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Trust me, it was an odd feeling at first changing my work environment, whether that’s going to online classes or working remotely from the normal work/school location. They all have an adjustment period. This can be a bit jarring, especially for students who come from a busy home where going somewhere else to study or work is definitely appreciated. From my experience being an online writer and online student—and working from home alongside my siblings who are online workers/students too—simple workloads can be daunting without structure.
Before I go any further, I should mention that sometimes studying or working from home can be difficult in less than ideal work environments. I want to emphasize the importance of creating a safe space for you and your work, whether it’s your class, job, or personal creative or professional endeavors. Here are some pointers that I have accrued in my process of adjusting to the online life from the comfort of my own home.
First off, the location of your workspace. This can be as small as choosing and establishing your space, particularly for people with bigger households where privacy can be a bit difficult to maintain. I know this from my experience with my three siblings; we each need our own space to really get in tune with our individual work ethics/paces for classes and shifts. This means we often cycled around our work spaces in our home. Although a private office or room can be the most ideal, I found the bathroom as a perfect last result if I needed private space. Luckily enough I was able to angle my camera to trick the background to appear office-like or slightly… well, less bathroom-like.
If space for work is a bit wishy-washy some days, I cannot express the importance of communicating your needs with housemates and fellow students to avoid unwanted conflict and benefit everyone’s learning/work experience.
Once you find a proper space or spaces that can work, I found that small changes in the set up of your space can help tenfold in making it comfortable for concentration.
After one or two back-to-back classes or a 2+ hour shift, sitting for a while can be the most uncomfortable part of working from home. This can lead to lower back pain and soreness that can be counteracted by switching to a yoga ball every few hours to stretch, or by even working standing up to help keep limber.
The most important thing I have learned in working from my busy household is investing in noise-canceling headphones for online meetings and classes, or to help concentration on that one tough paper in a noisy house.
From my own experience, this helped me immensely in finishing my 21st Century Modern Literature paper after having to move from the kitchen to the living room, then to my shared room, where I then decided to take my workload to our garage, where luckily the Wi-Fi reached. Along the way, barking dogs, phone calls, cooking, and cleaning were taking place—but most importantly, I was able to mainly focus on the job at hand.
Working at home can be tough to initiate and establish a workspace. However, education and passions don’t stop, even when the environment around us shifts. Hopefully, these tips can help you along on your path and help you overcome the obstacles that may come up in your transitional phase!