Was working from home your dream since long time? Or did you unexpectedly find yourself working from home due to current events (COVID-19)? Either way, they key word here is “work”. Luckily, there are number of ways to increase your productivity and maximize your potential.
There are numerous things about working from home that address the ways you should do and should not do to making the process work. That’s why we wanted to share the quick and easy version of how to work at home when you’ve never done it before.
Fortunately, we, as VidaMonti, have got seven quick tips to help your transition to work from home as a remote employee.
1. Create a Workspace
Probably, you’ve heard term “home-office” before. Home-office means a place with doors you can close and a desk you can work on. Unfortunately, that may not be the case or maybe someone else is using the workspace when you need it. That’s why you have to think creatively where you can set up your “office”.
If you just need a laptop to work, then probably a coach or your favorite chair would be enough. But, when you’ve got a lot of papers or files or so much space, it’s better to consider using kitchen or dining room table. Even a TV table can work very well, as well as a folding table.
What are you going to do when you need to take a call in private? You can’t take that call in the kitchen while your kids are making noise, or the blender is running in the background. Whenever you need privacy quiet, consider hiding out in the bathroom, the closer or even your car. Traditionally speaking, we wouldn’t recommend these, but you may not have planned to work from home. While these may not be the best options, sometimes you have to be creative when it comes to office space when you are working at home, especially in a bind.
2. Use Your “Commute” Wisely
Working at home means no more commute! And while you may think that means you can sleep late, you probably shouldn’t. While the benefits of maintaining the same wake-up time every day is well documented, consider rising at the same time as usual so you can take advantage of your “commute.”
You should treat your “work-at-home” schedule seriously as you would work, if you had to commute every day. This way you will have discipline and work ethic at high level.
Instead of driving through traffic or trying to find a seat on a crowded metro, bus or train, use your commute to be more productive. Get an early start on your workday if you want. Or use that commute to do something you haven’t had time for. Plan your time wisely and benefit from it.
Did you always want to get in an early morning workout? Now’s your chance. Want to catch up on a seminar, book or show? Go for it. Take an extra-long walk with the dog in beach, play a game with the kids in park, even enjoy a nice long breakfast for once with your friends or beloved ones. Whatever it is, use it.
Are you not an early bird? That’s cool, no need to worry. Consider using your “evening commute” for similar purposes. Every person’s peak performances may not be the same time as others so find out your sweet spot and plan your day according to that.
3. Stick with a Routine
Also, make sure you establish and stick with a routine. For example, if you always take a 10 AM coffee break, keep that up. If nothing else, you won’t feel sluggish and cranky because you didn’t get your caffeine fix.
And if your coffee break usually includes hanging out with coworkers, working remotely doesn’t have to mean enjoying it alone. Meet online and have a virtual coffee break with your usual crew and get caught up on all the things you usually would.
4. Keep in Touch (More Than Usual)
Working at home doesn’t mean working alone, but it’s hard not to think that when it’s just you and your computer. Communication is always important in working relationships. But when you work from home, there is an essential skill called “over-communicating”.
Particularly in these uncertain times, especially when we have to work at home remotely and forced to lock down ourselves inside at home for our own and public’s safety, you want to make sure you communicate with your manager and your coworkers as much as possible. You don’t have to send an email every few minutes or respond to every chat message immediately. But you should let everyone know what you’re working on, you’re getting the job done and how you’re doing (work wise) a few times a day.
If over-communicating seems overwhelming or you’re worried about overdoing it, try sending a once-a-day “recap” email to your team or manager where you summarize your daily work by pointing out important points. Let them know what you accomplished, what you didn’t accomplish, and what you’re going to prioritize for the next day. If nothing else, this email can serve as “proof” that you didn’t sit around watching TV shows all day!
5. Work and Kids Can Mix
Working at home can be challenging when you’re not used to it. This becomes extra challenging when you add kids to the mix. Fortunately, there are ways to work from home with kids harmoniously whether they are toddlers or teenagers.
Regardless, you are not the only working-at-home parent right now, and you are not alone. People balance working at home with kids at home all the time unexpectedly. You’ll have to experiment to find your groove and a plan that works, but after some tweaking, you will find it so relax! You’ll also want to communicate your situation to coworkers and managers so that they’re not surprised if you’re preoccupied at times during the day, they may even give you a few great tips.
6. Don’t Work All Day and Night
One of the pitfalls of working at home is that work is always around you. It’s hard to ignore that “one last thing” you want to finish when it’s steps away from you.
However, just because you can work around the clock when you work at home doesn’t mean you should. Just like you need to take regular coffee breaks, you need to take regular work breaks, too.
Working all the time isn’t healthy, no matter where you work. So, make sure you set a clear division between work and home. Balance is very important, if you need to be successful at your work and daily life. When it’s 5:00 PM, and you’re done for the day, but be really done for the day! The work can wait, and it will still be there in the morning, we promise! Never forget that if you are not healthy, nothing matters.
7. Be Flexible
Like every other aspect of our lives right now, working from home requires flexibility. If you’ve got kids at home, you may not be able to work your regular 9-to-5 hours, but that’s OK. Part of the beauty of working at home is that you have everything you need at your fingertips. So, if 9-to-5 isn’t working that day, sign out, take a break, and sign back in later when you’re refreshed, focused, and ready to go.
Working from Home Can Really Work
Is working from home for everyone? The answer is “no”. However, right now, it’s something for nearly everybody whether we like it or not. Think of the current situation as a “test run” of the work-at-home life. You may find out it’s everything you dreamed of. Or you may decide that office life is the right working style for you. Either way, these tips should help make the transition to “unexpected remote worker” a little easier for you and get used to this new era either it’s temporary or permanently.
Covid-19 is affecting our lives drastically, but life is still going on one way or another, so we have to adapt this and do the best as much as we can by helping each other and spreading the knowledge we gained to the others around the world.
And, if working from home is something you’d like to do permanently, we can help with that. We, as VidaMonti, are a 100% remote company founded by serial entrepreneurs with several exits who are experts at remote working and brings decades of experience for working-at-home.