VanHack’s Guide to Working From a Home Office in 2020

This snapshot from Google Trends tells you all that you need to know – the whole world is rapidly trying to figure out how to Work from Home!

VanHack has been a remote-only organization for the past five years, so we’ve already figured a lot of this out. We have 50+ employees across 10+ countries, and we thought we’d try and condense what we know into this blog post.

Home Office: The Pros and the Cons

Pros:

  • Economy: you save on transportation and food.
  • Autonomy: you manage your schedules, in case you don’t need to attend a meeting.
  • Freedom: you work as you want as long as you deliver results.  
  • Proximity: in addition to money, you save time you would have spent on commuting.
  • Comfort: You are already at home, so you don’t need to worry about traffic, or crowded public transport, or getting wet on rainy days.

And the Cons:

  • Distractions: Pets, visits, phone calls unrelated to work. Social Media, the internet in general and yes, Netflix – all this can be a huge hurdle to concentration and productivity.
  • Interactivity: Some people really need to be in an environment that allows face-to-face interaction with others. If this is you, you need to figure out how to compensate for not seeing your co-workers.
  • Workload: Surprising as it may sound, working from home can often be more tiring than working in an office. This is because we don’t set hard limits and just keep on working..”just one more email”.

4 Top Tips for Working from a Home Office

1. Invest in your office

If you’re going to be working from home for a long while, you need to invest in setting up the right kind of space. Lounging on your couch in your jammies is all very well for a day or two, but eventually you need a proper space to work.

Designating a separate room as your office is the best case scenario. Having a real “office” with a door helps separate work from home. When you enter your office, you’re at work, and when you leave in the evening, you’re done.

Of course, not everyone has the space to have a room dedicated to just one function. However, you should be able to dedicate a space in your house – get a separate desk and chair, and make that your work area. Don’t use it for anything besides work.

And yes, buy a nice chair. The desk just needs to be a horizontal surface, but invest in a good chair. Your back will thank you later.

If working at home is not viable, you could also consider looking for a co-working space near your house. Going even a few days a week can help maintain the separation between home and work.

2. Get the Fastest Internet Connection you can afford

The web is the engine that drives many professions today. In fact, it is one of the factors that allowed for Home Offices to even be viable.

So, you need to make sure you have an internet plan capable of meeting all your needs. You don’t want to be on a video call with your manager that cuts out because your partner started watching Netflix. If you have kids who are constantly online (or roommates) you might even consider getting a connection dedicated only for work – this can actually end up saving you money since you won’t need massive amounts of bandwidth for your work connection. It just needs to be reliable and fast enough.

Invest in quality equipment, a good notebook or desktop, and a good printer, if that’s necessary for your work.

3. Create a Routine and Stay Organized

Set up a routine and keep the papers and documents organized. This avoids problems and further improves your productivity since you won’t be scrambling for last week’s notes on today’s call.

Experiment with online tools to see what works for you. The right tool can make your time management much easier and help you better organize your work.

We use Asana, Confluence, GSuite, and a melange of other personal tools (Evernote, Outlook, OmniFocus and more) to stay organized.

4- Don’t forget to interact with people

Working from home can be lonely sometimes.

That’s why is so important to keep communicating with your coworkers, and not just about work and tasks. Take some time to learn more about your peers, what they like to do, what you have in common and share your experiences.

Keep a team chatroom open. There is nothing more important in a group remote project than casual communication. Not just official emails and work updates, but the ability to sit back and chat.

–David Rabin, VP of Global Commercial Marketing, Lenovo

Ready to start?

If you liked the idea of working from home, and your current job doesn’t allow for it, it might be time to start looking for remote jobs!

1- Build your Profile

The first step is to create a profile with VanHack . Don’t forget to fill all the information requested.

Here’s a quick guide to help you fill your profile to make it stand out when you apply for a job.

2- Start applying for jobs

The next step is applying for a job on our Platform! Click here to check out the currently open roles and start applying!

3- Get ready for interviews!

When you land a job interview, you need to be fully prepared to make the best impression. Remote jobs usually require remote interviews. We wrote a guide to help you understand the differences and common mistakes to avoid. Click here

That’s it!!

The rise of the home office is the reflection of an era marked by interactivity and the speed of information. The current crisis will eventually pass, but there is no doubt that working remote or working from home is a trend that’s here to stay.

If you like the idea of working from home, don’t waste any time and let VanHack help you find your dream job!

Apply today, and if you need help getting ready, join VanHack Premium!


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