Working from home has been on the rise for years. Even before the pandemic forced millions to start working from home, companies have been turning to remote work. While some people enjoy working from the comfort of their house, many find themselves struggling with adjusting.
Working from home during these uncertain times brings more pressure and stress than regular remote work. Thankfully, employers and managers are adjusting their expectations of employees and themselves. Still, the abrupt change in the working environment is not easy to adjust to. Whether you’ve been working from home or just started, these working from home tips will help you become your most productive and efficient self. And if you are looking for work from home jobs, these companies are hiring for work from home jobs during coronavirus.
Working from home benefits
If you were forced to start working from home due to the pandemic, you might think it is stressful, inefficient, or hard to manage. But these working from home benefits may convince you otherwise:
- You can set your own schedule
- Your office can be anywhere
- You will be saving money
- You can keep in touch easily
- You can design your own workspace
- Your meetings will be more effective and enjoyable
While working from home has many upsides, it also comes with its struggles. The biggest problem usually comes down to discipline. Being at home means you can do a hundred things other than working. It is hard to dedicate your time to working when you see all the things that need to be done right in front of you. Apart from that, it is hard to remain focused and motivated the whole day.
10 Working from home tips to increase productivity & avoid distractions
1. Create a schedule
Going to the office gives you a clear beginning and end of the workday. At home, it is up to you to set a schedule and stick to it. To establish a routine, think about your current needs. How much time do you need in the morning? Do you walk your dogs? Get your children ready for the day?
Similarly, think about your usual evening routine as well as your eating habits. Doing this will help you develop a routine that will not interfere with your personal life. Finally, share your routine with your team so that they know when they can contact you.
2. Set up your office
One of the best working from home tips is to set a designated home office space. This will help you cut distractions and establish a clear boundary between your personal and work life. Try to set up an office in an area with minimal distractions and low traffic. If you are struggling with space, even a closet or a small table will work better than nothing.
3. Dress appropriately
You may feel like there is no need to get dressed up since you are staying at home. However, you will hardly feel productive working from home in your pajamas. While there is no need to put on your best office outfit, make an effort to look and feel put together.
4. Take a break
Working from home eliminates most of the movement you usually get in your day. It is thus important to remember to take a break and go for a walk. It will help you destress, rest your eyes, and clear your head. Even a 10-minute walk or an exercise outside will help with your working from home productivity.
5. Connect with your team
Chances are you will have conference calls and virtual meetings with your team to check-in. But even so, try to set up regular calls with your colleagues. Before discussing work, talk about how they are doing, what they’re working on, and what news they want to share. Apart from this, be patient and understanding with your communication. People may be struggling both personally and professionally during these times. Try to be flexible and supportive.
6. Balance the noise
You may be used to the buzz of the office. Perhaps, you like working in complete silence. Whatever your preference, ensure that the noise levels are conducive to your productivity. You can try listening to music, white noise, or a TV at a low volume.
7. Get rid of distractions
During the pandemic, it is likely that you will have more distractions than usual at home. Because of this, you may need short breaks to attend to tasks like cooking or cleaning. Try to limit your distractions, but also acknowledge that they will occur. Be patient with yourself as well as your team. Also, setting a schedule and having a designated workspace will help you set boundaries and limit distractions.
8. Set team expectations
For remote work, virtual check-ins are crucial. When setting meetings, consider your colleagues’ schedules, responsibilities, and preferences. Time zones, personal lives, communication platforms – consider these when arranging a meeting. To make the most of your conference calls, share the topics you will discuss so that others can share their ideas or issues.
9. Be patient
With almost everything changing, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Learn to be patient with yourself, your colleagues, and those around you. This makes you feel calm even during these challenging times, and it will also make you a better leader. Remember that everyone is dealing with much uncertainty and understand if people need more time to adjust.
10. Set house rules
Finally, it is crucial to create house rules when working from home. Being at home does not mean you have free time to clean, wash, or cook. While having a flexible schedule is a perk of working from home, it should not be expected. Do not pressure yourself to do housework because you are at home. You will only end up not focusing on either and getting nothing done. Make sure you and those you live with understand this. Sharing your schedule and coming up with a system for house chores can help with this challenge.
During these uncertain times, it is crucial to be understanding. Everyone has different needs and problems that may be affecting their work-life as well. Use your video calls to check in on your colleagues and discuss the challenges you or they are facing. Finding solutions together and being flexible is the best way to adjust to working from home. By following these 10 working from home tips, you and your team can become productive and make the best of working from home.