As more companies implement work-from-home policies, employees are now tasked with trying to be just as productive without their normal resources and routines. Whilst working from home may sound like a dream come true in theory, being efficient is actually easier said than done.
Top tips for working from home
For many modern professionals, working from the comfort of their own home is a luxury, where one can forego their daily commute in favour of more sleep or exercise time. However, working remotely is a double-edge sword and can make it harder to focus on working.
Some also may find the experience of social distancing to be a somewhat lonely enterprise, but it doesn’t have to be. For those who are not used to working at home, we have put some handy tips together to ensure that you stay on top of your game and adjust to your new situation.
1. Keep to a routine
Just because you’re not commuting and going into an office doesn’t mean you should skip your weekday morning preparations. Wake up at your normal time, shower, and get dressed in real clothes, changing out of your pyjamas! Make yourself a hot drink and nourish your body with a good breakfast. This will help you to mentally prepare for the day ahead and get into the ‘I’m going to work’ mindset.
2. Make a schedule
When working alone, you should keep a more structured daily schedule than usual. If you typical work nine-to-six hours, keep doing this at home. It’s easy to lose track of time and if you can’t stick to a typical work-life balance, you may find yourself burning out.
Making lists is a great way to boost productivity and keep you on-track and believe it or not, one way to work from home efficiently is to dive into your to-do list as soon as you wake up. Even if you come up short of your goal at the end of your work day, you’ll still be proud to see a solid list of tasks that have been completed.
3. Create your own work space
Try to find yourself a dedicated and comfortable spot to work that you can associate with your job and leave when you’re off the clock. Although it’s tempting to stay in bed or head to your sofa, those who successfully work from home agree that you’re best off setting up a station. If you don’t have a desk, then make use of your dining room table. Besides making you feel like you’re in an office, it will help you to maintain good posture, avoid distractions, and leave your work behind at the end of the day.
Confine your work space to a specific area in your home so your job doesn’t intrude into the lives of other household members and you can concentrate. Make your space a stress-free zone of quiet and solitude where you can concentrate.
Setting up a dedicated space to help you get into the right frame of mind and is the key element to remain productive.
4. Keep it simple
This may seem like a convenient time to catch up on chores around the house, but it’s easier than you’d expect to get distracted. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break, but don’t let everyday chores distract you from being productive, as its quite simple – you wouldn’t be doing them if you were at work. If you meal prep or pack snacks ahead of arriving to the office, do the same at home so you don’t get preoccupied in the kitchen.
5. Keep moving!
Sitting down all day isn’t healthy even if you’re at the office, but working from home means you skip your commute and have fewer reasons to get up from your chair throughout the day.
Using your breaks to workout is a great way to de-stress and keep your immune system in tip-top shape. Besides the countless health benefits, workouts will also help you to keep mindful after being cooped up for an extended period of time.
There is a lot you can do at home that requires absolutely no equipment to build strength and get your heart rate up, such as yoga and basic exercises such as planks, pushups, squats, leg lifts and burpees.
6. Get some fresh air
Since experts advise to limit contact with people who may be sick and many companies are urging employees to stay home, you’re likely going to spend a lot of time indoors. Make sure you open windows to get in as much natural daylight and fresh air as possible and if you are lucky enough to have a balcony or terrace, take advantage of it.
Don’t let your confined circumstances impact your tranquility, happiness or productivity.
7. Stay connected
Social interactions can alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness. So, if you work on a team, make sure to check in regularly just like you would in the office. Create to-do lists to keep yourself organised and focused, and share the status of your lists with the appropriate person so they know you’re on top of your work. Besides email and messaging programs, it’s a good idea to set up regular check-ins via phone or video conferencing whether it be on Skype or FaceTime.
8. Prepare for disruptions
It’s difficult enough to get work done if you have children at home, but even harder with younger kids like babies and toddlers. But, it’s not impossible if you have plan ahead and have some flexibility. Try new activities such as toys and games that kids haven’t played with before which will keep them entertained longer. Time-consuming projects, like crafts, stickers, puzzles, and legos, are also sure to buy you some time.
Mixing up your hours may also help, if your job allows for it. Try to squeeze in work when your baby or toddler is asleep, like early morning, nap times, and at night. It’s not ideal, but you’ll be more productive if you have quiet time to yourself.
9. Stay mindful
It is fundamental that you don’t let your confined circumstances negatively impact your tranquility, happiness or productivity. Remember, your greatest power is your perspective and your best ally is to find the positives during an uncontrollable and difficult situation so make sure you take advantage of this time to focus on being mindful. Use your free time to time to reorganise your wardrobe, cook up a storm or get caught up on things that you may have wanted to do, but just haven’t had the time for.