Considering the COVID-19 outbreak situation all over the world, many companies have started to embrace a work-from-home culture for people’s safety and to comply with social distancing. Working from home might be common for some companies, but it is quite new to some companies. It can be quite challenging for the people who are new to working from home, but it is not necessarily a terrible turn for productivity. Staying focused and being responsible on our own makes it as possible to succeed in our work at home as we do in our office environment.
These nine tips are not compulsory, as everyone has their own style of working from anywhere. But they might be helpful for people who feel it’s troublesome to work at home.
Before diving into the tips, I recommend two things that really help to work consistently:
- Ensure there’s a proper internet connection at home.
- Work with your office server team to facilitate remote work prior to starting.
Let’s discuss each tip to make working from home a success.
Tip 1: Stick to one workplace
Choose one place in your home to work where you get good signal for internet connectivity and stick to that place daily. This might sound like a silly thing, but if you work in the same place daily, it really makes an incredible difference for your work and mood. It makes you feel like that corner is your working area and you should leave the place after your working time.
At this time, I know many of you will miss the rolling chair you use in the office, as I really miss mine! If you have comfortable chair and table at home, make use of it while working. You should avoid working from your bed. This is distracting for your work as well as degrading for the nature of your sleep. Isolating your work and sleeping area is best to balance both efficiently.
Tip 2: Establish routines before the work
Try to keep a routine before you start work. After a good sleep, I always feel so fresh and energetic, it makes me work with full concentration. So, take a shower, have your breakfast, and even take a short walk before you start your work every day. You can define your own routines according to your own style and convenience before work. Sticking with them benefits your productivity and is really good for your health, as well.
Tip 3: Make a to-do list before starting your work
Writing a to-do list and marking priorities before starting your work is a great thing to do. It helps keep track of your work personally and makes it possible to complete it in an effective way. It looks like a very basic thing, but this type of organization on a regular basis contributes a lot to great work productivity.
Tip 4: Stay connected with the team
Staying connected with your team is important while working at home. Sharing your plan for the day and providing suggestions for the work planned by others helps us to stay connected with the team. Discussing projects together as a team helps you to continue your work as planned and keep a coordinated team even when everyone’s working at home.
Tip 5: Overcome distractions
We all know we have a lot of distractions in our homes. Working from home is not only new for you, but also for your family members. And if I feel uncomfortable working at home since it is a new thing, I can’t imagine what it’s like for a person with kids, especially kids less than 3 years old. They don’t understand the concept of working at home and will try to play with us and maybe our work materials. It’s better to spend a few minutes with them to divert their attention to other family members or some play activity to give you longer-lasting peace.
Make sure that you explain to family members that you need a silent environment while attending meetings. I know this is not much possible all the time, since I always have meetings with traffic noise, neighbors’ voices, cooking sounds, fan sounds, etc. But when attending customer meetings, you should definitely plan ahead of time to overcome these distractions and be focused on your work.
Tip 6: Take breaks
Avoiding break time is one of the major mistakes when you are working at home. If you do that, you will feel more pressured within a couple of days. You can even lose your concentration and end up working for more time than you would have if you’d given yourself a short rest. Have some small break time or even take a short walk that makes you feel relaxed and energetic, so you can re-engage in work with a calm mind.
Tip 7: Have patience with the situation
Everyone has a personal life outside of work. If life is unavoidably interrupting work, be honest about your situation. What I mean is if you lose power or another situation in your home occurs that needs your attention, keep your team informed about your unavailability. This helps the team arrange alternative solutions for critical situations. It’s the same for anyone on your team.
Also, in the office, you may know whether a person is in meeting, on break, or in conversation with a colleague. You may not know about these things while working at home, whether your coworker will be on client calls, in a scrum meeting, on a break, or in a video recording session, and so hasn’t seen their notifications for a while. It is important to be patient with others.
Tip 8: Discuss with the team for feedback
Sometimes it is good to talk about your situation in these times frankly with the team and have a small discussion with them apart from work talk. Doing so helps everyone understand that we’re all in the same situation and you can discuss solutions to hurdles you’re facing. See how others are tackling complications they’re facing while working at home. Sharing helps you find good solutions and calms frustrations with camaraderie. Listening to concerns will also help you as a team correct any system or communication problems.
Tip 9: Don’t work overtime
Every day when you start your work on time, it is equally important to sign off from work after your set hours. Plan your work before starting your shift, finish as much as possible within your working time, and move what’s left to the next day’s plan. After work hours, you should spend time with your family, doing housework, or on activities you enjoy. Having this type of routine gives us a relaxed mind for a happy family life as well as effective work time.
Working from home can be a big challenge if you are new to doing it on a regular basis. But if you are smart about your approach, even if your work-at-home time is extended, you can be productive, happy, and successful. As COVID-19 is a spreading all over the world, stay safe with your family members and especially give attention to the health of the kids and elders in your home and life.