7 Essential Tips for Working From Home
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many people had to switch to remote work in a short time. This can be a significant change for people not prepared for it, or even not wanting it. I have more than a year of experience working entirely remotely, just visiting my clients once in a while on-site. In this post, I will show you 7 essential tips for working remotely.
Disclaimer: These are my personal tips. Not all of this might be "for you," or you find better ways to achieve a great experience working from home. There are many more ways of doing it. But this is an excellent way to get started.
Probably the most essential thing of all when it comes to working remotely is having a dedicated working space. It would be best if you had a place that is only designated to work. If you don't have a room for that, create a space that is for work only. There should be the least amount of distraction possible in this place.
Having your own working space will help you to separate work and your personal life and is right for your mental health. Once you leave this space, you're off the clock.
This goes both ways: If you were to work from your living room, there would be a high chance you could be distracted by other people living with you, or tempted to swoop in some household chores while you're actually still "on the clock."
Now that you have a dedicated space make it as comfortable as possible. It should be free of clutter, and enough natural light should enter.
Also, decorate it in a way that you feel comfortable working with.
Having proper equipment (screen, chair, desk, etc.) helps to make work from home great. You most likely can make your home office even better than your regular office.
Whether if it's your partner, your children, or your roommates. Have a sit-down with them and explain that it's essential that the time you are in your working space, you don't want to be disturbed. Some people have a hard time grasping the concept of "working from home," so it's well invested time explaining to them what you do and why you don't need to be physically in an office.
Many people (even including myself some days) tend to work in their pajamas. While this might feel nice, it could distract you from the fact that it's not a lazy Sunday, but an actual workday. You don't have to take it to the extreme and put on a tie and suit, but shower, clean yourself up and put on clothes.
You will feel better about yourself if you work all cleaned up.
A fantastic advantage of working from home is that you could be working at the times you prefer. And if it's okay with your employer or clients, you can work at the hours you want. But it's essential to set a schedule and stick to it. Also, this gives you a better work-life balance.
However, you can be a bit flexible about this, if needed. After all, having flexible hours is one of the most significant advantages of working remotely. If, for instance, you finish up something and make "overtime" because of it, make sure to recompensate those hours by sleeping longer the next day or calling it a day earlier another day. This all of course, if it's alright with your employer.
When working at home, it's easy to forget about time or get obsessed with the work you currently do. Make sure to schedule regular breaks - and stick to them.
A great way to schedule your breaks (and working hours) is the Pomodoro Technique. Not only makes it sure you comply, but it also makes your working times more productive. There are various "Pomodoro timers" available online that help you stick to the schedule.
To get into the mindset of working, it helps if you have a routine that gets you started instead of "just deciding to sit down and get some work done." This could be as easy as preparing a cup of your favorite hot beverage, getting dressed, going for a walk with your dog. A little routine that signalizes that you are about to work.
As important as a morning routine is an after-work routine. Going for an evening walk with your dog, watch your favorite news channel, sign off from Slack. Be consistent about it. It will get you in the "off work" set of mind.
There you have it, my seven essential tips for working from home. Most are designed to keep a healthy attitude about the whole thing and train your mind to separate work from your personal life.
I hope some of this helps you get comfortable with your work from home experience.