#WFH Part 1: Things That Keep You Sane and Productive While Working from Home

Once upon a time, you dreamed of working from home.

PJs all day, lunchtime swim breaks, dog at your feet while you typed away.

In 2020, that dream became a reality for many without much input from the masses. Not everybody was happy. I am sure your dog was stoked. But how did you fair mentally and professionallyly when the work world suddenly collided with your home-world?

Many of our candidates were abruptly expected to be experts in working from home. No more so than those searching for a new position during 2020. Our clients also had to quickly adjust to conducting their searches for employees with the “right fit” from their home office. Not only was remote interviewing different, gauging a person’s fitness for remote work was hard when so many people were so new to this way of life.

Fast forward to 2021 and pretty much everyone (save for essential workers) spent some portion of last year working from their own humble abode. So what tools, skills, and non-negotiables kept you sane while working at home?

We surveyed some of our clients and candidates and this is what we came up with: An Uplift Crash Course in Working From Home.

Work from home with headphones

Part 1: Things That Keep You Sane and Productive While Working from Home

Let’s start with the very basics, the minimum required tools you need to #workfromhome are as follows:

  1. A dedicated space
  2. A Computer
  3. A good internet connection
  4. Video conferencing and chat apps
  5. Earphones or a headset
  6. Self-discipline and a healthy, productive mindset
Bright office at home with natural light

But wait, there’s more. According to a recent candidate we placed, “a printer, webcam, great coffee maker, and the ability to wake up each day afresh,” claimed John C., from Sydney.

While it’s no wonder leisure wear became the most important fashion trend of 2020, it’s important to remember why…

Being comfortable is essential when you are working from home. That’s why numerous people we talked to mentioned attempts to create comfortable office spaces (chairs, standing desks, wrist wrists, laptop trays, etc.)

If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to take some time to make yourself a comfortable at-home workspace by:

  1. Set up a decent work surface – Don’t just work at the kitchen table or on the couch. You’ll not only hurt your back, but you will also have a hard time staying organized. A dedicated “desk” can be grounding, as in, “when I sit down to work here, it’s productivity time.”
  2. Get yourself a comfortable chair (or stand) – You aren’t going to love working from home if you sit on a cold, hard, metal chair all day. Don’t skimp on your behind. At the very least, get a comfortable chair cushion. Best case scenario: rotate between sitting and standing with a standing desk, comfortable chair combo.
  3. Noise-canceling headphones – This globally connected world requires meetings and calls at all hours. Your housemates or family still live with you. Get some noise-canceling headphones with a mic for long stretches of concentrated work time and uninterrupted phone calls.
  4. Curate good lighting – Don’t put yourself in a dingy corner somewhere with no natural light if you don’t want to end up depressed. Try positioning your work area near a window and don’t be afraid to switch up your light bulbs for warm instead of harsh lighting. Also, desk lamps are your friend!
  5. Make Your Space Happy – Plants, photos of friends and family, the artwork you love, even a vision board of where you’re headed – these are the things that breathe life into your workday when you’re feeling stuck or isolated.

These are our favorite tools to make WFH more bearable.

What kept you sane while working from home last year?

REMEMBER: Stay tuned for the next installment of Uplift’s Work From Home Crash Course

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