Working from home may seem like a great thing. It gives you greater flexibility with your schedule. Things seem great until your kids and pets want to draw your attention or your neighbor thinks they are great at a DIY project with their set of power tools. The pandemic has made it apparent how important a role remote work is to the economy. It has proven to both employees and employers that work-from-home (WFH) can be more of a necessity than a luxury.
However, working from home comes with serious questions about productivity and efficiency. There are distractions in both the office and WFH environments. When work from home becomes a necessity, it is important to follow certain tips to ensure you are making the most of the time you put in.
Here are 19 tips to work from home and get the best out of your efforts.
You may have family members or roommates and you want them to respect your time and space when you are working. It is easy to get distracted by endless things. Take the following steps:
· Make it clear to others that you are still in your ‘office’ even when it seems you are sitting at your desk at home.
· Set the rules and times for meeting or interacting with you.
Create a dedicated workspace in your home. It should have a table, chair, and all the systems, peripherals, and accessories you will need. A designated workspace can also help program your mind for work. Maintain a clean and clutter-free work environment. Get the help of residential junk removal from time to time to clear your home of unwanted junk.
It is easy to lose track of time when working from home. Don't let your work life or personal life interfere with each other. Set a boundary between the two. Set an alarm for your tasks and the entire workday at home. If you have to handle your home chores, such as meal preparation, cleaning, garbage removal, and other tasks, set fixed hours for them.
Spend a few minutes every day in the morning to plan your goals for the day and week. Your daily goals can guide you in building the weekly goals.
When working from home, it is easy to get so much engrossed in your work that you forget taking a break. While sticking to task deadlines is important, many don't want the feeling of WFH to make them feel any lesser than working from their office. This often prevents them from taking rest or getting their full 8 hours of sleep. Avoid assuming that you have to work 100% of the time you are at home.
It is best to get started with your to-do list and project as early as possible. When you get started the first thing in the morning, it will become easier to make a progress in the project. Else, the morning chores can affect your motivation and slow down progress.
It is best to prepare your meals for the workday, the night before. The benefits include:
· Spending your meal times eating and not preparing food.
· Avoid non-work-related tasks.
The feeling of working from an office can make you more productive. It is recommended to get dressed up just like you do for your office and it can make a big difference in how you perform at work.
Create a schedule and structure your day to work efficiently from home.
· Use an online calendar to set time for tasks and personal events
· Structure your day just like you would when working from your office.
Keep in mind that no one can perform at their best from morning till evening. Your energy levels and motivation will keep changing during the day. Find out when you are most productive and make sure to spend those hours doing most of your work. This can be the best time to do the most challenging tasks.
Projects will typically take longer than you may think. This means that you will regularly do less work than your to-do list requires. So, it is recommended to commit to getting more tasks done during the day. Even when you fall short of your goals, you will have more ‘completed’ tasks.
The right music can be a big productivity booster. Choose and play the music that perfectly matches the energy levels required for handling a project. For example, lyric-free, video game tracks can be perfect for focusing on work.
Social media can be a big distraction for those working from home, thus seriously affecting your productivity. Use the following tips:
· Remove social media shortcuts in your browser
· Log-out of all your social media accounts
· Use a private browser window
· Turn-off the notifications
Stay in touch with your remote colleagues using videoconferencing tools. This can keep reminding you of how your work is contributing to your company. It is important to invest in the right technology.
It is easy to automatically enter the kitchen for snacks when working from home. Unhealthy food can affect your health, drain your energy, and impact your productivity. So it is important to take healthy snacks. You should also get proper sleep to maintain your energy levels.
It can be worthwhile taking a break from your WFH environment once in a while to feel fresh. You can take your work along to a library, a Wi-Fi-enabled public space, a coffee shop, or a beautiful spot near your home.
The morning may not be the best time to take the calls. When it comes to phone calls, video calls, and online meetings, set them for the afternoon, when you are fully awake. Give yourself some time before you work directly with others.
It is important to take regular breaks from work and do some light exercise.
· Regular stretching maintains posture
· Regular exercise can boost your endorphin levels and productivity
· Go for a walk
Announce the date and time of your availability to your colleagues and friends. This will help avoid any assumptions on anyone’s part that you are avoiding them. If you work from home only a few days a week, let your team know about the days, times, and methods to reach you.
It is recommended to follow a consistent schedule every day. From your work schedule to eating, sleeping, and other activities, consistency can bring order, better organization, and greater productivity. So, follow these to ensure that you are making your WFH schedule as productive and efficient as possible.