Work better from home
How different levels of separation can improve your personal and work-life
Last updated on 5 June 2022. Created on 15 December 2020.
Working from home has been a hot topic in the year 2020.
Common phrases: "you are on mute", "can you see my screen?", "zoom", "sorry, I have to feed the baby", "ops, the cat got on the laptop".
As a fortunate person who has been able to work from home for years before the trend, I was prepared. Even so, I still discover new things that help me.
I can only imagine how difficult it has been for people new to this.
Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet. No universal solution.
There are a number of questions that can influence the best solution to take. Here are some of them:
- are you living alone or not?
- do you have any children?
- is there any dedicated room for your work?
- if not alone, does the other person need to talk to the phone or be in conferences many times per day?
- do you have any kind of budget for this?
That's just a sample.
Separate work from everything else
This is the toughest thing to do because it has to be done on so many levels.
I already knew, and many people already wrote and recommended physical separation - having a private space for your work. It could be a separate room, or a section of the living room or bedroom that is marked as such.
I already knew about time separation - making sure you have a schedule and you stick to it.
What I learned this year was the huge benefit of device separation.
For years I've been working, playing, researching and so on, using one single computer/device. That all changed this year and let me tell you, it has been a bliss.
Having one device dedicated to work and another device for everything else brought me to the next level.
- It allowed me to keep my schedule easier;
- I could organize myself much better;
- Less load on the computer: No more Dropbox AND Google Drive, no more Zoom AND Teams, no more 6 different browsers and so on;
- During the weekend, I tended to open a tab with something work-related and 3 hours later I was still there;
- Mentally, it's been a noticeable improvement.
So, if you have been looking for a way to step up your work-from-home game, this would be my suggestion.
Also, for anybody else who's new to working remotely let me point out this: it has been a stressful year for all of us. Even for experienced remote workers - everything has been harder than normal.
I believe that even the people forced to work-from-home (and not adjusting to it) will eventually see some of the major benefits. It's not 100% ideal but choosing between fully-remote and fully-onsite is not even a competition.