Over the recent years working at home has become more and more popular. Telecommuting has become a reasonable and more cost-effective way of working. It not only gives employees freedom and flexibility to work in their homes or in places they deem fit for work, it also gives the workforce the work-life balance which they deserve.
Work from home setups has now been the trend especially with the global pandemic of COVID 19.
Safety and social distancing have been afforded by allowing employees to work from their own homes.
But how do you work effectively at home? How do you ensure that you are still productive and able to do your tasks at your optimal efficiency even if you are not in the office?
Here is a short and simple guide to working at home.
Transitioning From Office to WFH setup
Transitioning from working in the office to working at home requires both physical and mental changes that you need to get used to. Working at home is not all fun and relaxation. It is still like working in the office, only you don’t need to wake up as early to commute and there are fewer office politics.
Working in the comfort of your home still requires the same hustle that you gave to your office tasks, only you can do it in your pajamas or not.
In order to transition to working at home, there are a few key things you need to remember.
1. The Equipment
In order to work at home efficiently and effectively, you need to have the proper equipment. First is you need to have the proper computing gear ire. a good solid working computer that has enough speed to handle your workload. This computer may be something you bought personally or something that your company issues to you. You would also need a keyboard so that you can type well as well as a good mouse. A printer may also be necessary.
Now you may think that working in the kitchen is OK, but that’s a no no, You need to have a space that is dedicated for work. You don’t want your kids or cat spilling food and drinks on your work right? Plus having a proper desk will give you the mental state that you need to feel like you’re really working.
To get that workspace all set up, you will need a comfortable chair. You can ask your company for one or you may need to purchase this yourself. An office chair makes a big difference in your productivity. If you have an office chair, you may be able to work better without any back pain.
A good sturdy desk is a must too. You need to have a desk that is not cluttered with all sorts of bits and ends as these will distract you from work.
Finally, you need an internet connection with adequate speed. You don’t want our net to fail you when you are typing relentlessly.
2. Learn to Say No to Distractions
When you work at home, your boss won’t be there to tell you off when you start going on social media and just wasting time all day. You need to learn how to veer away from all these distractions. You may need to put your internet in incognito mode or turn off social networking sites so that you don’t easily visit them and waste hours on end checking your feed.
3. Create a Schedule.
Working at home, as we said is just like working in the office. You still need to get up, get ready and sit in front of your desk. Don’t just work anytime you want, this makes you very unproductive. You need to be able to make a schedule that is easy enough to stick to that you can make productivity a habit.
You may need to use productivity-management tools like Trello or Asana or plain old Google calendar so that you can write down your tasks. Cross out the things you have accomplished as this will give you a feeling of being productive.
Set an alarm in the morning and try to wake up at the same time every day. Just because you work at home doesn’t mean you will wake up anytime you want. Make a schedule for Netflix. Don’t go about watching movies all the time, every time you like.
You need to learn when to rest. Don’t work all day long and punish yourself. Just do the regular shift that you would do at work and keep it at that. Respect the times your body needs to rest, sleep and eat. Carve out time for this. Do your hobbies. Have fun. Your brain needs that.
Working at Home
Now that you have started to work at home and you now feel at ease with your transition from office to home setup, you need now to know how to always keep your productivity high, while having your sanity and happiness and self-care intact.
Working at home may seem to be easier and laxer but it can have serious effects on your productivity. Those moments where your boss walks down the floor of your office giving you a signal to work better are not all just control and politics, it gives your brain that much-needed push to put down your phone and do your Excel spreadsheet instead.
When you are held accountable, checked on, your mind gets into focus. This helps you steer away from distractions and just plain old spinning of your chair around.
In order to be more accountable at home, some companies use time tracking software that also takes screenshots of your computer screen. However, some companies don’t do this and expect their employees to be just plain old honest. That’s hard. So in order not to be lazy, you can first make a schedule of tasks and write down what needs to be done for a day and tick them off. You can also ask your workmate to be each other’s checkers. You can check his or her work and vice versa.
2. Prioritize Work
Even if it sounds so obvious, sticking to your work can be hard. You can be sidelined by people in your house, your laundry, and many other things that you won’t normally do when you’re in an office setting. But you need to remember that the time you are supposed to be working, is work time. Don’t do your laundry unless it’s your break time or doesn’t clean your house. Work the normal shift with the normal amount of tasks. Stay away from family chitchats and all that. You need to focus and work.
3. Connect with Your Colleagues
Without socialization and connection, work feels dry and stale. Having friends to talk about both work tasks and build friendships with can help you feel happier wither work. Ask your boss to have virtual team-building activities or connect with a peer at work and talk to them about your day and your tasks. Try to be more present during meetings and don’t just be on mute and check your social media or play games in the background.
4. Make Sure Your Output is Good
I know it’s easy to slack off when you’re working at home but you can try to be better by asking your boss for feedback. Also, check your work, proofread it and double-check on it before submitting it.
5. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
Even if you work by yourself or you are a freelancer, there will be many ways to seek help like asking colleagues or asking experts online if you get stuck.
Wrapping it up
Working at home is not an easy way out or it is not a boring chore brought at home. It is a way to allow you to earn money, contribute to your company, and still be safe at home. If you do your best, make a schedule. Try productivity methods like Pomodoro or having a calendar, you can be a rock star in doing work at home.