How To Make ‘Working From Home’ Work For You
Nothing beats having the freedom to create and be in control of your schedule. That is what working from home can do, among other benefits such as saving time and money on commutes. It also gives you the freedom to decide where you work, at home or sometimes abroad.
Moreover, with the struggle to find a good work-life balance in today’s fast-paced world, being able to be where you want at the time you want is a big plus
However, it’s not always a smooth road. You still have to deal with distractions, working in isolation among other challenges.
So, how do you work from home successfully amidst the challenges? Here are a few tips.
1. Create a schedule
It is easy to think that you have all the time to tackle projects, and just end up procrastinating or joining in on the family fun, lagging on your deadlines. Sometimes house chores can take most of your time, leaving you with limited time to work.
Create a schedule to counter this, and strictly follow it. Have clear work hours, breaks, and time for personal errands. You can use time tracking apps to help you in organizing your schedule.
2. Follow your usual morning routine
There is something that a morning commute to the office does, to get you into a working mood, motivated, and ready for the day. It could be meeting different people on the way, or your routine of reading a book or listening to one. If you are finding it difficult to get started on your day, especially if you started working from home recently, this could be what you are missing.
It helps to mimic your usual morning routine. Try taking a short walk around the block, listening to an audiobook. You will be surprised how easy it will be to switch to work mode after.
3. Have a dedicated workspace
Have you ever found yourself sleeping when working from your bed, or staring at the TV when working from the couch? Well, it happens most of the time. The reason being, those two are not ideal places to work from.
Create a dedicated office space at home with a proper chair and table. A room with a door and enough natural light are ideal. However, if you are limited in space, a corner in your bedroom, kitchen, or living room can do. Just make sure it is the least frequented area of the home.
If you have the budget and space, a slight renovation would generate the right environment for a productive home office. “Get the extra space you need while adding beauty and value to your home with a home addition”. This spot-on quote can be found in Solid Construction & Design’s website.
4. Set clear boundaries
When you are home throughout, your family members tend to think that you can find time to help around the house. If you have kids, they will at times nag you to help with schoolwork or even join in their playtime. While it is not good to ignore them, such distractions can hurt your productivity.
Have a sit down with your family and explain your schedule to them. Set clear situations for when they can disturb you. In addition, let them know when you can help around the house. Consider hiring a babysitter or paying a daycare if your children are small.
5. Stay connected
Working in isolation can bring loneliness and a feel of disconnect. If you are a person who loves working with other people, this can be detrimental to your productivity. Even if this is not the case, everyone needs some human interaction within the day to remain motivated.
Ensure that you connect with your colleagues every now and then. There are many platforms that you can do from the comfort of your home. If you are a freelancer, join channels that fellow freelancers are found and get to interact with them.
6. Take breaks
Working for long hours might help improve your productivity, but will have adverse effects on your health before long.
Ensure that you are taking regular breaks between work. Ideally, a 15 minutes break taken twice in a day is sufficient. Remember to take a lunch break and don’t force it when you are sick. Take a day or two off work and resume when you feel better. In addition, remember to step away from work when you are done.
To firmly stray away from the temptation to keep on working, you can take up a simple and yet enjoyable hobby that will keep your mind off of work, and other distractions that can disrupt your wellbeing at home. For example, you can try indoor gardening. This activity can be extremely therapeutic, especially when you see your house plants finally blooming. If the room designated for your houseplants does not get enough sunlight, you can get some grow lights to provide sufficient lighting for their germination and growth.
When working from home, it is easy to wonder whether you are doing enough, and tend to overwork yourself.
Ask your bosses what they exactly expect from you, and in return be realistic of what you can do. If you are self-employed, setting goals gives you a clear guideline of the amount of work you need to put in.