10 Tips for Working from Home
Working from home has been gaining popularity and is frequently called the future of work. However, many people have been abruptly and unexpectedly catapulted into working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. So, here are my top recommendations for you!
Set out rules with others in the household.
Unless you live alone, you must discuss how you share the same space with other household members. It’s very easy to get on top of each other. So if you live in a house with other people who work, create your own working spaces. Request that those who are not working be considerate of your working hours. And, if you have work calls scheduled, make sure everyone is aware so that no one bursts into the room.
You’ll move much less than usual if you suddenly start working from home. This harms both the body and the mind, so it is critical to make an effort to be active.
Walking or running outside is a great way to get fresh air, exercise, and unwind from work. I’m using my lunch breaks for a brisk walk. Stretching your legs and getting a quick change of scenery also helps with my productivity in the afternoon, so it’s a win-win situation.
YouTube is a great place to look for home workouts that require little or no equipment.
Keep work and home separate.
The majority of us will have set working hours set by our employers. However, allocating your working time and sticking to it can be an excellent idea if you don’t or if you can be flexible with those hours.
This is because you must ensure your ability to switch off. When the workplace and home are in the same domain, you want to keep them separate. It’s easy to procrastinate, and believes you can use the entire day to complete your tasks, but doing so will keep you in work mode for much longer than necessary.
Having a separate workspace for work is as important as keeping regular hours. It doesn’t have to be a separate room set up as an office, but make sure you have a place where you can sit down and work that is separate from where you usually spend your downtime. Sitting on the couch in front of the TV is a bad idea!
Work out when you’re most productive.
One of the most common misconceptions about working from home is that you are less productive – if I had a penny for every time someone told me, “Oh, I couldn’t work from home – I’d never get anything done!” … Most of us who have worked from home for any length of time can tell you that this is not true and that you can be more productive without the distractions of an office. However, you must put in the time and effort to establish a routine to optimise your working hours. If not, there is a danger of not getting any work done!
You probably know what time of day you’re most productive, but a change in routine, such as working from home when you don’t usually, can change that. Pay attention to your productivity over a few days and use it to inform how you structure your day in the future.
Our level of productivity and motivation varies throughout the day, which is fine. However, structuring your day, prioritising tasks, and using methods to boost your motivation (such as breaks, exercise, and so on) will help you get the most out of your working hours.
When you’re at work, you’ll take lunch breaks, make tea/coffee, and chat with coworkers. You can’t be consistently productive for 8 hours a day, and if you tried, your brain would fry, and you’d burn out.
Take your lunch away from your computer and permit yourself to switch off, just like you probably do at work. I frequently use a cup of tea as a small reward after completing a task, and it helps to break up tasks while also getting me out of my chair. If you are flagging or procrastinating, get up and take a short break; doing something else for 10 minutes or so can be enough to recharge.
Write up a to-do list every morning.
Every morning, I make a to-do list of the tasks I intend to complete. I keep an ever-expanding to-do list, which I consult every morning and prioritise what needs to be done that day.
As previously stated, how you approach your daily to-do list can vary depending on your peak productivity times and how you feel that morning. I usually get a bunch of smaller tasks done early on to get the ball rolling, but sometimes, it can be a big motivation boost to get that one task you don’t want to do out of the way first.
Help yourself focus
If you have an enormous task that requires a lot of concentration, it’s a good idea to have some strategies to help you focus.
When I have a lot of writing to do, I sometimes turn off Slack notifications and close my emails to help me focus. Communicate with your coworkers so they know you’re working hard and not just ignoring them!
So many productivity apps are available that knowing where to begin is difficult if checklists are your thing and help you stay on track. It could be an organisational tool for you. Forest is a fun (and very effective) app that allows you to grow a forest, but only if you’re productive. When you need to focus, you plant a seed that will grow into a tree if you don’t check your phone for a certain amount of time – but if you procrastinate and check your social media, your tree will die.
If you have any great productivity apps or tips, please share them in the comments!
Careful with snacking
It can be too easy to snack when you’re at home and have access to your cupboards and fridge. I prefer to avoid temptation by not keeping things like crisps, biscuits, and sweets in the house. Instead, stock up on healthy snacks like fruit and nuts and reach for them when hungry in the afternoon.
Change into your usual work attire if it helps you get into work mode. However, for most of us, one of the benefits of working from home is spending a fraction of the time getting ready each morning and throwing on whatever is most comfortable. Comfort is essential for a seasoned remote worker with a millennial aversion to business attire. That’s enough to get me started, but find what works best for you!
If you’re new to working from home, let us know how it goes in the comments! And if you’re already a seasoned remote worker, share your knowledge with others.