The Keys to Success: How to Make Working from Home Work for You
As the coronavirus pandemic persists across the world, many people find themselves working from home for the first time. As you may have noticed, working from home might not be the most productive, nor the most peaceful, setup you’ve ever experienced. Luckily, with just a few small tweaks you can take care of your work, yourself, and your sanity. Here are some tips to help you get started.
If You’re New to Working from Home
If you’ve never worked from home before, then this is literally a whole new world (and not in the magic carpet Jasmine from Aladdin kind of way). To help combat some of the distractions working from home brings along with it, you should:
- Select a workspace - Working from your couch in a pair of sweatpants may seem like a great option, but it’s not great for your productivity. You need a space that sends your brain a clear message that it’s time to work -- and you should avoid your workspace during non-work hours.
- Stick to a morning routine - Whatever your morning routine was when you would leave the house to go to work, continue it now. Work out, shower, and get dressed in real clothes. You may be surprised by how a simple routine can help get you in the correct work mindset.
- Keep a schedule - Don’t jump into working from home with a vague idea about what you should do. Instead, create a daily schedule for yourself and write it down. Put it up in a place you are sure to see.
- Declutter your workspace - If you want your productivity to soar, then you must ensure that your workstation is free from unnecessary clutter. Your desk doesn’t need to be empty, but it does need to be free from distractions so you can concentrate.
- Add a plant - Bring the outdoors in a little by putting some plants in your workspace. Or, if you have a black thumb that no plant has yet to survive, consider setting up your workspace with a view of the outside to help create visual variety and give your brain a break when needed.
- Use headphones - If you find yourself suddenly sharing office space with your significant other, then it’s important to use headphones to keep the auditory distractions to a minimum. Also, make a plan for each day if one of you has a video conference or another important call. If you have a loose idea of each other’s schedule, then it will be easier to work together.
If You Have Kids
One of the biggest challenges many are facing right now is balancing children with working from home. Your new co-workers may not be as cooperative as you’re used to (or maybe they are!), so you need to have some strategies to deal with them in order to help you stay productive. You can:
- Focus on their needs - Just as you created a space for your work, help to create a space for them that suits their emotional and physical needs. If you have older kids, then you can give them directions and activities to keep them occupied. With younger children, you may need to tweak your work schedule to early mornings or later evenings.
- Give them extra affection - This is an anxiety-inducing time for everyone, no matter their age, so go ahead and give your kids the extra attention or affection they need. This is a great excuse to take that one break an hour and step away from your workspace to ensure you’re staying physically healthy too.
- Communicate - Let your children know that you must work during the day and communicate the expectations associated with that
- Expect interruptions - When you work from home with children, you’re going to be interrupted. Expect it and make a plan for it. When you need quiet time, work out ahead of time some non-verbal cues that they need to understand (and respect) to ensure you get the quiet time you need for conference calls or Zoom meetings.
You may not have planned to work from home, but you can make the most of it. It will take time to get used to, but these tips are a great way to get started toward being more productive at home.
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