Working from home can be really rewarding and may come with a slew of benefits. Yet that’s only if you are capable of keeping your productivity up, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and nurturing your business relationships. Everyone who works from home has to figure out when to work, where to work, and how to create boundaries between work life and personal life. Not to mention about office equipment, career development, training opportunities, and maintaining relationships with colleagues…
Consequently, working from home, means also grappling with all these issues and maybe many more. That’s why we’ve put together a short video on the top 5 tips for working from home during the coronavirus outbreak to help you!
Tip 1: Create A Routine When Working From Home
“Setting a strict schedule and extra planning will be key to maximising your day”
Wondering how to create a productive remote working schedule? For some, working from home seems like the dream. But for those living it, it can sometimes turn into a nightmare! But why is maintaining a routine, so important? The answer is simple. It helps you to stay organised and focused thanks to regular habits and self-discipline. Though understandably, it’s not always easy to stick to one, when you’re not rushing out the door to catch the 7:30 AM train. That’s why some extra planning may prove of great help!
The first step to stick to your schedule is to set working hours. Even though you have nowhere to be, set your alarm for the same time Monday to Friday and run through a morning routine just like you would if you had somewhere to be. Then start and finish your working day at the same time. Then use a planner to plan out your week and get stuff done. Write to-do lists so you have a clear sense of what needs doing and get started on tasks immediately. Planning out your time will help maximising your day, is a giant stress reliever and gives your working week structure, even though you’re working remotely!
Tip 2: Over-communicate
“Communications is the No.1 thing. It’s critical to over-communicate. Be transparent about the fact you’re also juggling with your family needs, so that your peers aren’t caught by surprise.”
Effective communication goes beyond using your words. It encompasses several other aspects such as non-verbal cues, emotional intelligence, and active listening. But how is that possible, when working remotely? Well, here are some great steps to over-communicating with your team successfully…
When messaging, keep your writing clear and concise by eliminating any redundant words or phrases. Be clear and let your team members know, when and how to reach you. Make sure to clarify expectations, work priorities, and success metrics. Note your project progress and take note of the tasks you complete each day so that you and your team can keep track.
Tip 3: Set Boundaries With Your Kids
“Keep them engaged by being flexible about your screen-time. Explain to them about your “Do Not Disturb” Mode”
Working from home with children can understandably be frustrating. Both children and adults alike thrive on routines, so it is important to set out some kind of structure for the day and agree on certain boundaries. Talk to your kids and explain why you are working from home and why this is important. Find out what your children already know and leave them time for questions by keeping the tone of the conversation calm, clear and casual. After the chat, agree on a set of boundaries for your children when it comes to your workspace and work time and establish a structure that fits both your own work needs and those of your family. Don’t forget to encourage good behaviour in your kids and deter bad behaviour. Moreover, finding things for them to do will free up more time for yourself.
Another great way is to set a dedicated workplace. Many people who already work from home will tell you that it’s important to establish boundaries between your work life and your home life. So find the best spot to work from and dedicate it to work, making sure to communicate that it’s a work-only zone.
Tip 4: Take Breaks When Working From Home
“When you feel pressured to overextend yourself, it’s OK to take a break to feel refreshed and ready to get back to work.”
Scheduling a specific time for mini-breaks, lunch or work out throughout the day is essential to your mental health and well-being. By setting a specific time each day, this also gives you a solid deadline for when you need or hope to finish your tasks, enhancing the sense of having a daily routine.
Tip 5: Alternate Shifts With Your Partner
“Switch shifts with your partner allowing each other to have uninterrupted work time.”
During this WFH experiment, there is a good chance you’re not the only one trying to adapt to this new lifestyle. It’s likely that you’re working from home with your partner. So, coordinating your schedule with your better half to switch shifts will really help you have some uninterrupted time to yourself.
After finishing work, clock out of your home office by stowing all of your work tools away for the night. Just as you rewind after a long day at the office, you deserve to relax at home and enjoy your after-work hours regardless of where you spend your day working. Remember to give yourself grace during this working from home adaption. Your new normal may have a learning curve, but that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t enjoy the ride!