Have you joined the emerging trend of working remotely, either in a co-working space or home office? How is it going so far? Whether you’re new to this or have been doing it for a while, these work-from-home tips are for you.
Overall, remote working can be pretty amazing. Imagine the flexibility to plan your day, and the only commute you have to do is from your bed to your home office.
However, this luxury comes with its challenges and can turn into a disaster if not planned carefully. We aren’t just talking about having to put up with your neighbor who just started a loud construction, or your kids fighting for your attention.
Most of us were forced to start working remotely after the coronavirus pandemic. It hasn’t been easy to make the switch, and working in isolation can feel like a whole new world. The good news is that you can make this new life work for you. This guide on how to stay productive at home during quarantine will help get your work done and still maintain your wellbeing.
7 Working from Home Best Practices
Designate a Home Office or Workspace
We know the first picture that comes to mind when you mention working from home is lying on the bed or couch, with your laptop.
However, comfort is of the utmost importance if you want to stay productive while working remotely. Before anything else, it’s imperative that you keep your work and home lives separate.
Creating a physical workspace in your home gets you into the right mindset of starting work. It also makes it easier to disengage from the ‘office’ (and work) at the end of the day.
Try to set up a proper home office. You don’t need much space—just a dedicated workspace that will enable you to immerse yourself in work for a few hours. It could be something as simple as placing a desk and chair in a corner of your living or dining room.
Experiment with different workspaces and stay away from distractions like TV, the kitchen, or people. Don’t forget to place some indoor plants to clean the air and enable you to focus better.
Find a Routine that Works for You and Stick to it
Before working remotely, the routine was pretty clear and the same all days of the week. With the commuting part now out of the picture, try to fit in something that gets you started for the day. Be it running, cycling, or cardio, establishing a routine will help you stay organized and get things done.
Pajamas and casual dress are indeed comfy. However, dressing up may help you stay productive. A mere act of changing from your bed clothes gives your brain a signal that it’s time to start work.
Additionally, set your working hours in a way that’s easy to follow. Knowing when you need to start and end your workday can help you achieve a work-life balance that is sometimes elusive for remote employees.
Everyone has a routine that will work for them. Find yours and stick to it.
Being a workaholic may give you praise from management, but it can lead to burnout. Taking breaks is one of the best practices of working from home. You can set reminders to take breaks regularly and use the time to stretch or take a few deep breaths.
Working eight straight hours will leave you feeling exhausted and depleted. Not to mention, you won’t be able to focus and can get easily distracted.
Remember, working from home makes it a lot tougher to be productive. Taking breaks throughout the day not only enables you to stay productive working long hours but also offers a quick way to recenter yourself and get back to work re-energized. So, give yourself a 10- or 15-minute break every hour or two.
Even when you feel like your schedule is so packed, remind yourself that the world won’t collapse if you take a quick break. Grab a healthy snack to eat or perform some stretching exercises.
Block Out Distractions
Harris Poll, on behalf of CareerBuilder, found that mobile devices are the topmost source of distractions during a workday. The 2016 survey reported that 26 percent of employees spent work hours checking their emails. Another 37 percent admitted to checking out their social networks.
While it’s understandable that employees may need to use their mobile devices occasionally, workplace distractions can be a productivity killer.
Here are our work-from-home tips to eliminate distractions:
- Put your phone away, seriously. With your phone in sight, every time a notification chimes, you’ll be tempted to check it. Before you know it, you’re checking your Instagram, WhatsApp, and e-mails. Put the phone in silent mode and leave it in your bedroom. Doing so allows you to focus on work with fewer interruptions.
- Avoid visiting websites that aren’t productive. The best way to achieve this is by installing apps that block websites and notifications.
- Set some ground rules for family members during working hours. This way, they won’t budge in the middle of an online meeting with your bosses or clients.
Get Out of the House
Make it your mission to leave the house at least once a day during working hours. Nowadays, there are co-working spaces all over, or you could simply take your work to a café or library.
Doing so breaks the monotony of being at home. What’s more, it is important to get some fresh air and natural light, not to mention get your body to move.
That’s not all. At the end of your workday, take a walk in the park, or do some little work in your garden. Your body and mind will thank you.
Keep in Touch with Colleagues
Working from home deprives you of the opportunity of face-to-face interaction with workmates. However, there are tools and channels to facilitate communication among team members.
Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Slack, among others, are now the new ways to hold water cooler talks. Be sure to take advantage of these tools to stay in touch with colleagues.
Focus on Your Health
Your body needs the right fuel to stay energized and function accordingly. Therefore, be sure to stock up on fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Avoid junk food and pay extra attention to your diet.
You don’t want to start putting on some extra weight because of your poor eating habits. More importantly, exercise regularly to shed the extra fats to stay fit and happier.
Remote Working Best Practices: Wrapping Up!
These work-from-home tips can help you thrive and become more successful. When starting out, it might seem a bit challenging. However, once you find a great routine for working, eating, and exercising, everything else will fall in place.
To make things even more seamless, track your working hours. Not only will you know how long you’ve worked on projects or tasks, but you’ll also get reminders to take breaks throughout the day. A time management app helps you organize your day and manage your time more efficiently. After all, working remotely entails having flexible work schedules and still having time to spend with family.