The reality of working from home is rarely as rosy as you might think.
The coronavirus outbreak is causing more people to work at home than ever before. A transition in the way we work is among the various side effects of the coronavirus epidemic, with many of us being forced to move from an office setup to a work-from-home lifestyle.
If you’re working remotely, these tips from a home-based professional can help you stay productive and steady.
- Start Early: Get up early, sip coffee in the morning and have a balanced breakfast. Create a realistic to-do list of activities you will accomplish before you begin your day. It will give you structure and encouragement, as well as help you to focus on each particular task. We need to map our daily schedule a day before we get ready to work, and decide where we’re going to spend those hours so we can achieve deep and peaceful work.
- Set Regular Working Hours: Don’t keep yourself open for business at all hours of the day. Be careful of the 16-hour-day pitfalls. You wouldn’t do that in the workplace, right? Right. No reason to do it at home. Setting hour limits help many remote employees achieve a work-life balance by providing specific instructions on when to work and when to call it a day. Stop “creeps of work.” No, I’m not referring to that weird uncle (you know the one).
- Dedicated Workspace in Home: Instead of hanging out on the couch or in your bedroom, which might sound appealing but could have an enormous impact on your productivity, choose a place that forces you to be productive. One of the best pieces of work advice I can give you is to still try and work from a consistent space, desk, or chair to remind your brain that it’s time for work, not relaxation.
- Take Breaks: I always thought I didn’t need breaks and I had the energy to work all day. I suddenly realized I was wrong. Everyone needs breaks. They’re awesome for improving your productivity! Take a longer break for your meals and a shorter break between the two to stretch your body. Also, to avoid being distracted by your family members about what should be done, you might think that not taking breaks at all is a good idea. It’s not. Taking breaks is vital to your health as well as your eyesight. If you’re working from home, you’re probably sitting at a computer, and studies have shown that you need to look away from the screen at least once an hour for a few minutes. This is a great time to grab coffee, tea, or water or to make a handwritten note you’ll need to reference later. Above all, get your eyeballs off the screen. You’ll find yourself getting more done if you take the time you need to recharge.
- Be a Janitor: Unlike the office, you have no caretaker to clean up after you, which means you have to do it yourself. Planning time to clean your office space will also help you stay up to date about cleaning your home, so you won’t be tempted to wash dishes—or yourself— during working hours.
- Proper Dress Code: It’s important to dress for performance, even if you’re not going to see another person all day. This involves brushing your teeth and most importantly getting showered and, clean! It may be more relaxed with sweatpants and a T-shirt, but you might also feel tired, exhausted, or unmotivated when you’re in your comfy clothes. Try laying out your wardrobe the night before or arranging an outing during the day to get dressed for if you have a rough time inspiring yourself to get ready in the morning.
- Socialize Yourself: It’s no wonder remote workers fight depression and loneliness. They’re alone all day and all night most of the time. When they do see people, it’s the same faces of the same family members in the home—it’s like watching a commercial on repeat. Boring. Dreadful. Then there’s the office—the place everyone used to go to get some social time. Gone. Moving around and collaborating with team members may also be challenging, so feel free to use various types of remote communication media. That will mean calling your colleagues; or using email; using email; or engaging in a live chat, like hangouts, in case you need to clarify something, or get help or suggestions. That will at least give you new faces to look at. Just remember to wear pants in case you have to stand up for something (see tip 6 above).
- Set an End Time Alarm: As I said in tip 2 above, scheduling is a must. Most of us struggle to end the day, and we might get immersed into our work so much lose track of time. Since you’re Most of us struggle to end the day might get immersed into their work so much as to lose track of time. Since you’re strategic about starting your remote day the right way, you should also put an end to it professionally. Set an alarm. When it goes off, stop working. Allow yourself time to relax and refresh yourself. Then you’ll be ready to go the next day.
Bottom Line: It’s hard to move your workplace around at home, but with a few simple changes to your routine and space, you’ll find that you can still work productively no matter where you’re working from.
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