How can I start working from home today?

Part One: Setting up your physical workspace


At Job Pair we’re committed to helping Australians work flexible arrangements, including working remotely, in all sorts of positions and professions.


With the World Health Organisation declaring Coronavirus a pandemic, governments and organisations are taking precautions to keep our communities safe. Social distancing and working from home are some strategies being used to reduce the risk of Coronavirus spreading. Some studies show working from home can reduce the overall risk of infection of a virus in a workplace by 20-30%.


For many roles, working remotely is a responsible and necessary way to do your bit — and the good news is that it doesn’t need to throw off your productivity.


So if you’re being advised to work from home, how can you start today? With more than a decade’s experience in working remotely and our team currently working from home, we share our top tips for how to set up a productive home workspace.


1. Have the right tools

Working from home requires some essentials: a laptop (or a desktop PC or tablet if that’s only available), an internet connection and remote access to your workplace systems. Cloud-based software allows workplaces to connect remotely easily and securely. Our favourites include:

· Email: Gmail or Microsoft Outlook

· File storage systems to keep files centralised and easily accessible: Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive.

· Instant messaging and team chat application: Slack

· Work flow software helps teams work on projects and tasks from any location: Monday.com and Trello

· Video calls & meetings: Zoom


2. Set up a clear work space

Decide on a space that works for you, like your home study or dining room table, and set up everything you’ll need to work uninterrupted and safely. Tidy the space free of distractions like paperwork and breakfast dishes. To get into a productive mindset, avoid disturbances like the TV or having a load of washing on. Playing music can boost concentration and/or substitute for an ‘office’ atmosphere.


3. Ergonomic workstation = healthy + productive you

Having an ergonomic workstation to support healthy posture and your wellbeing is just as important when working from home as in an office. Ideally, having a desk, chair, screen and other items that support your ergonomic needs is preferable to enable you to work comfortably and productively.


If you don’t already have a suitable chair or furniture, you can buy or hire from an office furniture specialist. Alternatively, ask your employer if you can borrow your office chair to use whilst working at home, if for a period of time.


4. Be inspired to work

“I’ve got a theory: if you love your workspace, you’ll love your work a little more”

— Cynthia Rowley


The final part to creating a productive workspace is making it a space you can and want to work. So whether it’s having inspirational images or quotes on the wall next to you, a great wallpaper on your laptop, a nice pen to write with, a coffee cup that kick starts you or something else, find what works for you and use it.


Image of Ness, Job Pair's founder’s, workspace at her home office.


5. Dress for success

Lorna Jane believes wearing activewear motivates you to be more active. We believe the same is true of work: wearing workwear motivates you to be more productive in your work. It can also help in switching your mind between work and home modes when you are using your home for both work and personal/family time.


For tips on creating a healthy head space and collaborative virtual workplace, see part two of Job Pair’s ‘How can I start working from home today?’ series.


We're here to help employees and employers navigate implementing working from home and creating a productive, flexible workplace so if you have questions or need help please don't hesitate to contact us at hello@jobpair.com.au


We welcome your feedback, stories and content ideas - please send us an email.