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Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, remote working was becoming more popular than ever. Now, after the impact of the Coronavirus, it’s estimated that anywhere from 25-30% of the workforce will be working from home multiple days each week.
Whether you work for a company that is allowing you to work remotely, or you’re starting your own business and need to make the transition easier on yourself, there are things you should do to keep taking positive steps with your career.
Working from home isn’t always as easy as it might sound. It requires a lot of dedication and discipline, and it’s far too easy to get distracted by other everyday things.
So, what can you do to transition into a successful work from home experience? Let’s look at a few helpful tips.
One mistake people often make is thinking that working from home means they can work anywhere in the home. While that’s technically true, it’s not the most practical or productive way of thinking.
For example, if you start working on your couch in your living room, you could be tempted to turn on the television, take a nap, or get distracted by a dozen other things. It’s important to separate your workspace from your home space as much as possible.
With that in mind, dedicate an area of your home to be your personal office. If you don’t have a lot of room, it doesn’t necessarily need to be a separate area of the house. Even a small corner with a desk and no distractions is better than nothing.
In addition to having the right space, it’s important to set working hours for yourself. You wouldn’t go to the office at 11am and leave at 2pm, just to come back at 3pm and then go home at 8pm, right?
So, don’t do that at home. By setting strict working hours for yourself, you’re more likely to stay on track and you won’t get distracted by things that might be going on within your home. This will also help you to keep a better work-life balance, since you can cut yourself off in the evenings to spend time with your family.
Speaking of which, make sure everyone in your home knows when your working hours are, and that you need to stay focused during that time.
Studies have shown that there are mental health benefits to having a routine, including keeping your stress levels well-managed. So, don’t let go of your daily routine just because you’re working from home. Not only can it make you less productive, but it can impact your stress levels and may even cause you to feel more anxious.
Try to keep a similar routine to the one you had when you were going into work. Wake up at the same time each day, and follow a typical morning routine. Maybe you go for a run, eat breakfast, take a shower, etc. By falling into a routine each day, you’ll get more comfortable working from home because there will be some familiarity to it. You’ll be able to associate it with a workday, rather than just ‘getting to stay at home’.
One of the challenges of working from home is feeling left out when it comes to your co-workers who are still in the office or also working remotely. Most businesses thrive in a team atmosphere when everyone works together. Thankfully, working from home has become so popular thanks to advancements in technology. It’s easier than ever to stay connected with your co-workers. Whether you hold Zoom meetings, hangouts, or simply call each other throughout the day, keeping those connections is important for your personal wellbeing and to continue active communication throughout your business.
It’s easier to avoid distractions if you know the things you have to get done on a daily basis. Even if you’re not typically a list-maker, it’s a good idea to have a planner or a list in front of you with everything you need to accomplish each day.
Having your tasks written down will help to keep you on track. Plus, as you start to check off the things you’re doing, you might find you’re more motivated to keep going in order to get things done.
Working from home has many benefits, and flexibility is something that actually helps some people to be more productive. But, it’s important to transition to a remote working environment the right way. Keep these tips in mind to set yourself up for success when you’re working from home for the first time.