5 Tips for Working From Home or RV
I’ve create a video at the end of this blog where I share details within each tip. Here highlights for each tip.
1. A defined office space
Your office space can be anywhere, just as long as it’s comfortable and suitable to conduct business for hours. This can be the kitchen table, the corner of a bedroom, a spare room or even the dining space in an RV. The key is to have a place where your work products can be easily managed, it’s quite for calls with clients and peers, and there are fw distractions to take you away from your work.
For many, a simple folding table in a bedroom provides ample space. This can be especially helpful if children are at home and you need to close the door for calls or online meetings.
The RV can be an effective place for an office. If traveling with others in the small space offered in an RV, setting expectations on work time or what to do when you’re holding a business call can manage stress for you and those in the RV during work time.
This may not seem necessary, but organization of your workspace can be that single one tip that keeps your work time efficient and stress free. Workspace clutter can rob you of valuable time and add stress to your efforts. Wasting hours digging through files, constantly moving piles from one area to another in your limited work at home or RV space serves no one, but the pile you’re handling again and again.
Clean up and throw away the paper and junk that has accumulated and provides no value. Take time to place regularly used files in a briefcase, backpack or file cabinet that you can access quickly when needed. If you pull a file, put it back when you’re through. For files that are rarely needed, store away from your limited space, or better yet, scan, place on your hard drive for retrieval.
Lastly, save as much of the needed documentation as a PDF. This can be done as a “save as” or “print to PDF” function within the application, saved in hard drive folders for future reference, and sharing by email with others as needed.
From me, technology that makes work easier and more productive is what makes the world go round. Something learned over time, is that if it’s something is difficult to use or overly expensive for occasional use is both a waste of valuable time and money.
For most work at home and RV needs, a quality laptop is the main tool. It doesn’t matter if it is Windows or Mac along as you’re familiar with the operation of the applications for work. Trying to work from a tablet or a small screen laptop can generate fatigue over time. A laptop with a 15” or 17” screen is easy on the eyes and posture. Don’t cheap-out on the laptop. Make sure the laptop has the speed to do the type of work required.
Staying connected with peers and clients is important. More so now with the Coronavirus fears and the long periods we are experiencing with stay-at-home mandates. For simple face-to-face contact and basic screen sharing, Skype provides a quality experience. I use GoToMeeting on a regular basis. It is very easy to use for larger groups where multiple screens and desktop application sharing is needed. GoToMeeting is fee based, but provides a very professional online environment. Additional tips for technology used for online meetings are provided in the video below.
4. Define your work hours
Defining work hours can be one of the more difficult transitions for those new to working at home or RV. You lose the comfortable work routine that has been established over time. You lose the ability to close a door, go to a conference room, or have that quite space to work or hold calls. This can be difficult to recreate at home.
I’ve found that creating defined work hours is the best way to stay productive. Creating a schedule that is acceptable for others sharing the household is one of the best ways to remain productive during your work time. If there are slow-risers in the house, a few hours in the morning may work best. If you have very young children, then nap time is great for scheduling calls. Setting a fixed schedule and work time helps keeps peace in the home and the ever important calendar management for work each day.
5. Take time for yourself
You must take time for yourself throughout the day. At the workplace, we leave the desk often for another cup of coffee, to get something from the printer, attend a meeting; there are recurring tasks that keeps us moving. At home, that’s lost.
At least hourly, stand up. Stretch and take a few deep breaths. Go for a glass of water. Take five minutes to get let oxygen and blood flowing. Every two hours or so, walk away from the desk or table for ten minutes. Go to the mailbox, step out the door and let your eyes rest from documents and computer screens. Returning to the desk you’ll find productivity and creativity will increase.
I shared work hours above. Just because you’re working from home or RV, doesn’t mean you should work from hours on end. Go to work. Stop for lunch. And at the end of the hours allocated for that day, walk away and return tomorrow starting a new work day.
I hope this helps. I share much more in the video below. Although a long blog and even longer video, you may have more questions about workspace or the technology you need for your work at home or RV. Feel free to contact us with questions or ideas and we’ll do our best to respond quickly.
We are a participant in the GoToMeeting Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to GoToMeeting.com.
Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel? Check out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.
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