Working from home has become the new normal today. It may be challenging at first since most of us are not used to this new work environment. There is no one "correct" way of how to work from home. However, with the correct strategies, tools, and approach, you can maximize your remote work productivity and finish your deadlines in time.
First things first, choose a spot in your house that functions well as your designated workspace.
A very crucial thing to note is: do NOT choose your bed or couch as your workspace. Since your brain has associated these places as a relaxation area, you might not be able to concentrate nor work productively as you would like.
Tip: You may want to choose a spot that has good lighting and sunlight exposure. Research has suggested that sunlight has a positive correlation with productivity.
Once you've decided on your workspace area, the next step is to elevate your telecommuting experience to the next level.
Since you will most likely be sitting all day, choose a desk or table with the right height as your body and a chair with a good back support. A common reason for back pain is from bad posture, such as sitting in a slouched or hunched over position. Therefore, by choosing the right desk and chair today, you could skip a trip to the chiropractor in the future.
Removing distractions from your workspace is another important thing to do. Having a clean and clutter-free desk and disabling your social media notifications are good ways to start. If you have a noisy work environment, noise-cancelling headphones help you concentrate.
To keep a good habit of staying healthy, avoid having unhealthy snacks and drinks nearby your workspace. Instead, place a huge glass or bottle of water on your desk to keep you hydrated during the day.
Tip: Put a "Goal Board" within sight, where you can write quick to-do notes to help achieve your target. This not only reminds you of your priorities, but also helps you keep track of your progress.
Are you a night owl or an early bird? Everyone has their own time of the day where they are the most productive. If you work better in the daytime, create a schedule on that basis, and vice versa.
Nevertheless if you are a night owl or an early bird, the best way to trick your mind into thinking you are ready to work is to shower, brush your teeth, and change out of your pajamas.
When you have worked from home for quite some time, you might forget the difference between your "work hours" and "break time." This is why it is important to have a routine to tell your brain when is the time to work or rest.
Tip: Starting the day with a light exercise such as yoga or pilates helps improve your mood during the day and also energize you.
Working for long hours can lead to burnout and plummeting productivity. This is why it is vital for you to take a short break in between your working hours.
Research has shown that stopping every 90 minutes renews and recharges your energy level to tackle on the next task.
Tip: There are several things you can do during these breaks, such as stretching, light exercise, taking a short walk outside, or eating a healthy snack.
Some of you may be living with your family or friends. If you do, you might want to ask your household members to respect your hours of work where you wish to be undisturbed.
Tip: Boundaries should also implemented to your break time. Remember to take a well needed rest and not get pulled into replying work emails when it is your time to relax.
When you work online, it is essential to backup your work frequently and save files in the cloud whenever possible. You may use Google Drive, iCloud, or other cloud storage applications that is available to you. This is helpful in case you lost or damaged your laptop.
When working remotely, most of your communications with your co-workers happen either in Zoom Meetings or in writing such as emails or chat messages. By adding more context and details to your messages, you will ensure that your team members know exactly what you are talking about and are in the same page as you.
Another thing to note is to be cautious on how you phrase your messages as misunderstandings often occur when you are not communicating in person. Try to read your messages out loud before you send them, just to see how it sounds to the other person.
Tip: Send out an email with a summary of your next steps or the conclusion of the call. This is make sure that everyone is on the same page.
The Work From Home Culture does not seem to go away anytime soon, as more companies are considering remote work as a permanent option for their employees. Hopefully by following these working from home tips, you will be fully equipped during this new normal era.
Stay healthy and safe 🍻