Working from home can be great, right up until the kids run into the room whilst you are on that all important zoom meeting with your manager or your neighbour starts firing up all sorts of power tools to put some shelves up on the wall that’s connected to your office!
COVID-19 has caused remote work to become a necessity instead of a luxury for many professionals.
WFH is likely here to stay. Therefore, if you work from home or contemplating the switch, this article is for you.
Communicate expectations with anyone who will be home with you.
Of course, you might be working from home but still have “company.” Make sure any roommates, family members, and dogs (well, maybe not dogs) respect your space during work hours. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you’re home.
Starting the day right: Getting a routine in place
You need to find the right headspace to work from home successfully. And creating a morning routine can ensure you start the day well.
Like you would have when going to the office, establishing a morning routine can get you right. Start by setting the alarm and ensuring you have had a good night’s sleep. You are ready to start the day with purpose when you are well-rested. As well as making sure you aren’t rolling out of bed five minutes before your morning meeting.
In addition, making sure you have enough time to have a quality breakfast, coffee, shower, or even exercise can help us get into the right frame of mind. These foundations can help you to build a rhythm into your day. One that starts with consistency and gets you ready for work.
Routines help us focus. Whether traveling to work or WFH, we must start the day in the best possible way. To find the pattern that allows us to concentrate and be most productive. Moreover, having been used to commuting, you now have more time in the morning to find what works for you to get your day off to a great start.
Creating the perfect work environment
You need to create the right environment to be productive working from home. One from which you can concentrate, avoid distraction and be close to everything you need.
Which can depend on the space you have available. If you have your own office, fantastic, but if space is a challenge, living in an apartment or with small children, a place for a desk, or even a dining table, maybe your best option.
It doesn’t matter what it is, but you need to be comfortable and capable of working productively from this position. So, does your new workspace answer these questions:
- Is there room for all of your work material and computer?
- Is there a good internet connection?
- Are you able to avoid distraction there?
- Can you get sunlight from where you are sitting? Working in a dark space can affect our mental and physical state.
Take breaks to be at your best
There is a misconception among those WFH that you need to be ON all the time. It can be difficult to shake the concern that when at home, you need to work harder, for longer hours and with less rest in between, to prove that your productivity isn’t affected.
But this can cause your productivity and motivation to suffer. Therefore, taking breaks during the day is essential.
However rather than just opening YouTube and watching some comfort clips, use your breaks to get away from your desk. Go for a walk, enjoy fresh air, or spend time with others who might also be in the house.
Furthermore, it is vital to take a lunch break. A proper lunch and time for yourself to do as you please. Fresh air and exercise are excellent ways of breaking up the day into manageable bites and can refresh your mind and body for the afternoon.
Maintaining a connection to your colleagues
When your office starts working from home, you’ll likely miss the casual social interactions with colleagues you’re used to throughout the day. When working from home, you don’t have the small talk and other activities that make each day at the office unique.
Talking to your colleagues via online apps, such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, whether for social purposes or to discuss work, helps everyone get together to discuss projects, new television shows or the latest company news. As well as taking the opportunity to have in-person meetups when possible.
Human interaction matters. So, you must stay in contact with your co-workers and be present within social gatherings. Visibility is essential, and it offers you the chance to discuss any difficulties you may be facing and support one another. WFH affects us all differently, so don’t be afraid to raise your voice if you struggle.
Remember, the end of the day is the end of the day
You might be under the impression that working from home establishes more work-life balance, but be careful with that assumption.
It can be hard to leave work sometimes, especially when busy. And when you are WFH, it can be even more of a challenge. So why not work an extra hour more or keep going into your evening?
Although your to-do list may stretch multiple pages, separating your work and home life is crucial. Establishing clear boundaries can ensure that one doesn’t blur into the other.
When WFH, keep to your scheduled hours. If there is a need to work overtime in certain situations, so be it, but not every night. Put away your work things, turn off your work programs, and, if you can, your email. To separate yourself from work.
The end of the working day means it is now your time, regardless of whether you are WFH or not. Whether that be socializing, exercising, reward yourself after a good day of work. Enjoy your time, as long as it doesn’t involve working.