How to Overcome the Challenges of Working From Home: 5 Tips From a Seasoned Creative
Working from home is more common now than at any other time in history, thanks to a little-well-known-thing we refer to as the pandemic. Now, thirty-five percent of job holders can work from home full-time, and 23 percent can do so part-time – that’s 58% of people who have the opportunity to work from home at least one day per week. Some wonder if working from home is effective for their business, but multiple studies have shown that those who have the option to work from home are more productive than the alternative. Those working from home spend 10 minutes less a day being unproductive, work one more day a week, and are 47% more productive.
Okay, so now that we have shown how important and effective working from home can be, what if you’re one of those people who now work from home and no longer has the kind of office structure that you felt benefitted you? Because this adjustment was forced upon many working-class people, it has been difficult for a lot of people to acclimate to this new environment and many of us have had to figure it out as we go. In short, we all love much of the freedom of working from home, but there are some major challenges that come with it.
If you have been working remotely within certain industries, you have a leg up on those who are just now experiencing the issues we had at the beginning of working from home. I struggled for many years until I learned and developed a few simple tools to transform the way I work from home. Thankfully, with BeFunky’s Graphic Designer, I have been able to transform the space I work both physically and mentally.
The 5 Most Efficient Techniques for Working from Home
While there are many benefits of working from home like setting your own schedule, having the freedom to move and walk around, and doing errands during the day without feeling constrained – the setbacks can oftentimes feel jarring. We will start with the most prevalent issues that most people deal with when first starting out working from home and also give you some helpful tips (some of them using Befunky’s Graphic Designer) that will change the way you work from home!
1. Managing Productivity Is Key to Success
Staying on task can be so difficult. Much of working from home has given you a good amount of autonomy, but in order for autonomy to function at its best, you need responsibility. With so many tasks to juggle, it can feel difficult to know what project or task to start with first without getting lost in the shuffle.
The solution for this is to create a task list. This will change the way you work from home. How you create this task list is up to you, but I like creating a running list and then organizing them into sections that are time-oriented.
If you are an organized note-taker type, use a pen and paper, planner, or any productivity app. If you lean more visual, you can create a desktop background in Befunky’s Graphic Designer to create a visual list and then you can organize your desktop files within that hierarchy. You can even design a digital document for printing and create your very own weekly planner for project management.
You want to be able to make a list in a place that you can adjust. When I was making this in my planner, I would cross things off once I was done and if I didn’t complete a task from the day, I would copy the same task to the next day. It should be interactive and it should also move and change day to day.
2. Take Breaks Often for Better Focus
It is interesting that within the office environment, those seen taking breaks more than what is legally allowed are looked at as lazy or bad workers. In reality, taking consistent breaks actually helps to keep your stamina engaged over a longer period of time. In the past, those working from home for a straight 8-hour day turned out less production compared to now, The difference here is there is more flexibility while working from home so you are able to work in concentrated spurts, which actually helps you stay focused more consistently.
In order to practice this, try setting a timer, where you work for a set amount of time like 30 minutes to an hour, and then take a 5-minute break. The goal is to take many smaller breaks, rather than one long break. During your small breaks, do something that uplifts you. You could work out, write, read, or eat a snack.
You can accomplish a lot in a little time so make sure that it is with something that brings a bit of light into your life. You will also notice this helps with your mental health over time rather than being the type of worker who grinds so hard they skip lunch. That’s me. This tip will slow you down and increase your activity in all of the right ways.
3. Take Good Care of Your Eyes
Because most of our homes are not equipped with good natural lighting, it can be very harsh on the eyes to look at a computer screen for hours throughout the day. It is important to think about your eye health especially when it comes to eye strain.
When working on the computer, think about utilizing the zoom tool. You can increase screen magnification on most computer interfaces. When working or designing in BeFunky’s Photo Editor or Graphic Designer, you can use the Zoom tool to have a better eye when working without the strain that comes with it. You can even pan your canvas while zoomed so that you can execute super detailed work.
You can also invest in some blue-light glasses. Our computers emit blue light and can really throw off our bodily systems. Blue light glasses work by protecting your eyes from high-energy blue wavelengths, reducing the potential for eye damage from prolonged exposure. Along with this, you can work with a Dark UI (User Interface) to help the brightness of your screen. I typically design with a dark UI and BeFunky is even equipped with this feature!
I have been working on the computer for so many years and was a workaholic, working on my computer for 16 hours a day into the night without any protection – not a good idea, take it from me!
4. Organize a Designated Office Space
You don’t need an office room if you work from home. Just make sure to designate a specific space for your office time. This could be at the kitchen table, bar table, or desk in your room. This helps your brain switch into work mode. I have tried many times to work from my bed and always end up falling asleep because my mind knows that my bed is the place I go when I am ready to sleep.
In order to get excited about this space, think about decorating it in a way that excites or inspires you to work there. You can hang up art on the walls of inspiring pictures or quotes, get some office desk tools that you may use regularly, and have a designated work notebook that looks cute. The best thing? With BeFunky’s Graphic Designer, you can create your own artwork so you don’t have to break the bank decorating your space!
Try creating a few designs to print out so that you can create your very own gallery wall of inspiring art. You can also go ham and make a whole collage wall or corner in your room of aesthetic pictures and graphics.
5. Make Sure to Separate Work Life from Personal Life
I cannot state how important this is. When working from home, it is so easy to blend work and personal life until the point that there is no separation between the two. I swear this will suck your soul dry, maybe not at the beginning, but a couple of months in, it will really strain you.
To solve this, make sure to have good boundaries with work. I do this by strictly working within certain hours during the day and will not respond to messages if I receive them outside of these hours. It is so difficult to create boundaries, especially if you have a boss who does everything not to respect them, but it is your right and your mental health is way more important than slaving your life away for a job that is so fragile, if you stand up for yourself, you could lose it. Don’t work for people like that if you can help it. When you are working, work hard, and when you are done, step away.
If you have a hard time doing this, these are some things that can help you. Most of the time we do work and personal on our phones. I do not share my personal number with work any longer and tell them to reach out to me via email or our communication lines. I have a hard time separating work from personal and this was one boundary that really helped to create separation.
Next, you can create different backgrounds for your phone or screen when you are working. For example, my Google account associated with my work email is colored differently than my personal email, and with the new iPhone updates, I am also able to set different backgrounds for my phone which also helps to snap my mind into or out of work mode.
These things may seem small, but any subtle changes that you can make to tell your brain when to turn on or off will change the way you work and also change the way you play.
You Can Be Successful Working from Home
With some minor changes, you can be successful working from home. It doesn’t have to be something that destroys your life. With the added freedom that working from home provides along with using BeFunky’s Graphic Designer to create some of the helpful tips above, you can really enhance your life and change your relationship with work in a positive way.