More and more professionals are moving to the home office. But what does it take to work successfully from home?
The idea of working from home can be pretty appealing. Working without the regular office distractions. The comfort of having your own home office. Never having to deal with rush hour traffic again. But before you get too excited, you should know there are a lot of challenges that come with this work environment. If you’re interested in working from home, here’s a few tips for staying productive.
Establish your office
Despite leaving the traditional office, you still very much need your own designated work-space. No need to remodel the house, but you need a place you can be comfortable and productive. It doesn’t need to be the only place you work, but you’ll be doing yourself a favour by setting up a proper office to which you can escape.
Stay to a strict schedule
There’s freedom to working from home, but don’t run away with that idea. People struggle keeping themselves on track working remotely. You need self-discipline to work without supervision. Make a daily to-do list, create deadlines for yourself, and maintain a reasonable work load. Freedom is nice but not at the expense of productivity.
Get ready for work
Wouldn’t it be nice to just wear pyjamas and slippers to work everyday? Trust me, the novelty wears off. It’s hard to get into the work mindset if you always feels like you just crawled out of bed. Start everyday like you were going into the office. Shower, get dressed and eat breakfast. It’s simple things that will help you feel ready for the day.
Make sure people understand you’re working
You’re around the house more, but it does not mean that you’re available. People can often forget that working at home is still as time-consuming as working from the office. You are not there to clean the house, do the laundry or any other errands — you’re there to work. Set office hours and be sure people respect them.
Stay in contact with the office
There can be a significant disconnect between you and the office once you leave. You have to work harder to maintain that communication. Check in regularly, stay up-to-date on the latest developments, and know which meetings you should be a part of. Working from home shouldn’t diminish your role in the organization.
Working from home can be lonely. There’s an isolation that can be difficult to handle. To help with that, be social when you can. Spend time with family after work, meet up with friends, go out on the weekends. For your sanity, talk to people.
It can be easy to slide into an inactive funk when stuck inside the house all day. That’s why remaining active is essential. Include some time in your daily schedule to get some exercise. Get outside every now and then for some fresh air. Be mindful of your meals as well. It’s important to maintain that healthy lifestyle wherever you’re working.
If you thought working from home meant less responsibility, think again. You are now your own supervisor and that can be tricky. You need to be able to take a critical look at your work, recognize where you need improvements and keep yourself on track. It’s not easy but it’s necessary to stay productive.
Are you ready to work from home?