7 Work from Home Tips
While many of us were forced to move our offices to our homes, remote workers and freelancers have been doing this for a long time and can teach us a lot when it comes to working from home. And while many write articles on the tech and tools to use while working remotely, there are many underwater stones we’ll inevitably stumble upon in this period of time. Productivity, focus, work/rest balance and repurposing of personal space for work can be challenges we all face. Let’s look at some solutions to the problems the quarantined tech employees can be faced with.
Overcommunicating is better than under-communicating
Of course, communication is important in all work environments, but when it comes to remote it becomes even more crucial and requires commitment. Since you’re not a desk away from your colleagues and supervisors now, you need to communicate your progress, challenges, ask questions and be open to answering them — all of this in the same instantaneous manner the way you’d do it face to face.
Many teams now use chatting apps, the HelpSystems team, for example, uses Microsoft Teams, other tools that can be used are Zoom, Slack, etc.
If you’re having calls, it’d be good to have your cameras on so your communication is more authentic.
When working remotely it’s important to be proactive about adding structure to your workday. You’ll inevitably notice that your day will be less organized as the office space and coworkers help create the environment of productivity. Apart from having a to-do-list, set specific goals for your WFH time, especially if you don’t usually work remotely and are forced to do so because of the pandemic. It’d be good to plan out the full week and check in regularly if you’re on track.
Pick a workspace
Our home is often a place of rest, fun and rarely work. Find a spot and dedicate it to work and when you’re done — leave it. Definitely, leave your bed. Even though it might be tempting to work from bed in your pajamas, it actually is very counterproductive. You might find yourself sleepy or have a hard time waking up, as your brain associates the space with sleep. And visa versa if you keep working in bed, you might have trouble falling asleep as your brain now associates the sleeping space with work.
When you work from the office your morning routines, commute and office routines can help you wake up and get into the work mindset. When you work from home the bed to desk transition is way shorter. So start early by writing down your to-do list and don’t stay up late working.
Deal with Distractions
We’ve all seen the images of children interrupting their parents’ corona-forced work from home sessions. Establish rules with yourself and your family. Reward yourself with short breaks, but don’t drift away online. It’s going to be harder to do the same with kids, but get the puzzles out, give them long play sessions and check on them on breaks. Good luck with this one!
Be genuine with yourself
While working from home you’ll be noticing new patterns within yourself. Are you compelled to be on social media more? Do you forget to take breaks? Do you end up waking up late and staying up late working? Reflect more on your actions and act on them early to prevent additional stress.
Be transparent with your supervisors and coworkers. Communicate when you’re available and when you need focus time, just the way you’d do in the office. We all know that it can be very gratifying to reply to a message through Teams or Slack and get sucked into this conversation, this intensifies when face to face time is limited. You should also have discussions about what’s achievable and what’s not.
Working from home can be both challenging and great. Just like with office life we need to be able to adjust ourselves and our daily routines to it. So good luck with this and we hope you make the best of your time self-isolating.