Over the last month, millions of people have transitioned from being at the office 5 days a week to fully working from home. Some telecommuters have had an easier time, simply setting up shop in their home office. While others have had to get a bit more creative in figuring out a new work space.
KNACK TEAM SHARES WORK FROM HOME TIPS
Since our launch, the Knack team has been 100% remote, and during these times of transition, we thought it would be helpful to share our experience and tips on working from home. In this post, we’ve shared how we created separate spaces in our homes to do our work.
Starting Out: A Separate Room
When starting to work from home, if at all possible, we recommend working in a separate room with a door (especially if you have kids at home). While it can be tempting to work at the kitchen table, or spread out all your papers in the living room, you’ll find that you’ll be interrupted more frequently there. It’s harder for those you live with to understand that you’re working in a space normally intended for hanging out. Also, having a separate room allows you to continue to create boundaries between your work life and your personal life.
If you don’t have a home office and you can’t take over a guest bedroom or other space, we recommend dedicating a portion of one room as your “home office.” This could be a section of your bedroom or other space. “When I first started working remotely, I didn’t have an office,” shares Knack Team member, Brianne Huntsman. “I kept getting interrupted, so I actually used painters tape to section off a section of the living room as my 'office.’ That way, people knew I was working and couldn’t chat.”
Working at Home with a Partner or Spouse
“Since my partner also works from home, we typically work in the same room together” shares Knack marketing manager, Melody Taylor. “I’m an extrovert and I gain more energy from other people!”
For those who don’t relish the idea of working next to their partner and don’t have two separate work spaces, some of us at Knack have created a work-from-home schedule, working at different times of the day, in order to minimize overlap.
Importance of a Headset or Bluetooth Earphones
“You don’t realize it until you begin doing a lot of online conference calls, but your house can be noisy. From the dryer going, to the dog barking to just other people in the space – it can be distracting during Zoom or Google Hangout meetings!”
Because of this, we recommend that you always have a headset, bluetooth headphones or your AirPods handy to cut down on background noise. "I like to use my AirPods," shares Keith, "because I can easily switch between calls and music when working."
Headphones also have the added benefit of reducing interruptions, as they make others think twice before asking for your attention.
Choosing a Desk
“I have the SHW Electric Height Adjustable Computer Desk so I can alternate between standing, sitting and kneeling (I have a kneeling chair too),” shares Knack Team member, Zeke Camusio. "It’s easy to 'get in the zone,' and stay seated for hours – and then your legs fall asleep! An adjustable desk makes it easier to work."
“I have the SKARSTA table from IKEA, and it has a hand crank to adjust the height. This is a good multi-purpose desk for me, as I’m able to use it for work (adjusting for standing or sitting), and then I can take my ‘office stuff’ off to use it for cutting fabric or sewing. I swap items out by putting storage containers underneath the table.”
“I did add a bi-level standing desk, the which I love,” shares , Director of Customer Service, Rachel.
Choosing a Desk & Office Chair
“One thing that is critical, but often overlooked, is ergonomics of a home office,” shares Knack CDO, Keith Bristol. “I recently learned that the hard way. My back was starting to really hurt and I realized my chair was causing my back pain.
I had no idea a chair could make such a difference. I met with someone that specialized in ergonomics and they advised me on chairs for my body type. Harris WorkSystems actually has chairs for taller people with back problems. I ordered the Built2Last Marathon Series. Since purchasing a new chair, my back problems have gone away. Don’t overlook a good chair!”
Mix Things Up - Changing Environments
One of the big differences in the “work from home style” of different people across the Knack team was whether or not they change work locations in their house during the day.
It was pretty split down the middle between team members who only work in their home office and those who move around the house.
Shares Rachel, “I always work in my office. I am not a couch laptop user. I also have a couple of screens so that doesn’t work so well on the couch either. I have a really sunny office on the main floor of our house, but I face the wall so I don’t get too distracted. And from where I sit I can see and talk to my daughter when she comes home from school, let the dog in and out easily, and most importantly smell if dinner’s burning."
Changing Rooms Intentionally
Others move to a new spot as they switch tasks, to help refresh their minds. Shares Zeke, “I move around the house a lot. This helps me break down long days into shorter segments.”
Share your tips in the comments!
We hope that sharing our experience of working from home was helpful. We'd love to hear the tactics or tools that help you work from home. Share your tips in the comments, and you may find them included in our next post!
What to Read Next - Remote Work Series
Here's a list of the other posts in this series:
- Pace Yourself: How to Avoid Burnout When Working from Home
- Honest Tips for Parents Working from Home
- From the Founder: How Leaders Can Ensure Results for a Newly Remote Company
- Staying Connected & Combatting Loneliness - A Guide for Newly Remote Workers
- How to Manage Operations & Customer Service as a Newly Remote Company