Covid-19 changed the landscape of the American workforce. More employees work from home now and for many, the shift is permanent, while other workers enjoy a hybrid home/office arrangement. This new stay-at-home, work-at-home reality certainly has its pluses. Small business owners can offer work-from-home options as a perk to boost morale and retain their best employees. A happy employee is a great employee!
We recently discussed how the shortened work commute – from the bedroom to the boardroom in under 90 seconds – created free time for employees, and we offered 11 suggestions on how to enjoy the extra time. While the pros outnumber the cons, the adjustment can also have its pain points. Our teams have always worked from home, so we’re evidence that the work-from-home business model works, and research proves it. Here are five suggestions tested and tried that make working from home a pleasant experience.
Work From Home Advice
1 – Plan a designated workspace
Get comfortable. The kitchen table isn’t your long-term office solution. Carve out a corner somewhere and make it your own. Ideally, the space should be out of the flow of traffic and relatively quiet (with kids in the house, any quiet is “relative”). Decorate your room with things that make you happy – pictures of your family or your favorite vacation, flowers, plants, inspirational quotes, etc. I do all of the above (except for the flowers) and burn a fragrant candle all day – probably made from flowers.
2 – Pop open the windows
Open a window and let fresh air in! You left your closed-off cubicle at the office. My window is always open. A small space heater runs in the winter, and a window fan plays background music in the summer. I know it’s not energy efficient, but my brain decays in a closed box. And go ahead and raise your blinds all the way up to let in the sunshine. Don’t just open the blinds, but raise them to the max. The sun and fresh air are good medicine.
3 – Put a quarter in the jukebox
Music also provides an excellent sound barrier to the chatter around us. Select a classical music study playlist for a pleasant backdrop to your work environment. For about $40 on Amazon, you can buy a set of small, yet dynamic wireless Bluetooth speakers that you can strategically place between you and any noises beyond your space. I’m enjoying the cello at the moment. (Earplugs come in handy at times, too.)
4 – Prep a play area – seriously
Your new work-from-home office is home for 8 -10 hours a day. Plan a way to break the monotony with a purposeful distraction. How about a Nerf hoop above your door? That got me through college. Or a set of dumbbells, a yoga ball to stretch, or enough space for push-ups and sit-ups. Avoid the mistake I’ve made in the past and use snacking as a change of pace.
5 – Power up with a nap
This unprecedented time may be your only chance to nap during the workday. Please take advantage of it. Retire to your bedroom and recharge with a quick siesta during lunch. You’ll return to your desk with more zip for the rest of the day. This idea is my favorite work-from-home perk, and the benefits aren’t just based on my biases. WebMD agrees that naps are a healthy routine.
Bringing It Home
Hopefully, these five tips will make your home office a place you enjoy spending time. Small business owners can consider flexible work-from-home options for good employees to enhance their quality of life. Employees can leverage their extra time captured from not commuting, and you still get a bump in productivity. Win/win! If your employees are hourly employees, track their time with our GPS time clock app.
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