In recent years, a number of companies have introduced the model of working from home for one or a few days a month to their employees. When the pandemic of COVID-19 occurred, many work processes underwent extreme changes, and working from home became the primary work model for companies and professions for which this was possible. And so we come to today, where working remotely is now not only absolutely commonplace but one of the most preferred ways of working by people.
Being able to work from home undoubtedly brings with it many advantages such as greater flexibility, saving time on commuting, minimizing various other costs - for lunch out or parking, and recent studies have even shown that most people sleep an average of one hour more per day when working from home. For some, working from a place of choice also brings much higher productivity because it enables the perfect working environment and helps reduce distractions.
For others, however, working from home can also be a real challenge. In this article, we share tips on how you can organize your time and space more effectively. If you too want to be a "guru" at working from your living room couch, then keep reading.
Build a daily routine
Following a strict daily and weekly routine could qualitatively support work productivity and give you stability. The perfect routine is of course not the same for everyone. For one, it might involve getting up at 7 AM and starting work at 8 AM without a break until 4 PM. For another, the routine could be starting the work day at 9 AM and a mandatory lunchtime with the family between 12 PM and 1 PM. For others, it might involve one or two-hour work slots with short breaks in between, sometimes even for sport at some point in the day. The important thing is to tailor your daily routine to your personal preferences, then follow it daily.
Define your workspace
When you work from home, it's harder to separate your personal and professional life. Choosing a specific area of your home as your primary "workspace" will help make that boundary easier and therefore improve productivity. If you can, organize your "office" into a separate room. If not, choose a suitable space that you will be comfortable in and away from distractions - for example, working in the room where your child plays will presumably be less efficient than if you are spread across different rooms.
Work your standard working hours
When you know you're not in a rush for the office, you may be tempted to sleep in longer and start work later in the day or leave work duties for the evening hours. Try to avoid creating such habits and work during the company's normal business hours even when you are at home. This will not only help build your routine, it will greatly facilitate communication with your colleagues, supervisors, and clients, and last but not least, it will not disrupt your work-life balance. In any case, the most important thing is to know your own work cycle well - if you are more productive in the morning, for example, then allocate the more important or more concentration-requiring commitments to those hours so that you don't have to go outside normal working hours due to poor organization of the day.
Leave the pajamas in bed
It's tempting to walk around in pajamas all day, but changing into work clothes will help you get into work mode more easily.
If you still can't give up comfy pajamas altogether, then at least opt for a more formal outfit during video calls.
Regular breaks during the workday improve productivity and sharpen focus. Try to take short 10-minute breaks every two hours and set aside 30 to 60 minutes for a break during lunch. You can use your breaks to take a walk around the block, talk on the phone with family or a friend, run the laundry, or do the dishes, for example, but most of all, take your eyes off the computer and diversify into another type of activity.
Working from home brings with it a host of potential distractions - your child or pet needs attention, the provider is ringing the doorbell, the sink is full of dirty dishes waiting to be washed, or you're getting a message on the phone. It's easy for these elements to distract you from the tasks you're trying to get done.
To minimize distractions, mute your phone, put on sound-isolating headphones, and find something for your child or pet to do. If you have the option of secluding yourself in a separate room or space, this would help significantly.
Make video calls
You can always get on the phone with colleagues to discuss a work project, but face-to-face communication has its advantages. When you're all working away from each other, it's easy to not feel as connected as you used to. Using platforms that allow video calls will help you recreate that more personal contact with your colleagues and be more connected with others.
It's easy to get caught up in work even after the workday is over when you know you're in no rush to avoid the 6 PM traffic. It's hard to adequately differentiate between your personal and professional life when you're in the same place for both. So stick to all work obligations in their allotted time, and when the clock strikes the end of the workday, close the computer and indulge in time for yourself and your family.
Working from home brings many positives, but it also brings with it many challenges. Successfully identifying them will help you be much more productive and successful in your duties and will show you that working from the comfort of your own home or from wherever you want is, after all, a wonderful asset.