With improvements in technology and the ability to connect to the cloud from anywhere at any time, working remotely is now a good option for many employees. It can help to balance professional and private life, like when you have to stay home to take care of a sick child or wait for an emergency technician to show up. We collected 10 tips that will help you get the most out of your home office day.
1. Have a designated workspace
This can be either a separate room in your house, or a separate corner in your studio apartment. It just needs to be a place where you can get your mind in the right space for working. You can even move around, too, if you start feeling uncomfortable in one spot. This can mimic the same movement that you get at the office.
2. Create the right set-up
Making sure that you are getting a lot of natural light and tidying up your workspace can help you to focus better while working at home. Maybe you also want to keep some flowers or plants close to your desk? Another important aspect is noise: usually, the noise at home is completely different to what you hear in the office. So, to help you focus, you can listen to music in the background, or even turn on a white noise playlist. In general, as long as you feel comfortable and are able to focus, there is no right or wrong set-up of the workspace. So, get creative – you just need to find your right arrangements to get you in the zone.
3. Follow the same morning routine
Get ready to work at home, just like you would for the office. Be it wearing the right clothes, eating breakfast or brushing your teeth – all this will help you transition from relaxing-at-home mode to productive mode.
4. Set up a proper schedule for your day
Working from home means you have to clearly structure your day and actions. Listing your tasks for the day or week and setting a time limit for each task can boost productivity and keep you focused. With these time limitations in mind, you can also prevent overworking on one hand and procrastinating on the other.
5. Plan your tasks to match when you feel most productive
During the day, you’ll have points where you feel more and less productive. If you work better in the morning, plan more difficult tasks then and save your more routine tasks for the afternoon, and vice versa.
6. Communicate effectively with colleagues
When writing correspondences in emails and instant messages, it is more important to be as clear as possible with what you have done, what you need to do, or what you need your contact to do. This is also a great opportunity to use technology to your advantage with digital calls and digital workspaces, like Microsoft Teams and SharePoint.
7. Choose the right fuel
When you’re working from home, you have greater access to readily available food. However, how you choose to snack has a big impact on the way you can work. Foods high in sugar may give you a lot of energy at once, but after a short while, you’ll feel sluggish. Instead, go for a piece of fruit, some vegetables with hummus or a handful of nuts, which will sustain high energy levels throughout the day.
8. Take short breaks throughout the day
Just like in the office, it’s important to get up and walk around. Making another cup of coffee, or even just taking a few minutes to stretch, helps reset your brain so you can better focus on the next task.
9. Have an end-time
When you work from home, there is a lot of flexibility with time management. However, that can mean working more hours than you should. It’s important to have a specific time where you put away your work for the day and take the time off for rest and recovery.
10. Most importantly: Be kind to yourself
If you find that you aren’t as efficient at home as you are in the office, that’s okay! It’ll take time to adjust to this new situation and find your working rhythm again, so don’t be hard on yourself if everything doesn’t go immediately according to plan.