If you’re one of the many office workers who have recently transitioned from working in an office to now working remotely from home, you might be pulling your hair out trying to figure out exactly how to make the environment work best for you.
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Working from the comfort of your own home has huge pros, and a few cons. The lack of social interaction can be rough, and learning how to navigate meetings and face-to-face discussions via Skype or Zoom can make even the most introverted person wishing to be in the same room as their coworkers.
One of the ways to reduce that stress though is to make sure that your home office environment is a welcoming place, thoroughly equipped to make your job easier to perform. If you haven’t already, now is the time to consider a dual monitor system. Whether you’re working on spreadsheets, going over a project with coworkers over the phone, or switching between two websites to compare, having two monitors greatly increases productivity. According to a survey performed by Jon Peddie Research, a second monitor increases your average output by 20 to 30 percent.
Next, let’s talk about docking your laptop. If you’re accustomed to working on a larger monitor, and suddenly only have your laptop, you can consider docking your laptop. This will save on the cost of an entirely new computer, but allow you to use a larger or second monitor, as well as a traditional more ergonomic keyboard and mouse. For short amounts of time, a laptop can be a great machine to work on, but having a docking station is key in making sure your work station is a comfortable place to work. Not all laptop docking stations are made equally, though. If you’d like a thorough breakdown of some of the best options on the market in 2020, check out this review here.
Finally, let’s address that persnickety video conference issue.
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When you set up your video camera and microphone to hold meetings with coworkers or potential clients, take these tips into consideration:
- Angle the video so that viewers are not looking up at your chin or into your nose. Have a straight-facing camera, or slightly higher than eye level.
- Even though you’re at home, make sure your area looks professional. That means clear out any clutter from behind you that can be seen.
- Consider the lighting. Lighting from behind is going to put a shadow on your face, so have your lighting in front or to the side of you. This could be as simple as changing the location of where you sit so that you’re using natural light from a window
- Use the mute button. Large conference calls can get noisy. Touch-to-talk can make a meeting much easier to deal with when several people are in attendance.
If you’re new to working from home, it can be a stretch, but well worth it in the long-run. You may need to remind kids and family members that while you are at home, you do need to focus on work during specific hours. This can greatly decrease interruptions and have you focused and productive throughout your workday.
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