Working remotely may seem like fun and games up until you realise you have 500 unread emails and four looming deadlines that haven't even crossed your mind. Some may say that working from home can be even more difficult than the traditional ‘nine to five’ — purely because it can be difficult to stay productive and motivated when working in your pajamas.
With that being said, here are seven tips for successfully working from home:
1. Give yourself time to adjust
If you aren't used to working from home, you may find it difficult to adapt. Trying to force yourself into your regular work schedule, however, is not the answer.
A different environment requires a different routine and, as you work, it will become clear what works for you. In the meantime, create a designated work space and outline your working hours to get you started.
2. Create a schedule
The key to finding your routine is ensuring that you allow yourself to enjoy the perks of working from home without putting your productivity at risk — this is where scheduling comes in. You need to become your own manager by planning what you need to do and when.
Scheduling tools like Google Calendar
, Panda Planner
aid you in making sure that you’re up to date with your tasks. Other important points to consider when creating your schedule are
- Using a time-tracking app like Harvest or Hours
- Knowing what you need to accomplish during work hours
- Being realistic with your time — there are only so many hours in a day!
- Staying flexible — hiccups happen
3. Amp up communication
As you are not in an office with your managers or colleagues all day, there may be a point where they feel out of touch with what you are up to. To avoid this, ensure that they are up to date with what you're doing and how you’re progressing with tasks on a regular basis.
It is important to have clear expectations regarding communication, allowing for no room for mixed messages. Employees need to know what tasks they are working on and when they are due. This can easily be done with a 10 minute conference call at the beginning of the day where everyone mentions what they have planned.
If you feel like you’re overcommunicating, you're doing it right. Apps like Google Hangouts
will make staying in touch a breeze.
4. Don’t let social media be a distraction
At work, your boss peering over your shoulder stops you from scrolling through Instagram. At home, however, there are no measures in place to curb it. You need to become that obstruction to prevent your productivity from taking a hit.
This can be done by simply logging out of your accounts for the day or setting a rule for yourself to only go online during your breaks.
The tricky part comes in if your work heavily involves social media. If you need to be online regularly, be sure to keep it strictly business and not allow yourself to get wrapped up in the world of memes.
5. Speak to someone
Working remotely might seem like the perfect way to stay on task because there are few distractions. Be that as it may, it can be isolating and lonely.
Seeing that you are coming out of an environment where you interact with others regularly, it would be beneficial to integrate socialisation into your routine. This could easily be done by calling up a friend during your break and having a chat.
6. Stick to a routine
One of the trickiest parts of working from home is sticking to a routine. It is easy to roll out of bed and start your work day, but what you miss out by doing that is giving your brain the chance to actually wake up.
Set your alarm, shower and have your cup of coffee to prepare yourself for the work day, just as you would if you were going into the office.
7. Take breaks
The ‘one more email and I’ll go on a break’ trap can be easy to fall into when working remotely. As easy as it may be, do not short-change yourself out of taking breaks — you need that time to recenter.
Apps like SmartBreak on Windows or TimeOut for Mac
assist by logging you out of your computer for a certain time period, forcing you to take a breather.Are there any tips about working remotely that you think we left out? Let us know in the comments section below.
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*Image courtesy of Vecteezy