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Although 2021 and 2022 saw a push from employers to require in-office attendance, it seems remote work is here to stay. Deemed by Ladders CEO Marc Cendella as the largest societal change in the United States since World War II, remote work has been higher in the first quarter of 2023. Recent LinkedIn data shows that in January, 50% of workers were reporting to the office, compared with 55% in November 2022. With this trend expected to continue, more and more of us are outfitting our home offices for the long haul rather than as a temporary, ad hoc solution.

All that being said, how can we make proactive changes to our work-from-home environment and habits to maximize productivity, connectivity and emotional well-being?

Here are 7 ways to automate and optimize your home office in 2023:

1. Set calendar reminders early in the year for important deadlines.

With less water cooler chatter and conversational reminders, it’s important that we create new structures to avoid missing important events and deadlines. One of the best ways to stay organized is to set calendar reminders early in the year. This way, you’ll have plenty of time to plan ahead and get everything done. You can set reminders for specific tasks, such as submitting a report or attending a meeting. You can also set reminders for recurring events, such as weekly team meetings or monthly deadlines.

In case you missed it, we recently outlined 10 essential dates to include in your business calendar in 2023. Find the blog post here to double-check you’re remembering everything.

2. Upgrade your home with smart tech

Smart home technology can make your home office more efficient and productive. For example, you can use smart lights to automate the lighting in your office. This way, you can set the lights to turn on and off automatically, depending on the time of day. You can also use smart thermostats to control the temperature in your office. This can help you stay comfortable and productive, even if the weather outside is cold or hot. Gone are the days of donning your “office parka” at your icy desk under the air vent.

3. Streamline your printing.

If you have a printer in your home office, the good news is you’re already a step ahead on your way to greater productivity. Make sure your printer is Mopria certified to avoid any hassles the next time you need to scan or print something. Mopria is an alliance of leaders in the print and scan industry that ensures universal standards so you can print from any device, regardless of the brand of printer. With Mopria, you can print from your phone, tablet, or computer, without needing to install any additional software–a helpful solution when you can’t ask your in-office IT specialist to sort out a printer connectivity problem.

Check your printer here to see if it’s Mopria certified.

4. Make technology your personal assistant.

 Many pin PJs, mid-day showers, and less commute stress as the top advantages of working remotely, but have we considered one of the biggest productivity hacks? Using a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant can help you with a variety of tasks, such as scheduling appointments, managing your to-do list, and taking notes. With no coworkers to bother, you can rattle off questions, add reminders, and make productivity-boosting playlist requests to your heart’s content, which can free up time to focus on more important tasks.

Another tech tip for working from home is using a task management app to help you stay organized and on top of your work. There is a wide variety of task management apps available, so you can find one that fits your needs. Some popular task management apps include Todoist, Trello, and Asana.

5. Take advantage of cloud storage.

If you’re spending some time at home, sometime in the office, and some time anywhere else, cloud storage can help you save space and access your files from anywhere. There are many cloud storage options available, so you can find one that fits your needs and budget and the security requirements for your organization.

6. Take breaks regularly.

It’s important to take breaks regularly when you’re working from home. Get up and move around every 20 minutes or so. Take a few minutes to stretch, meditate, and get some air to help stay refreshed and productive.

7. Disconnect from work at the end of the day.

Be intentional about disconnecting from work at the end of the day. Shut down your computer, close your email, and avoid checking your work phone. This will help you relax, recharge, and avoid burnout.

With the proper strategy in place, working remotely can help you achieve greater productivity and balance.

Mopria Alliance is a collaboration between worldwide technology industry leaders including Canon, HP, Xerox and more to create universal standards and solutions for print and scan. To learn more about Mopria Alliance, please visit our website.

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