This week, Avram Piltch has some suggestions on how to improve your life if you have to work from home. While most people don't work out of their homes, that could be about to change. Over the past week or so, many companies have started suggesting that employees work from home because of fear over the COVID-19 coronavirus. But working at home is not as easy and straight forward as it might seem.
It is incredibly easy to get distracted while you work at home. Between family, friends, pets, and chores, it can be incredibly easy to get distracted and not be productive. But, if you do just a couple of simple things, you can avoid the temptations that will inevitably surround you. First, make a space just for work. This might not be simple, but it is important. You will also want to make sure it feels like work - keep it the way you would your desk. If you have space that is dedicated to your work time, it will feel more like work time.
An easy way to make your space feel more work-like is with productivity tools. Grab an extra monitor, a mouse and keyboard, and possibly a docking station. These items will improve your at-home experience significantly and make it so that you can continue to be productive. Most of these items can be acquired for under $100.
You also need to set boundaries with the people around you. Most people don't understand the idea of working from home and believe that it just means that you are home. Let the people in your life know that, during working hours, you are no more available for non-work activities than you ever were before. Allowing someone to violate that rule is a slippery slope and will get worse with time, so solve it early on.
If you have any additional suggestions, we'd love to hear them!
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLuGHiTz Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the DDR community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bar Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and judging engineering notebooks at competitions. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors.
Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.