5 Tips on How To Work From Home
In the midst of the new coronavirus pandemic, many companies are implementing voluntary or mandatory work-from-home policies. That means lots of us are dealing with an unusual challenge: to work from home for the first time, full-time.
Even if you’ve done it before, working from home because of coronavirus might feel like a whole new world. Especially, due to limited availability to the outside world. It might be for an extended period of time rather than a day here and there (and you’re not at all sure how long it’ll last). However, here are some tips that will ensure you’re successful to work from home.
1. Get Dressed
It might seem like a simple tip, but it’s a crucial one. As tempting as it is to stay in your pajamas all day, you could have a slower start and less productive day overall. So, ensuring that you get dressed for the day is crucial to increase productivity.
You don’t need to dress as formally as you might for work. But the simple act of changing clothes serves as a signal that it’s time to wake up and get things done. Besides, just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean that no one from work will see you. It’s 2020 and we’re all about to have a lot of video meetings.
2. Designate a Workspace or Home Office
One of the big challenges when it comes to working remotely is keeping your work and home lives separate. If you’re used to going into an office each day, the separation between work and home is physical, and you want to try to recreate that as much as possible with a designated physical workspace at home.
Try to make your workspace comfortable with a chair you can sit in for eight hours a day and a few decorations. Find an area with good natural lighting if at all possible. Even if you don’t usually spend a lot of time outdoors, losing out on the time you spend outdoors during your commute can start to weigh on you quickly, and it will only happen faster if you don’t have natural light coming in.
3. Keep Clearly Defined Working Hours
Just as you designate and separate your physical workspace, you should be clear about when you’re working and when you’re not. You’ll get your best work done and be most ready to transition back to the office if you stick with your regular hours. Plus, if your role is collaborative, being on the same schedule as your coworkers makes everything much easier.
Holding yourself accountable, but also recognizing when enough is enough, just as a good manager might. If you live with other people, this separation is even more critical. Communicate with the people you live with to establish boundaries so you can cut down on distractions during the workday.
4. Build Transitions Into (and Out of) Work
Your morning commute not only gets you to work—from one physical location to another—but it also gives your brain time to prepare for work. Just because you’re not travelling doesn’t mean you shouldn’t carve out equivalent routines to help you ease into your workday.
Maybe you usually read or listen to music on your commute. You can do that at home. Or maybe you can spend some time with a pet or loved one. You can even add in a workout (preferably at home because of the new coronavirus, but see what is being recommended where you live) or spend some time on a hobby (again, make sure it’s appropriate given the health recommendations where you are).
5. Don’t Get Too Sucked in by the News—or Anything Else
Distraction is one of the big challenges facing people who work from home—especially people who aren’t used to it. It’s human to get distracted. But you need to be wary of how much you let yourself get distracted.
You probably already take a few breaks throughout the day at the office. So, that’s fine to do at home, too. Using that time to throw in a load of laundry is OK, but try not to look at your new work arrangement as an opportunity to finally clean out that closet or anything else that takes a lot of sustained focus.
Related: Coronavirus Symptoms to look out for