At the beginning of this year, many companies have allowed their employees to work from home. Many find this work-from-home setup a blessing as it has a lot of perks. Many workers enjoy this shift because they get to spend more time with family or friends. Also, they can now sleep longer than before as they do not need to commute to work. However, employers and many employees alike have also seen this work-from-home setup as a struggle. Some find it difficult to complete tasks as distractions are everywhere at home. In addition, the atmosphere at home is very much relaxed compared to the workplace that many end up just resting then procrastinating later on.
Working from Home Tips for Success
For first-timers, working from home might seem easy. They would initially think they would have a lot of time on their hands that they would set aside work, and do other nonessential activities first. Contrary to many claims, it can be a handful, maybe even more compared to when you work at your office. Many can work from home, but not all can easily separate work and home life. Whether you are a first-timer or not, here are some tips for working from home:
1. Identify distractions (and keep them at bay)
Distractions are everywhere; whether you are at the office or not, you can get distracted. However, working from home can have double the distractions. The TV, the background noise, your pet, your family or housemates, and chores at home are some of the distractions you’ll encounter when working from home. One important thing to do before you start working from home is to know what your distractions are. When you know you get easily distracted by noise, set your designated workplace away from the noise may it be the TV, the radio, your dog, or your housemates. Being able to identify these things can make it easier for you to focus on your work.
When working from home, meetings can also be interrupted by a slow internet connection or different unavoidable background nose. When this happens, make sure that you have other ways of communicating across the screen. Learn a few hand signals, so your meeting can still proceed accordingly. Take a look at this list and learn a few hand signals you and your team can adapt to your next online meeting.
2. Stick to your routine
Working from home does not mean that you get to slack around. Extending your sleeping time is okay and understandable; however, it would be better if you make a new work schedule and stick to it. Train your mind and body to wake up at a designated time. Enjoy your breakfast, which you couldn’t do before. Take a shower and change into your work clothes. Following a work routine will help you be more organized with your tasks for the day, and in a way puts you in a “work mode” despite being in a different environment. This routine also includes the time to disconnect from work. Do not overwork yourself; the pandemic is already stressful enough, overworking would be more harm than good.
3. Give yourself a break
When creating your work-from-home schedule, make sure that you include breaks. Take this opportunity to prepare yourself a decent meal other than your usual takeaways when you were still reporting to your office. Enjoy your one hour or so lunch break away from work. If you have set up your workstation, make it a point to eat in another room. By doing this, you are able to draw the line between work and life. When the lunch break is over, go back to your workstation and get things done.
If given a chance, take a walk around a park near your neighborhood during your break. Soak in a bit of the sun, and greenery. Being outside of your workstation, or in this case, your home, for a bit will help you feel refreshed and reenergized for the next set of tasks to be done. Exercising during your breaks can also help you relieve any pent up stress. Sitting in front of the computer can be quite damaging to your body. Try these simple stretches to alleviate body pain after a day’s worth of work.
4. Avoid multitasking
Another possible distraction when working from home is your pending house chores. Separating work and home life is a challenge in this new normal work setup. Train your mind to only stick to work tasks during work hours, and set aside house chores. When it is working hours, don’t mind your dirty laundry, your messy living room, or your dishes. Set them aside for a while and get back to doing them after work. This can help you achieve a successful work from home experience.
Similar to how you would prepare for work the night before, prepare your clothes, your to-do lists, as well as your lunch for the next day. This will not only give you more time for other tasks, but it will also help you be more focused at work. Setting clear goals the night before will aid you in accomplishing more the next workday.
Preparing isn’t only for your materials or equipment needed for work, but you should also prepare your mind. Working from home is not easy for some; take the time to talk to yourself about this new work-from-home set up so you won’t feel any anxiety or too much stress about it.
These are just some of the work from home tips you can try and apply to help make your work from home experience successful. Don’t forget to have a talk with the people you live with as well about your new setup so they won’t get in the way of your work schedule. Just like any other workday, do not be too hard on yourself. Everyone is still adjusting to the new normal. Learning the ins and outs of working from home isn’t done in just a day. Take your time and do what works for you.