So, I heard you’re working from home now! WELCOME to the league of pajama-wearing workers like myself. We’ve been doing this for awhile, come on in, the water’s just fine. (So you can stop hoarding water bottles now, okay?)
I’ve written a whole book on freelancing for creatives which has a bunch of tips n’ stuff. If you’re a creative facing the uncertainty of the world and trying to make money online or replace your day job entirely, check out the book and also my articles on freelancing here on the blog:
- Day in the Life of a Freelance Writer
- How I Made My First $10k as a Freelance Writer on Upwork
- How to Ghostwrite a Memoir or Hire a Ghostwriter for Your Autobiography
But if you work a normal job that has just gone to remote-work only, working from home can be ESPECIALLY jarring. Suddenly, you have to be productive in a space you’ve probably designed to be a prime Netflix-watching binge-cave.
Not to mention that it’s hard to focus on real responsibilities right now when you’re sanitizing every single surface in your house and wondering if every sneeze means you’re going to die of the coronavirus.
I’m hoping that amidst this pandemic your boss/team/whoever you work with and report to are chill about you maybe not being on your a-game because the Trump administration keeps on suggesting that maybe we sacrifice our grandparents at the alter of the NASDAQ like some kind of death cult ritual. Cool! Not terrifying at all!*
It’s enough to make you want to social distance yourself from all of society and cut your internet cord and go running off to the forest to write a wandering book on why you refuse to pay your taxes and live as a sovereign soul whilst still having your mom do your laundry.
*this last part is sarcasm just in case you didn’t pick up on that, I would like everyone to survive thanks
**this is a Henry David Thoreau joke just in case you didn’t know his mom still did he laundry when he was writing Walden
Anyways. Here are some of my ~top tips~ to survive working from home now that we all live in a remote work world.
Set-Up Your Home Office
Okay, we’re going to start this section off with DUMB AMAZON PURCHASES I MADE FOR MY HOME OFFICE THAT ACTUALLY IMPROVED MY PRODUCTIVITY. These are affiliate links btw like all the Amazon links on my blog, so if you buy something on Amazon with them you further enable me to keep devoting time to writing weird blog posts like this and purchase more dumb things from Amazon (yay capitalism!) If you can’t see the Amazon links it’s probably because you have your ad blocker on.
I joke but at the same time we’re going to be here for awhile. If you can allocate some funds to make the place you sit down and work every day a little brighter, that’s rad. While true joy comes from relationships and not material possessions, a Himalayan salt lamp might also be a nice way to fill the void of the warmth of other humans because you’ve been self-isolating for so long you forgot what that was like–
Okay, okay, jokes aside, let’s go.
Get a Desk Lamp (or Two)
I have two desk lamps: a reading light and a mood light (the salt lamp). The reading light I got is awesome, it has a touch-screen like dimmer panel and you can also make the light quality warmer so you don’t get that gross white light.
Both lamps have dimmers so I can control how my workspace is lit: if I’m reading or writing notecards, I’ll have them turned up all the way, if I’m focusing on the computer, I’ll turn on flux at night and dim my lights so that my eyes don’t get strained.
Good lighting is also nice for video chats. I like to be well-lit so that when I’m chatting with clients or friends I don’t look like some kind of ghoul coming to steal their souls.
I also have a few LED tea lights with cute li’l covers that I got for a Kingdom of Pavement secret show that I also sometimes turn on and put on my desk. I love normal candles, but my cat likes to participate in my video calls so would prefer her tail not get caught on fire while I’m working.
For the Love of God, Get a Good Desk Chair
This is as much of a tip for you guys as it is a reminder for me. I really need a new desk chair, because my $40 chair from Ikea I got four years ago isn’t exactly the best thing in the world for my posture. So don’t be like me and invest in a good desk chair now that we’re all going to be working from home for the foreseeable future because we can’t yet band together as a nation and all get on the same page about social distancing!!! Come on guys!!!
There’s also some cool converters that turn your normal desk into a standing desk, which I’ve considered for my own office. Ideally, you’re getting some Outside Time (TM) in this pandemic, but sitting is just as bad for our health as smoking, so the more you can stretch your legs (at your desk or otherwise) the better.
ALSO! Before you buy office furniture of any sort, I recommend checking out a discount website like Wayfair. I got a bookcase from there for under $30, and my gorgeous, fake-concrete desk for under $300 which is a steal for how big and awesome it is. I also got my file cabinet for less than $30 at Ikea, and while my desk chair isn’t the best it’s also still a steal for the cost. You DON’T have to spend a fortune to get a nice home office set-up, and Ikea and Wayfair both deliver obviously so you don’t have to worry about figuring out if there are any office supply stores still open in your area now that we are in Pandemic Times.[Read more…]