Hybrid workplaces are becoming common, but that still means you’re working from home some of the time. A lot of people are working from home most of the time. You may have gotten a routine down that works for you, but it also might be time to step up your work-from-home game if this is going to be for the long haul. Here are five tricks for working from home.

  1. Set meeting limits. Meetings are the biggest abuser of your time. Meetings on video conference can sometimes be more exhausting than in person—so set limits. Only set meetings that can’t achieve something any other way. Have a clear goal for what the meeting should achieve and end the meeting on time. If you haven’t accomplished the thing in the time allotted, try again next time.
  2. Be prepared. Nothing wastes more time than starting a meeting and fumbling around for tabs and spreadsheets. Get everything you need for a meeting open and ready before it begins. And test out any new or unusual video conference functions you plan to use ahead of time too.
  3. Get comfortable. That chair you’ve been using seems comfortable enough, but you will be shocked how much of a difference a more comfortable one can make. I sat for years on a $50 chair that was fine. I spent a little more for a chair, meant for what I do, and I raved about it for a week. I also felt more effective. Same goes for your desk, monitor stand and all of your furniture.
  4. Upgrade your equipment. A laptop’s built-in camera and mic are fine temporarily. If you’re settling into the home office, get a pair of comfortable headphones and a high-quality mic. If you’re unsure if your current mic is good enough, test how good your mic is by recording yourself and listening back.
  5. Pay attention to the decor. Your background is important to how you present at video conferences. You want it to match the aesthetic of the company. Also, keep in mind that what you’re staring at affects you. Make sure you’re looking into a room you enjoy looking at.

These are just a few of the tricks I’ve learned in more than a decade of working from home. Hopefully they can help you too!

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