Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has caused a lot of people to work from home, in order to reduce the spread of the disease. There is no doubt that working from home is so different from working from your work site or office.
Few weeks ago, I worked from home for a week. This was great! I loved the flexibility. I didn’t have to wake up too early. And I still had time in the morning to go for a morning jog, which I found really refreshing.
From this little experience of working from home, I have put together this guide of 8 tips to working from home. These tips should be super helpful to help you work from home with ease. For all those that are working from home full time at this period or even if you are working from home few days a week.
Tip 1: Don’t misuse the advantage
While working remotely, you have the liberty to do almost whatever you want. You can decide to literally do half a day of work and do other personal things after. But I suggest that you don’t do this. For the most part it is not a moral thing to do. Imagine that you are an employer and you have an employee who works from home and produces half the output they would normally produce when working from the office. Why? Because they’re busy with their personal tasks. How would that make you feel? I’m sure you would not be happy especially since you’re paying them their full day’s wages.
In addition, remember that you working your full hours means a productive day for the company, which in turn means money for the company. hence, your salary is paid. On the flip side, if you’re working half the time you should, this means backlog for the company which could in turn cause them to loose money. in the end, it could result to you loosing your job as the company cannot afford to pay your salary.
Your employers have trusted you to do your job and be productive even while working from home. Don’t misuse the privilege. You’ll feel good about yourself knowing that you’re honest and doing the right thing.
Tip 2: Set up with all you need
Create a workspace. For you to be able to successfully work from home, you need to set yourself up for success. By this, I mean you need to set yourself up with everything that you might need to carry out your work tasks without hassle. This include things like having a notepad, post it note, a pen, a calculator and other necessary stationary. This could also mean setting your your laptop next to a plug to prevent it from switching off in the middle of a work task due to a low battery.
Just know that it would be difficult or even impossible for you to work well if you don’t have everything that you need to do your job. It’s like going to school with no writing material or necessary textbooks. how then do you expect to write your school notes or homework or effectively learn. That’s just an easy road to failure.
Tip 3: Be comfortable
When setting up your work area, you need to make sure that you are comfortable. Comfort is different for different people. For some, being comfortable while working would mean working in the same or similar set up as in the office. That is having a laptop, a monitor, two screens, a work chair etc. For some others working comfortably could mean working in bed. For some its, working while standing. For some, its snacking while working. Make the most of you working from home and ensure that you are as comfortable as working from home or if possible even more comfortable than when working from the office.
However, when considering comfort while working, consider your health and good habits and choices. For instance, working 6 or 7 hours in bed might not be the best decision, as it may affect your posture.
Tip 4: Switch to work mode
I know this is difficult to do but it will do you a whole lot of good. Wake up early, even if you don’t wake up as early as you would if you have to travel for work. but wake up early enough to have a shower and eat breakfast (if you want). But whatever you do, don’t work in your pajamas or sleeping gown. You definitely need to refresh before you start work. Wake your brain up.
Tip 5: Create a list of priorities
Just like you would in a working environment, you need to create for yourself a list of weekly or daily tasks and priorities. This would help you to:
- manage stress and stop you from being overwhelmed
- stay focused
- stay accountable as you are able to keep tabs with what is done and what needs to be done
- manage your time
- increase your productivity
Tip 6: Don’t overwork yourself
A lot of times what you find is that when people work from home, they tend to overwork themselves. I’ve seen this happen many times with friends, my mum and even myself. You hear people say things like “…its not easy working from home”. Personally, I think that this statement stems from the fact that these people are overworking themselves and of course due to other contributing factors.
If you’re working from home, do your normal hours, nothing extra unless you’re working overtime. Your company does not expect you to work for free. Nobody expects you to work for free. So if you start work at 9am, start on time, that way you don’t have to try to compensate for starting late and then work late in the process. Hence no guilt whatsoever when you finish at your usual finishing time.
Tip 7: Take your breaks
Just like the point made earlier about ensuring that you are not overworking yourself, you should also ensure that you are taking your breaks as you normally would. In as much as there is so much flexibility to working from home, take any planned breaks to walk around, have lunch and get yourself ready for your next tasks.
Tip 8: Self care
So this post will not be complete without this tip: self care. Self care is very important for several reasons, including reducing stress, feeling good, better productivity, ensuring a healthy lifestyle etc. Never in history has a little tender loving care been bad for anyone. So take some time off, do some facial, get enough rest, get your nails done etc. For more on this tip, check out my post on self care.