9 Tips For Working From Home
So how can you maintain focus and create a healthy work-from-home environment? Here are 9 Tips For Working From Home.
Working remotely might seem like a dream situation – sleeping in instead of commuting, throwing in laundry while on a conference call and binging Netflix on your lunch break. But in reality, it can be a challenge to stay productive and build healthy relationships when you’re working from the comfort of your own home.
1. Seperate work life from home life
Create a dedicated work space. Having a physical boundary – such as a door – between your work and your living spaces not only improves your productivity but is good for your mental health. If you aren’t able to dedicate an entire room to your home office, be sure to put other boundaries in place. This could be as simple as completely shutting down your computer and turning off notifications when you’re done with work for the day.
2. Ask for what you need
Do you have the proper equipment to successfully work from home? Be sure to ask your manager for everything you need, be it a printer/scanner, web cam, microphone or ergonomic desk chair. If it is something your company would have offered you at the office, chances are they will provide it for your work-from-home space.
3. Set expectations
Does your manager expect you to work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.? Or should you be answering emails by 8 a.m.? Check with HR to see if your company has a handbook or set of guidelines that lay out remote work policies and procedures. Once you have that in hand, schedule a meeting with your manager to discuss office hours and availability, preferred methods of communication and overall expectations.
4. Stick to a schedule
Once you know management’s expectations of your availability, create a daily schedule and stick to it. A daily schedule helps minimize distractions and keeps work from creeping into your personal life. And be sure to schedule in breaks. While it may be tempting to hop on social media for a quick mid-morning break, it’s more beneficial to stand up and stretch your muscles. Stepping away from the computer screen helps you feel more relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to take on the next task.
5. Pretend you’re going into the office
Set your alarm and wake up at the same time every day, and avoid the temptation of working in your PJs. While you don’t need to put on business casual every morning, getting dressed before starting the work day can boost productivity. It is also important to set boundaries with everyone you live with. Be sure they know when you can and can’t be disturbed.
When you’re working from home, be sure to overcommunicate. Learn your manager’s communication style and preferred platforms, and check in early and often. If your office uses an online calendar, be detailed about what you’re doing and when. While you may have the flexibility to take an early lunch and run to the pharmacy or bring your dog to the groomers, communicating these activities helps build trust.
7. Connect with colleagues
When you work from home, you can’t rely on spontaneous conversations at the preverbal water cooler. Set aside time each week to connect via email, phone or video. Regardless of the platform, one-on-one check-ins are important. By setting up a virtual lunch or coffee date, you’re able to replicate the natural conversations you would be having in the office. If you aren’t great at remembering to reach out to colleagues, set calendar reminders to check in!
8. Do the work
At the end of the day, make sure you’re doing the job and doing it well. Even though you aren’t sharing an office space, your manager is watching. The only way management knows you’re working is if you are meeting deadlines and producing quality work. Consider creating a weekly productivity report that lays out your goals and plans of action. This can take the form of a Friday afternoon email or a Monday morning video call. The report should be clear and concise. Remember, the optimal length of an email is between 50 and 125 words. Asking for regular feedback is also a great way to ensure you and your manager are on the same page.
Simulate a commute home
Yes! You get to skip the long commute home from the office. But after a few weeks, you may realize that commute helped your brain switch out of work mode. Recreate this by setting an alarm to signal the end of the day. And, if you can, leave the space you are working in. Shut down your computer, silence your notifications and take a short walk around your neighborhood or step outside of your work space and mediate for five minutes to reset.
Bottom Line Summary:
While working from home has its perks, it also comes with its own set of challenges. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading about these 9 Tips For Working From Home.