The Coronavirus pandemic has forced a lot of companies to adopt a new work from home strategy to ensure social distancing. Luckily, with modern technology we are able to communicate with each other like never before. Telecommuting for work is easier than ever, but for people who are not used to setting up an office in your living room, we have a few tips that you can implement, that will make your time working from home the most productive.
Stick With Your Normal Hours
Working from home does not mean you get to make up your own hours. You should be available during normal work hours to help keep sense of normalcy in your day. One way to help is to have a morning routine to start your day and an evening routine to end your day. Just like it is important to start your day at the normal time, you want to end it at the normal time to avoid burnout. You may feel more inclined to work longer, but it is important to keep the separation of home time and work time when working from home.
Separate Your Work Area
If you have an at home office or computer room, then this tip will be easy for you. However, if you don’t have a clearly defined space for work in your home it is important you make one. This may be the kitchen table, a guest bedroom, or a section of your living room. When you clearly define your workspace, it helps limit distractions for yourself and limits disruptions from others in your home. When you set the rules for yourself that when you are in your workspace, you have to work, no exceptions.
When you work from home it can be easy to get distracted, because you don’t have a supervisor looking over your shoulder and your surrounded by things you enjoy. You want to avoid these distractions, so you don’t fall behind on your work. One way to not fall down the rabbit hole of distractions in your home is scheduling breaks for yourself throughout the day. It’s normal to take a break at the office every now and then to talk to coworkers or get a coffee, and it’s normal to do that home as well. You can use your breaks as a reward system to let you indulge in a few of the things that may distract you throughout the day. It’s important to keep these breaks to a reasonable time frame as if you were at the office.
Dress for Success
This is something simple you can work into your morning routine to help put you in the right state of mind for work. Change out of your pajamas and get dressed for the day. If you are struggling to get in the groove of working, then getting ready as if you are going into the office can help with that.
Make To Do Lists
This is advice is very helpful whether you are working from home or not. Making a physical list of the tasks you have to accomplish throughout the day increases productivity dramatically. When you work at home and begin crossing off your completed tasks you now have an accountability list you can show your supervisor of everything you have completed. This can also help prioritize tasks that need to be completed right away and what you can space out over your week.
Communicate More Than Usual
Emails, instant messages, and phone calls are you best friends when you don’t have your coworkers sitting next to you. When you are working from home you don’t get the benefit of face to face communication, so details in your communications are necessary. It’s important to check your communications very frequently and send updates more often than you usually do. Set clear and defined expectations in your communications on the work you are doing and when it will be completed so your teammates are fully informed.
It’s also important to keep in touch with your coworkers and socialize like you would if you were at the office. Send your coworkers a message to see how their day is going or what is new with them. During this time of isolation, it is important to remain social to help create a sense of normalcy.
Enjoy at Home Benefits
Working from home has a lot of benefits such as no commute time, lower stress, and you have more freedom to be creative in how you complete your work. You don’t have to worry about distracting your coworkers if you want to talk out loud or play music. You can set up your work environment in a way that makes you the most productive you can be.
With so many people telecommuting for work this past month companies will have a lot of questions to answer. How effective was our work from home strategy? Were our employees more or less productive? Is working from home something we should allow more of? It’s natural for employers to want their employees to come into the office. However, with so many people working from home allowing businesses to save money on office space, companies may want to re-evaluate their work from home policy. These tips will help you be more productive when telecommuting and will hopefully give you the opportunity to do it more often.