After the disaster that was 2020, the coming of 2021 is a welcome change. With most of us still working from home, the new year brings new opportunities to embrace the role of a remote worker. The workplace is likely changed forever due to the pandemic, and it's important to evaluate our performance working from home and find ways to improve.
Here are five New Years resolutions for anyone working from home in 2021.
1. Set up an ergonomic home office space.
If you've been "making do" during the pandemic by working from your laptop at the kitchen table, now is the time to finally get a dedicated home office space set up. It can be as simple as a desk in a quiet corner, but the key in employing ergonomics wherever you can. Check out our other post about how to use ergonomics in your home office. By having a true home office, you'll be able to set better boundaries around work, improve your focus and look more professional in your zoom meetings.
2. Find ways to move more during your work day.
When you work from home, it can be easy to get caught up in the "always working" mentality and forget to take care of your body. Our bodies are not meant to sit all day, yet the average American is sedentary for 6.5 hours per day. Find ways to incorporate movement into your day to improve your physical and mental wellbeing. A motion office chair like Swopper lets you bounce, tilt or sway while you work, so you can maximize your benefits without disrupting your work flow.
3. Create boundaries around your work.
While working from home has many benefits, one downfall can be knowing when to call it a day. When your work is staring you in the face, it can be hard to switch from work mode to "real life" mode. Setting boundaries around your work will help save your sanity. Set regular office hours, work in a space separate from your life (and please don't work from bed!) and make a commitment to yourself to not fall into a workaholic pattern in 2021.
4. Connect with coworkers and find ways to be social.
The regular water-cooler catch ups with colleagues may be harder these days, but finding ways to connect with your peers is still important. It can be easy to work in a silo when you're solo at home, but collaboration and connection are still important to boosting workplace creativity and productivity. Pick up the phone and call a coworker instead of email or slack, invite them to help you brainstorm on a new project, or just send them a funny note to keep the social element of your work alive.
5. Set personal development goals and aim for advancement.
While working from home during a pandemic may not be the most conducive to career advancement, don't let yourself get complacent. Set goals for 2021, meet regularly with your manager and find ways to continue your development and growth. You'll be able to turn what is a funky year work-wise into an opportunity to show off your adaptability.
While 2020 was a rough year all around, 2021 can be the start of a productive career year by following these easy tips for making working from home successful. Cheers to a fresh start!