and some people are extroverts, some workers adjust to being remote without any hesitation or trouble, while others might need more guidance on how to maintain calm and focused without the typical setting of an office. Whatever type of person you are, the suggestions below will help you ground yourself in your home environment. Let us help you through the adjustment.

Tips for working from home effectively

Set up a space for yourself that is specifically for work. By dedicating a particular area as a workspace, you will more easily associate being in the area with being at work—and being away from the area with being off the clock. Avoid using the couch or your bed as your workspace. Maintain a function for each spot. The couch is meant for relaxing, the bed is meant for sleeping, and your desk is meant for work. Ideally, you can find a space where you can shut a door and block distractions. If not, having a work-specific area will allow you to define when you are working and need to concentrate. A designated workspace acts as a signal to your brain that it is time to get to work. In the new workspace, you may decide to upgrade the furniture you have at home. Try one of our adjustable desks that allow you to create different set-ups, all in the same space.

  • Repurpose your commute.

Not having a commute is a major advantage of working at home for most people. However, it is important to make the most of the extra time you gain without commuting. In some circumstances, you might start work early. Depending on the flexibility of your hours, you might be able to finish work more efficiently by pushing back your start time, perhaps enjoying a family breakfast. With most kids home from school, breakfast may become an opportunity for everyone to start the day together. Or, you may fit in a home workout, something you have not had time for before the switch to remote work. With gyms and other fitness locations closed, workout gurus everywhere are putting out free and simple exercise plans you can do at home. Use what would have been commuting time for something productive, something connected to self-care, or something fun.

  • Set boundaries.

Setting boundaries is one of the most important tips for working from home efficiently. Without the natural boundary of the office, ensuring that you set up clear guidelines about when and where you work becomes imperative. A designated office space will help with this challenge. We also suggest setting work hours, just as you had at the office. Have a clear start time, a clear end time, and a clear lunch break. Make sure to let family members know when you are “at” work. Treat those hours as if you are out of the house. Getting distracted is easy when you are working from home but making sure that you are clear about the boundaries between home life and work life will help you continue to be efficient and productive.

  • Show your face with video meetings.

While many people may be used to communicating through video, for others it is new and rather uncomfortable. Given the social distancing that comes along with working from home, showing your face through video meetings is an important way to feel connected. A coworker’s face provides a lot of information. During virtual meetings, seeing the faces of peers helps bolster communication and efficiency. Plus, showing your face and seeing other faces is a way of checking in and making sure everyone is handling the adjustment as well as possible.

  • Chat with coworkers to avoid social isolation.

One of the biggest advantages of working in an office that is lost working at home is social interaction. With compulsory social distancing, you are much more alone than on a what was a normal work day. Chatting with coworkers through email, messaging apps, or over the phone are great ways to avoid being socially isolated. Checking in about work-related matters or just seeing how someone is doing, chatting with coworkers fosters comradery and collaboration. Connecting with someone outside of your immediately family or household will keep social relationships strong and protect against feelings of loneliness and restlessness.

  • Schedule breaks.

When you are working from home, a schedule is central to success. Having a daily schedule will keep you on track and ensure that you are accomplishing what needs to be done. Finding and settling on a schedule may take some adjusting as you get used to your new routine. Just as important as having a schedule in general is scheduling breaks. Plan for meal or snack breaks, exercise breaks, meditation breaks, conversation breaks, or anything else you can think of doing. Breaks will be important for maintaining focus and productivity. By scheduling breaks into your daily plan, you can ensure that you are reserving time for yourself and protecting your well-being.

As you make the adjustment to working from home, we hope you will keep in mind these helpful tips. Having a designated workspace, repurposing your commute, setting boundaries, showing your face during video meetings, chatting with coworkers, and scheduling breaks will all help you remain calm and focused and transition smoothly to a remote workday. These are unprecedented times, and it is okay to need a period of adjustment to get used to the recent changes and the associated uncertainty. Create a daily work-from-home schedule that keeps you in control. Remember to breathe and remember that working from home means you can decide how your day unfolds. You can do it!

From your friends at Joyce Contract Interiors, we wish you the best. We are here to help make progress together.