Work from home. It’s a benefit that an increasing number of employers are beginning to offer and implement.
But how ready would you be for a work from home arrangement?
While working from home may seem simple enough, there is a lot more to it than you may realize.
Working from home requires:
- the ability to adapt to change
- strong communication skills
- the ability to problem-solve
- reliable tools and technology
And there’s one other thing that people don’t think about: working from home requires people to be comfortable with social isolation. For individuals who are used to working in an office or setting where there is regular human interaction with coworkers, bosses or customers, this can prove to be incredibly challenging.
Working from home means shifting gears in many ways, be it mentally, emotionally or interpersonally, while still:
- Completing tasks/projects and meeting deadlines.
- Managing your time effectively.
- Working efficiently.
This may seem like a lot to take in, but don’t worry! Whether you are new to working remotely or are looking for ways to improve, we can help. We’ve put together a list of best practices to help set you up for success when working remotely.
8 tips to help increase work from home productivity:
- Put thought into your workspace.
If you don’t have a home office, designate a specific area of your home to be your workspace.
Make sure that it’s an area of your home where you will be able to focus and where you will be able to set up your technology and any other tools or materials you will need.
Once you’ve set up your remote workspace, commit to using it. This will help ensure you get into the “work mindset” whenever you are in the room and will, in turn, help you work more effectively.
- Limit your distractions.
Some people think that working from home is less distracting than being in the office. While that may be true some of the time, the reality is that there are just as many, if not more, possible distractions at home: children, pets, spouses, or roommates.
Television can also be a huge distraction. You might think it’s ok to have something playing or streaming in the background, but let’s face it, you’ll likely end up watching it more than you intended.
It’s best to avoid turning on the TV and set boundaries as much as possible with members of your household.
- Save your chores for your lunch break.
Working from home is not without temptation. The temptation to get a jump on some household tasks, for example. Whether it’s getting ahead on laundry or popping over to the supermarket while it’s less crowded, resist the urge.
While you may think this is harmless, it prevents you from focusing. And the reality is that once you start doing household tasks, you’ll only find more home projects to take care of.
Don’t hurt your productivity. Save your chores for later.
- Plan your day.
Writing down your tasks and planning out your days helps eliminate the worry of things falling through the cracks.
Make note of everything that needs to get done. Whether it’s for the day, week or month, it’s incredibly helpful to have a visual for what needs to get done – and by when.
Prioritize your projects. This way you can ensure you’re focusing on the larger, more urgent priorities at hand, but you won’t forget the smaller things.
Doing this will enable you to see what needs to get done and set yourself up for success.
- Work a consistent schedule.
It’s important to have a routine.
If you are able to set your own hours, designate a start and stop time. If your job requires you to work specific hours, ensure that you are starting work at your normal time and ending at the normal time as well. Designate your lunch hour, too.
This will ensure you have structure to your day and will help keep you on-task and focused. It will also set boundaries, so that your work doesn’t seep into your home life and you can maintain a healthy work/life balance.
- Dress for success, if not to impress.
One of the perks of working remotely is that you can dress more casually than you would for work.
But don’t take it too far.
What you wear impacts how you feel and how you view yourself. That’s right, it doesn’t just impact how other people view you! It actually affects your attitude and could have a negative impact on your productivity.
Dress in a way that makes you feel comfortable, but still professional.
- Make sure your technology works.
Not all employers provide employees with the technology to work from home. If you are using your home computer or laptop, make sure everything works properly.
Ensure you have access to all the tools and software you need to do your job and that your internet connection is strong.
Remember, when working from home you must be able to do the same tasks you would in the workplace.
- Be available to your team and customers.
Working from home means less human interaction with your coworkers. It also means that asking a colleague a quick question is not as quick as it would be if everyone were in the same space, nor is getting an answer. Similarly, it may be a little more difficult for customers to get the help they need in a timely manner.
Ensure that your phone, email, and other chat platforms are working – and that the volume is turned on.
Be just as accessible as you would be in the office. Supporting your team and clients should be just as easy from home.
Working from home is a great job perk. But never lose sight of the fact that it is still work. Your setting, not the quality of your work, is the only thing that should be different.
Follow the tips above to ensure that you are being productive and set yourself up for success.