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While the ongoing health crisis normalized working from home for many positions, I have worked from home my entire professional career. I have never set foot in an office, and my two companies operate entirely remotely. After a decade of remote work as a freelancer, you would think I would be bored of it, but I am not.
Here are some of my favorite tips to make remote work less mundane.
Have background noise
One of my favorite aspects of working from home is choosing what I do while working. Some offices do not allow employees to use headphones or listen to music during work, but you can do this when working remotely. The music I listen to at work varies from day to day: sometimes show tunes, acoustic, folk songs or instrumental focus music.
Our company compiles a monthly Spotify playlist of assorted themes that are perfect for background noise while working. You can also watch your favorite shows on your streaming network of choice if you want. So long as you can complete your daily tasks, you can choose whatever background noise you want and not have to deal with awkward office silence.
Work from any surface
In an office, you are typically confined to working at a desk using an office chair, which can become incredibly uncomfortable after a while. When working remotely, you can choose where you want to work. I typically start my work day working at a desk and transition to working on my couch.
Team members work from their beds, lounge chairs, bean bag chairs and more. Controlling the physical factors of your office, such as where you choose to do work, can positively influence your overall productivity. Besides, it is also better for your joints and muscles to not sit on the same unconformable surface five days a week.
Work from anywhere
Much like how you can choose your surface to work from, you can choose exactly where you would like to work from when working remotely. Working in the same space five days a week can become dull and make you feel uninspired. Periodically switching up where you work in your house can reignite that inspiration and boost your productivity. Just because you work from home does not mean you have to remain home. You can work from local coffee shops, restaurants, cafes and libraries. If you are on a university campus, you can work in various classrooms or study rooms.
During the warmer months, working outside is a popular option. I lived down the street from a beach, so I would pack a beach bag with my laptop and work at the beach for several hours. I work with freelancers who work from their balconies or poolside. Even our clients have done calls with us from places that were not their offices. Do not feel confined to working just within the house because you work from home.
Exercise at your desk
Many working from home may not get as much exercise as they would if they were still in the office. While taking coffee or lunch breaks still happens at your home office, your kitchen and coffee machine are probably closer to your desk than they are in the office. I purchased an under-the-desk exercise bike to pedal on during work. This additional exercise keeps my morning fun while providing me the benefits of exercise — all from the comfort of my desk.
Personalize your home office
While changing up your work location in your house is excellent for productivity, having a home office can be great for limiting distractions, as you have a designated area just for work-related tasks. In a traditional office, you may not always be allowed to personalize it as much as you can in your home office. So let your creativity shine by adding candles, plants, decorations, curtains and anything else you need to make your home office feel like somewhere you want to go.
Some of my team members have very minimalistic office spaces while others have well-decorated office spaces that reflect their personalities. How you decorate your home office is up to you, but have fun decorating it, choosing its furniture and setting up its layout.
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