Top 4 tips for working from home
Social media posts, newspapers, newsletters and other media constantly remind us of the obvious: due to COVID-19 a lot of us are encouraged or even required to stay at home, and thus to work from home. If you are not used tot he work-from-home lifestyle it can be difficult to be just as productive as when you are working at the office. Although we all face different challenges, because we all have different work, personalities and lifestyles, many core issues are the same. A lot of tips can be found on the internet to boost your remote-working life, in this blog I will discuss a few tips that I personally find very helpful.
Build in routines going in (and out) of work
If you are used to going to the office for work, the separation between work and home is physical. Because this line blurs when working from home, it’s important to create this separation by setting up an office space (a standard spot in the house with all your working necessities). This way entering your ‘office’ will help you turn “on” and leaving the office will help you turn “off” at the end of the day. It’s also good to keep your regular morning routine, especially if you will be going back to “normal” office life in the future. Consider walking an artificial commute around the block from your breakfast to work.
Keep regular working hours
Working from home gives you flexibility to start earlier or to extend your work day when necessary. This is one of the benefits from working remotely, but it’s also one of the downfalls. Keeping to your regular working hours (for at least most of the time) helps you to maintain a good work-life balance. Try to start at the same time, build in short breaks as you would do at the office and take a lunch break at regular hours. Also make sure you close of your screen and leave your workplace during your lunch break. This way you can really switch off and start the second part of your day fresh.
Communication is key
When you are working from home it’s easy to get sucked into your own projects, without keeping your colleagues up to date on the process. At the same time it’s easy to lose sight of what your colleagues are doing, which can easily lead to miscommunication between you and your colleagues. The key is to make a communication plan, in which you state how often you check in with each other. For example, in the morning we always start with a video call kick off in which we describe our to do lists and priorities for the day. During the day, don’t hesitate to reach out to the same people you would usually turn to. Also think about the communication channel that you use. Would you normally talk to someone in person? Then it might be best to pick up the phone and (video)call. Is what you want to communicate easier done by email or text message, then choose this as your communication channel.
Working from home doesn’t mean you should stay indoors all day. Myself, I find it helpful to go for a walk during lunch break to clear my head and to get some movement and fresh air. It also helps to undo mental blocks and gives you new energy to start the second part of your work day. This tip is not only viable when working from home, if you are working at the office it can also be reviving to go for a walk outdoors.
These are a few of a very long list of tips on the internet that helped me with my productivity while working from home. If you have any great tips that need to be shared please don’t hesitate to share them in the comment section. Stay safe!