In order to be as productive as possible, you’ll want to take some time to set up your home office to make it a comfortable, workable space.
1. Establish Your Working Hours
Establish your typical working hours ahead of time. Will you work the traditional 9 am to 5 pm with a 30 minute lunch? Or will you work 7 am to 3 pm to align yourself with your assigned sites so you are available when they are in the office?
2. Ensure You have a Dedicated Office Space
A dedicated desk in a space that can be free from noises and distractions is ideal while working at home. Designer Trapped has some great ideas for creating the perfect home office space.
3. Check Your Emails Regularly
It is important to check emails frequently and to be responsive to any email requests, even if it is just acknowledging receipt.
That doesn’t mean you have to have your emails open at all times though, as that could distract you from other work at hand. Checking at least three times a day (morning, mid-day, and evening) is usually enough.
File emails into specific folders to keep your inbox clear. This also makes emails easier to find for later use.
4. Keep a File Folder for Each Site
Electronic and/or paper file folders are a simple way to keep track of how your site is doing, issues for follow-up, or actions to complete during the next monitoring visit. This folder should contain a copy of the last monitoring report as well as any action items to review during the next visit.
5. Keep Your Computer Synced and Running Smoothly
Be sure to learn how to do quick troubleshooting to keep your computer up and running. For example, you’ll want to learn how to connect/disconnect to the VPN, turn on and off your printer to reboot, change ink cartridges, and fix paper jams.
Work with the IT department to get your computer, printer, mouse and keyboard all synced and connected to Wifi or an Ethernet cable.
6. Ensure You Have the Office Supplies you Need
Helpful office supplies to keep in stock include pens, highlighters, CRA Audit Notes, Visit To Do List Pad, sticky notes, printing paper, staples, stapler, permanent marker, ink cartridges, file folders, spare batteries (if you have a battery-powered mouse), and any other supplies you use on a daily basis.
Tell us About your Home Office Space!
Have you created a home office space that you love? Please comment below with your tips – and make sure to include a photo. We’d love to see and share about home offices that are helping other Clinical Research Professionals be more productive!