So, here we are living the dream. Or is it becoming a nightmare? Is working from home all it is cut out to be?
Workers have discovered the freedom and potential for a better work-life balance in remote work. With modern online technologies, it’s even still possible to preserve the interactions you have with co-workers and managers.
The idea of a home environment for doing your job is becoming more and more common, especially in the age of COVID-19. However, you also have to take responsibility to avoid distractions and manage your time well. Here are some tips that can make your work-from-home experience a productive and enjoyable one.
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is building the self-discipline to control your workflow.
1: Establish a Work Routine
Shower and get properly dressed for work, even if you’ll be in your house the whole time. By going through a regular morning routine, you make your home office feel more like a real office. Your mindset is also much more “in-tune” as a result.
2: Stick to Regular Work Hours
Make it a commitment to stick to a specified time slot during work. While you can certainly be flexible by choosing only your most preferred times of the day, keep your focus up during specified work hours.
3: Keep a To-Do List
Make a plan and stick to it. By splitting large jobs into individual tasks, you can more easily stick to priorities and deadlines.
4: Use a Planner or Calendar
An extended variant of the to-do list is a calendar that tracks long-term goals and projects. Again, you can specify which days you want to perform individual tasks, breaking up the workflow into digestible parts.
5: Set Up Boundaries
Let your friends and family know that you cannot be distracted during work. Do not allow visitors into your office if possible and avoid answering personal phone calls and messages.
6: Avoid Social Media
Facebook and YouTube can be the biggest distractions when you don’t have a boss behind you all the time. Be wary of the time sink that social media can give you. Shut off notifications during the work day.
7: Reward Yourself
A reward system is a great way to fight procrastination. Break up bits of the workflow with small activities like going for a walk, getting a snack, or even doing laundry.
Collaborating with Team Members
Just because you’re at home, doesn’t mean you can’t work cohesively with your team members in the office.
8: Use Availability Status Indicators
If your business uses communication platforms like Skype, use the status feature to show the team whenever you are Online, Away, on Do Not Disturb mode, or Offline. These indicators help other team members know when you don’t want to be contacted.
9: Schedule In-Person Time
Even virtual teams should meet up physically every now and again to discuss project specifics. You can enjoy a degree of user interaction you might not experience in plain online chats.
10: Expect the Best From Your Coworkers
Online communication works differently from in-person contact. Because many people try to be efficient when typing, don’t take offense to a seemingly rude or brash remark. Expect positive things from your colleagues.
Taking It Easy
Don’t forget to take advantage of the positives of working from home. A relaxed home environment can help your productivity immensely if you use it wisely.
11: Take Short Breaks
Even a 10-minute rest can help you stay focused during long stretches of workflows.
12: Exercise Occasionally
You have the flexibility to go outside and recharge. Go for a walk or bike ride. Exercise like this can boost your happiness and thus productivity.
13: Put Something On in the Background
There’s nothing wrong with playing passive music in the background. YouTube and Spotify both offer relaxing tracks without lyrics for working. Just avoid podcasts, which require your attention to listen to.
14: Maintain Sleep Schedules
Set up an alarm even if waking up on time isn’t a priority. Healthier sleeping leads to better productivity, as humans are naturally reliant on routines.
15: Change Work Environments
You might find that switching to a coffee shop or library to work helps. It’s an easy way to separate your work and personal lifes.
Taking Advantage of Tools
There are plenty of free and inexpensive business tools to optimize your work-from-home experience.
16: Search For Free Tools
You don’t have to raise the budget if you find free productivity tools. Skype works well for voice chat, while Trello is useful for project management.
17: Use the Cloud
If you switch devices often, use Cloud storage solutions like Dropbox and Google Drive to keep all your work in one convenient, accessible place.
18: Install Necessary Equipment
Think about the tools you had in the office that you might not have at home. A quality router, for instance, will prevent networking issues. You may even need a new laptop or monitor.
19: Invest in a Personal Office
Tying into the above point, think about making your workspace comfortable. A bookshelf or a quality desk will make spending hours there more enjoyable. You don’t have to spend thousands on a remodeling, but think about small changes that make big impacts.
20: Get a Great Headset
If your workflow relies heavily on communication, get a noise-cancelling pair of headphones with a mute function on the microphone. This way, you won’t annoy your team members with door knocks or passing traffic outside.
Working from home is a great opportunity for many people. So, let's make the most of it!