Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more of us are working from home than ever before, joining the smaller percentage of remote workers that set up their offices in their homes before the crisis. Working from home is becoming a reality for many people worldwide. With companies beginning to realize the many benefits of allowing employees to work from home, it’s likely to continue for even longer after the pandemic is over. However, working from home is not always easy, especially if you are suddenly switching from a structured office environment to working from home. Many unexpected challenges could arise while working from home, including more distractions and less communication with colleagues. Here are some tips to improve your working-from-home experience and ensure that you stay productive.
Working from Home by the Numbers:
source: My Credit Summit
• 58% of people work from home or 80 million people• Based on a survey, 60% of the employees claimed they would prefer to continue working from home • There is a 62% increase in remote workers’ productivity • Remote workers feel 60% less connected with their coworkers
Create a Home Study Space
Wherever possible, create a space in your home that can be used as your office to add structure to your working day, say the experts at Small Business. Working from the sofa or the kitchen table is not always ideal and can make you feel uncomfortable throughout the day and struggle to remain productive. If you have a spare bedroom, conservatory, or a second living room that is barely used by your family members, setting up desk space at home so that you have somewhere separate that you can go and work is ideal. This will help you keep your home and work life separate even though you are working from home and make it easier for you to avoid all the distractions in the home when working.
Consider an Outdoor Office
If you expect to be still working from home once the summer months arise, you might want to think about creating an outdoor space where you can work. This could be on a deck area in your garden where you can set up a desk and chair so that you can get some work done on your laptop in the sunshine and benefit from more fresh air and vitamin D. Or, you could go even further and build an outdoor office out of an old shed that’s fully wired up to the electricity so that you’ve got somewhere separate and peaceful to go and get work done each day. Composite decking is a great choice if you want to improve your garden to make it more suitable for working outdoors in the summer. It is durable, easy to install, and easy to maintain.
Stick to Regular Work Hours
Whether working from home full-time or part-time, one of the most important things to do is create a regular schedule. This is especially important if you are self-employed or can be flexible about the hours you choose to work. Keeping your schedule consistent will help to keep you accountable and make it easier for you to ensure that you can get all your work done. In addition, keeping to the same or similar hours each day will ensure that anybody who needs to get in touch with you knows which time is best.
Set Aside Time for Home Life
When your home and workplace become one, it is often more difficult to switch yourself off from work, which could lead to you working longer hours than you need to or neglecting to enjoy your home life. Keeping your home life and work-life separate when working from home is one of the most important priorities, which can be helped by ensuring that you have somewhere separate from the rest of the house to get work done. Consider using a planner to balance and organize your time and put together a daily schedule that works for you and your family.
Taking breaks when working from home is often different compared to in the office or another workplace since you’re not surrounded by colleagues who are likely all going to be taking their break at the same time. Plan at least a lunch hour for yourself throughout the day and some shorter breaks, which are important if sitting at a desk all day long. Make sure that you get up from your desk during your break just as you would if working in the office, and do something away from your computer like eating a healthy snack, grabbing a drink of water, or getting some fresh air.
Dress for the Role
Working from home means we don’t always have to pay as much attention to our appearance as we would in the office environment. Unless you have back-to-back Zoom calls all day long, you could easily get the job done wearing loungewear. However, one of the main problems with this is that it can be harder to get into the work mindset when working in your pyjamas. Even if you’re not going to be interacting with another person all day, it’s important to make an effort to dress for success and avoid feeling sleepy or unmotivated. Even though you might not be going anywhere, take some time to get yourself ready for the working day just as you would if you were heading to the office.
Keep It Clean
Unlike in the office, you probably don’t have a cleaner to keep the place looking clean and tidy when you are working from home, so you’ll need to set aside some time to keep your workplace clean throughout the week. Regular cleaning and tidying of your workplace will ensure that you can stay focused, remain productive, and stay organized. Even if your messy desk doesn’t really bother you, keeping it organized can help you find what you need quickly and make sure that nothing important gets lost.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, remote working is set to be one of the biggest new trends in the world of work. If you want to continue in a job where you can work from home as much as possible, making sure that your environment is set up for success is important.