How To Make Working From Home Work For You
For many, working remotely might sound exciting: no long commute or distracting co-workers and imagine all of the chores you’ll be able to sneak in during the day! However, after the initial excitement wears off and the reality of social distancing, along with the possibility of working from home for weeks sets in, it can feel lonely. On top of that, without a proper strategy in place or an organized work station, distractions can easily disrupt your productivity.
Ultimately, you’re in your personal space that also demands attention. Maybe the laundry needs to be done, your spouse wants to chat, or the dog needs a walk and you’re getting sidetracked too easily. Or on the other side of the spectrum, you might be putting in extra hours long after you would normally call it quits at the office.
Working from the home office affords many benefits to increase performance, business continuity, and achieve greater work-life balance if you’re able to navigate through the obstacles. Here are some tips to help you stay level-headed and productive during these challenging times.
1. Define Your Workspace
Don’t make a habit out of checking emails and responding to messages in front of the TV or spreading work out in a high-traffic area in your home. Instead, make your space a stress-free zone where you know you’ll be able to concentrate for a few hours at a time and discourage others at home from disturbing you. If you don’t have a separate room, pick a spot that is facing away from distractions and think about using noise-canceling headphones or earbuds. Studies have shown that soothing background music may improve focus on a task by providing motivation and improving mood. During the seemingly endless workday, music can aid endurance while fighting stress and anxiety.
2. Set Boundaries For Yourself
Much like setting clear boundaries for your workspace at home, you should also be clear about when you’re working and when you’re not to avoid burnout. Communicate your schedule, including your break, to your co-workers and supervisors and adhere to it daily just like you would in the office. Working from home does not mean you are required to work more hours- if you feel yourself extending your workday because you aren’t doing anything in the evening remind yourself it’s time to put work away, recharge, and start tomorrow with a fresh mind. The work will be there in the morning and you’ll be better equipped to tackle it after rejuvenation.
3. Repurpose Your Commute
One of the biggest pros of working down the hall from your bedroom is leaving behind your daily commute. It may be tempting to stay in bed until it’s time to start work, but just because you don’t have to leave the house doesn’t mean you should skip your morning preparations all together. Alternatively, treat yourself to an extra fifteen minutes in bed (you deserve it!), shower and get dressed in presentable clothing to get yourself into your career mindset. Use the extra time to make a satisfying breakfast or for self-renewal before your workday begins.
4. Plan Out Your Workday
It can be challenging to keep record of tasks, priorities, and deadlines without your team there to ensure that you’re staying on track and completing all of your tasks. Begin your days reviewing your calendar to prioritize your responsibilities properly in order to help keep focused on your goals throughout the day. Make a habit out of checking off the items on your list when you’re finished- this technique will show how productive you’ve been and help with feeling fulfilled after a long day’s work.
If you would rather stick to technology than a pen and paper, top project management apps include:
5. Remember To Communicate
When everyone in the office simultaneously starts working from home, the casual social communication that you’re used to having throughout the day that breaks up the humdrum of work is gone. Counter this by setting time up throughout the week to catch up with co-workers personally or check-in through whatever method your company usually uses to communicate.
You can schedule meetings in the mornings with the whole team to see how everyone is doing and adjusting to the change. Many of us are feeling uncertain and anxious about the current global affairs and suddenly being isolated can heighten these emotions. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a co-worker just to ask how they are, we all need a helping hand in times like these.
This tip isn’t only for your professional relations, but for your personal ones as well. In the upcoming weeks you may not be able to catch up over dinner or enjoy a few cold ones at the bar after work with your friends but you can still organize video calls and even stream your favorite shows simultaneously with the help of third-party apps to help get through the necessary social distancing. When the whole world is spooked, what matters most more than ever is to reach out, connect, and look after one another.
Remember, our team is still here to assist you in any way that we can. COVID-19 may be strong, but the JDi community is stronger.
What are you doing to stay sane during the coronavirus pandemic?