The spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has forced many companies to operate remotely. While some employees might already master the art of working from home, some others probably still need a little bit of guidance. Regardless if you are working a day a week, part-time or full time the goals are still the same; getting the work done, keeping productivity up and achieving life-work balance.
I have been working remotely for a few years now and the truth is that there is not a magic formula that makes working from home, well, work. Working from home like working from anywhere else, should be adapted to your personal needs. However, here are a few tips that might help you with this new task that has been thrust upon you.
1.Set a Schedule
One of the benefits of remote work is flexibility. However, a huge part about making working from home successful is how well you are able to manage your time. Setting a schedule and sticking to it will give you a clear guideline for when you have to work and when you can be at “home.” It will also help you to prioritize your work demands without working more hours than you should. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Choosing a time of the day to start and/or finish working is one thing. Creating a routine is another. Routines work as “triggers” for your brain. What are the things that you do before starting your workday? It might be making a cup of coffee; it might be listening to your favorite song or your favorite podcast; it might be reading a page of a book. What about the things that make you feel you are out of work? Maybe working out; maybe calling a loved one; maybe just shutting down your computer.
It doesn’t really matter what you choose to do before and after your workday. But keeping a consistent routine will help your brain to get ready for work and to get ready for a relaxing time. Routines are great for keeping a healthy work-life balance.
Give yourself enough time during the day to walk away from the screen. Taking breaks will help you stay focus and on task. If you are tired chances are your productivity will decrease. Moreover, sitting for long periods of time will cause damage to your overall health.
It is very important that when you schedule your break you take them entirely. Take your time to eat, to stretch, and to relax and do not rush back to the computer if you still have a few minutes for yourself.
4.Set Ground Rules
If you are working from home due to the current situation with COVID-19 you probably have to share your working space. Either if you share that space with someone who is also working from home, with your kids who need to attend online classes and homeschooling, or both. You need to set ground rules about what can and cannot be done during working hours.
Regardless of where you are working, communication is always important. But, when working remotely, having good communication with your team is crucial. Talk to your boss and co-workers. Tell everyone who needs to know about your availability and schedule. Staying in contact with your manager and co-workers will help you all to be on the same page.
6.Be “Present” during Meetings
As important as communication is, being present in meetings and conferences is also very important. It is a good idea to attend even those meetings that are optional. We are not talking about being all the time in unnecessary meetings that won’t apport to your work. But be present in those meetings that would help you understand where everybody is standing.
Also, remember to be heard and speak up so everyone knows you are also there. This will help the team to create the team a sense of community even if you are apart.
Isolation and loneliness are common issues when working remotely. Some companies have developed a strong remote work culture and often offer their employees ways to socialize. Like chats where they can talk about common interests, video calls to have brunch or coffee together, and so on. If your company doesn’t have a strong remote work culture, you might be more proactive in order to start being more social with your team.
It is important to keep in mind that not every person requires the same amount of social interaction. Try to find a good balance for your team that allows you to feel connected and included.
8.Take Sick Days
When you are not feeling well, take the time you need to rest. If sick paid days are part of your company’s policy, take the time off you need to get well. In case it is not, or you are a freelancer without paid sick days, remember that being healthy will always be more important than money. Keep in mind that you will be more productive, after getting better, than you will ever be working while being ill.
9.Don’t Be too Hard on Yourself
Having a high sense of discipline is a great treat when working from home. After all, that is what will let you get the work done. However, everyone lets their attention be carried away sometimes. If you are working one minute and the next minute you find yourself going through your social media, don’t be too hard on yourself. Instead, think about if you would do the exact same thing working in an office setting. The answer would probably be yes. In that case, just go back to work and try to stay focus.
10.Take Advantage of The Situation
While the circumstances surrounding this whole working from home “trend” are not ideal, you must make the best out of the situation. Think about all the possibilities that working from home has to give you. Now, you probably have more time to do and enjoy things that you love. Since you don’t have to commute to work every day, you might want to finish that book you started a few months ago. Since you can eat at home, you might be able to prepare your favorite food and share it with your loved ones. Take the best out of this situation.
Hopefully, these tips will help you with this new reality of remote work. Don’t forget to subscribe to our website to get more free high-quality content.