Here are 10 Tips From Someone Who Loves it!
The work-from-home practice has been introduced long before COVID-19 became a factor. Increasing number of employees have been saying goodbye to early morning traffic jams and other tedious activities that go along with travelling to a physical work space and saying hello to work at home in their pajamas.
Ever-evolving online communication technologies, such as Skype, Facetime, Slack, Zoom, Google, Hangouts, Mombit and other similar project and meeting management platforms gave birth to new working habits and possibilities. It’s no longer necessary to be in an office full-time to achieve results and be a valuable member of the team. In fact, working from home has proven to be even more effective in industries such as IT, Marketing, Communications and more.
As appealing as it all sounds, remote work is not for everyone. Not every employee recognizes or can fully enjoy the benefits of working remotely. Of course, it’s all tied up to resources, work complexity, living conditions and family members you reside with.
It’s all fun and games until your cat throws up on your desk or your upstairs neighbor decides to build the next Death Star and all you hear are power tools and laser blasts while you’re trying to have a business meeting online with a client.
Ultimately, working from home can be considered as both a luxury and a challenge. Yes, it’s awesome for many reasons, such as:
- Wearing comfortable clothes;
- Flexibility in work schedule;
- Save money;
- Create a customer environment;
- No more crowds or traffic;
- Easier to make calls;
- More time with your loved ones;
However, there are drawbacks as well. Some include:
- Less socialization and networking;
- Risk of overworking;
- Motivation levels can drop;
- Lack of equipment;
- Frequent breaks;
- Productivity risk;
In this article, however, I will explore tips and tricks coming from people who have mastered the art of working from home. If you’re not a fan of working remotely but you have to, either because of COVID-19 or because your company is operating online only, you should definitely check these out. Who knows, maybe you’re not doing something right?
- Forget about flexible work schedules. Start early and finish on time.
The transition from your pillow to your desk shouldn’t happen at 11AM after snoozing your alarm for the 10th time. Start your day early. Follow a daily schedule and try not to go around it. Discuss it with your boss or other team members. Don’t prolong things just because you can. You are stronger than that.
2. It’s your home but it’s also your office.
When you work from home, try to do all the things you’d do to prepare for the office. Wake up early, go get coffee, take off your pajamas and put on something nice and comfortable. Put your personal devices, such as laptops and tablets away and log-in to your work computer. Try to establish a mental association between your home and an office and you’ll see how much more productive you’ll be.
3. Dedicated Working Space
This is the most important tip. Many people struggle with working from home because they end up working on the coffee table with their laptops on their lap and their dog running around them. That’s not the way, guys! If you can’t designate a specific room, try dedicating a specific surface or a little cozy work angle where you put your computer, your notes and everything else that’s work related.
4. It doesn’t have to be your home…
All you need is a WiFi, a laptop, a cup of coffee and a daily dose of dedication and motivation. Go to the library, a coffee shop or a public lounge. Similar WiFi-enabled places can help you stimulate the energy of an office.
5. Social media is a no no…
If you don’t have a designated work computer, you should make it harder for yourself to reach any social media platforms. Log out of every account or use incognito mode on Chrome or Firefox so that each web search you conduct doesn’t autocomplete what you’re typing. Best case scenario would be to have two devices — one for work and one for personal use. If that’s the case, don’t you dare log in to your Facebook or Instagram account on your work laptop!
6. Plan ahead
Commit to an agenda. Outline your weekly assignments and make sure you know what you’ll be doing each day. Of course, schedules and tasks are flexible and you might end up changing it but the end goal is the same — fix your schedule the day before. Don’t wake up and spend additional time figuring out what to do today and whether you can postpone it for tomorrow.
7. Technology is your best friend.
Maybe you’re not getting the hang of working from home because you’re not utilizing the best available tools out there. Use technology to stay connected. Use instant messaging and video-conferencing tools to make it easy to check in with your coworkers. Utilize project management software like Trello or Asana for your daily tasks and synchronization with your team. Use software like Zoom for video-conferencing or Mombit for business meeting management. Such tools are here to help you manage every aspect of your work life with just a couple of clicks.
Not just that but video calls allow you to interact on a more personal level with your colleagues. Yes, it’s not face to face but that doesn’t make it any less meaningful.
8. Pick the soundtrack of your career.
If you’re working from home, that means you are given a great chance to pick the soundtrack of your career. Pick your favorite album and give it a spin! You’re your own DJ. There are so many studies out there that proved that listening to music that matches the energy of the project you’re working on can boost your productivity. Video game soundtracks are proven to be excellent at this. Lyric-free music will help you focus and lift your spirits and productivity up!
9. Define your breaks!
Yes, you are at home but that doesn’t mean you should take 10 minute breaks every 15 minutes just because your boss is not there. Of course, take some time to relax, go to the coffee shop near your place to get some fresh air or play with your cat for 10 minutes in the other room. Whatever you do, just don’t open YouTube and watch videos while you’re on your “break.” The idea is to get up from your desk and freshen up!
10. Cook your meals the night before
I get it, it can be really tempting to spend time preparing a nice breakfast or lunch. However, testing your barbecue skills while there are tasks to be done is probably not the wisest thing to do. Don’t use precious minutes to make food the day of work. Cook it the night before.
Preparing food ahead is quite beneficial as it ensures you can actually use your meal times to eat, not spend energy on training for the next master chef!
To sum it up, working from home can be profitable and quite exciting as long as you are absolutely realistic about the pros and cons. There are added responsibilities that inevitably come with your freedom and it’s up to you to make sure you don’t abuse the situation. Ultimately, work is work. Whether you are at home or at the office, you have to finish it. I hope the above-mentioned tips helped you a little bit if you’re one of those struggling work-from-home workers.
Now go get the job done!