With the COVID-19 outbreak, many companies are requiring employees to work from home. I know what you are thinking, Why do I need to read an article about tips for working from home. Well, If you have not done this before for an extended period, it can be challenging to avoid distractions and stay motivated to get the required work completed. Working remotely can be hugely rewarding, but only if you keep your productivity up, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and nurture your business relationships.
Everyone who works remotely has to figure out when to work, where to work, and how to create boundaries between work life and personal life. Along with this, there brings other issues such as the lack of access to office equipment, career development and training opportunities, and building relationships with colleagues. In this Article we will cover some Tips on how to work remotely, to help you conquer these issues and others.
Tips for working from home
Set a strict schedule
Set a schedule, show some discipline and stick it. Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps many remote workers maintain an even work-life balance. Because you will no longer need to commute to work you have already gained a couple of the hours back in your favour both in the morning and at the end of the day. Spend a small amount of time at the start of your day to plan your day and structure your day as if you were going into the office.
Create a morning routine
When working in an office, your morning commute can help you wake up and feel ready to work by the time you get to your desk. At home, however, the transition from your pillow to your computer can be a motivation struggle. Its a good idea to create a morning routine that guides you into the chair and detonates the start of work day? It might be making a cup of coffee or starting the day of with a swim, walk or Jog, then shower before your get started on your work day.
Create your own personal work space
Create your own personal place where you go specifically to work. It could be a certain table, chair, or even a local coffee shop where you feel comfortable working. This helps you get into the right frame of mind to optimise the amount of work you can achieve. Set ground rules with other people in your home or who share your space for when you work. If you have children who come home from school while you’re still working, they need clear rules about what areas of the house are off limits and what they can and cannot do during that time.
Know your company’s policy on break times and take them. If you’re self-employed, give yourself adequate time during the day to walk away from the computer screen and phone. Don’t short-change yourself during breaks, especially your lunch hour.
You don’t have to eat out every day, but you should try to leave your designated home office area. Just like if you were working from the office, it’s always good to step outside for some fresh air. Your body needs to move. Plus, the fresh air and natural light will do you good. Take a walk. Go to the post office. Weed the garden.
Get your technology right
If you’re employed by a company or organisation that supports your work-from-home setup, don’t hesitate to ask for what you need to do your job. Request the equipment you need as soon as you start working from home, or within a day or two when you realise you need something new to perform your tasks comfortably, including the right monitors, keyboard, mouse, chair, printer, software, and so forth. Organisations that are accustomed to remote employees often have a budget for home office equipment.
Use the available technology provided to you to stay connected. Working from home might help you focus on your work in the short term, but it can also make you feel cut off the larger operation happening in the office. Instant messaging and videoconferencing tools can make it easy to check in with coworkers and remind you how your work is contributing to the big picture. Contact yoyur I.T department to see what tools are available to you.
Stay focused and switch off distractions. At home, there’s the fridge, the TV, other family members, a pet, chores and so on. To get the work done, you’re going to have put all those things out of mind. You can do house-stuff during your lunch break, right now your goal is to complete the list of work tasks that you should have set at the beginning of the day. You’ll need to keep focused and set goals to complete before moving on to these distractions.
Socialise with colleagues
Loneliness, disconnect, and isolation are common problems when you work from home, especially for extroverts. Companies with a remote work culture usually offer ways to socialise. For example, they might have chat channels where remote employees can talk about common interests, meetups for people in the same region, and in-person retreats. It’s important to figure out how much interaction you need to feel connected and included. Even if you’re highly introverted and don’t like socialising, give a few interactive experiences a try so that you’re familiar with them if you ever decide you want them. If you’re not at a company with a strong remote culture, you may need to be more proactive about nurturing relationships.
Keep growing professionally
When you’re in an office environment around peers in the same industry, not only is it great for social interaction, but the information you pick up via these interactions or by listening in on third party conversations can actually benefit your growth without you realising. By working remotely you may also be missing out on hearing about possible training courses or seminars that you could benefit by attending. While it might be tempting to regard this a dodged bullet, you might be missing out on an opportunity to learn something useful. Just because you are now working from home, keep your feelers out there for possible training or networking opportunities. If time permits, working from home may be a good opportunity to take some time out to do some of your own training online.
Over-communicate and micromanage
Working remotely requires you to over-communicate. Tell everyone who needs to know about your schedule and availability often. When you finish a project or important task, say so. Its not bragging. It lets your team know of your developments and availability to take on more workload. Over-communicating doesn’t necessarily mean you have to write a five-paragraph essay to explain your every move, but it does mean repeating yourself. If you manage staff members remotely, It’s important not to over micromanage,by using micromanaging techniques could ensure that your staff are on top of their tasks, will perform their tasks stringently. By over-communicating requirements and instructions may benefit your teams efficiencies but be careful you do not over micromanage to the point it comes across in a negative way.
End your day with a routine
Pick a definitive finishing time each day. You might be under the impression that working from home establishes more work-life balance, but be careful with that assumption. Working from home can also feel like being at a casino — you can get so caught up in your activity, in a relaxing environment, that you lose complete track of time.
In lieu of coworkers, whose packing up and leaving the office reminds you to do the same, set an alarm at the end of the day to indicate your normal work day is coming to an end. You don’t have to stop at exactly that time, but knowing the work day is technically over can help you start the process of saving your work and calling it quits for the evening. Just as you should start your day with a routine, create a habit that signals the close of the workday.