Ever since COVID-19, remote work has become more common as a necessity instead of a luxury. It may seem challenging though, especially if you haven’t worked from home before. Working from home often means more flexibility in your job, but if you don’t maximise your potential, this luxury can become an opportunity missed. If you are able to cut out the distractions, you can become very productive working from home. It can increase your productivity if done correctly. Here are some tips on how to work effectively from home.
1. Dedicated Work Space
When you start working from home, it’s important to set up a dedicated workspace. If possible, have your own separate room, so you’re away from distractions around the house. If you don’t have another room to use as an office, you’ll want to make sure that you at least have a decent-sized area that you can set up as your workspace for daily use. For instance, a table or desk in the corner of the living room or your bedroom could work. That way your brain doesn’t get confused by working in the same place it relates with relaxation, like your favourite couch.
2. Set Rules For Those Around You
It’s vital to create rules for the people you live with when you start working from home. If you have kids or another partner working from home, it’s best to tell them your meeting times and explain that they cannot disturb you while you’re in those meetings .
You could even put up a sign saying that you’re in a meeting to help everyone remember. You also need to make sure that the kids know what they can’t do while you’re in a meeting; for instance, you don’t want them running, screaming and fighting with each other throughout your meetings.
3. Be Sure To Have What You Need
To know how to work effectively from home, you must have the right equipment. Common equipment that people working from home need include a laptop or computer, a webcam for meetings, a keyboard and mouse, and perhaps a work phone, depending on the company.
If you don’t have these items or are unable to buy them, try borrowing what you can until you are able to get your own possessions. Some companies will provide or pay for certain items required for you to work effectively from home.
4. Set Boundaries
When working from home, it’s easy for your work life to get blurred in with your home life. If you don’t carefully uphold boundaries, you will start to feel like you’re always working and not getting the time you need for your home life. That’s why a workspace is a must, to keep both separate in your home. If friends turn up at your home for a visit, rather tell them to come over at a later time, or you’ll let them know when you’re free, unless it’s an urgent matter.
This will not only help you stay focused, but at the end of the day, it will be easier to get out of working mode. You should also schedule time for your friends, family, and yourself, even if that means using a daily calendar to schedule it.
5. Household Cleaning
If you’re one of those people who gets distracted by a sink full of dishes, or can’t help but start vacuuming after walking over a dirty carpet, make sure your house is clean before starting your work day, or rather, the week.
It can be hard to be productive when working in a messy home, so it’s best to set aside dedicated cleaning time. Getting a couple of chores done before the day at work can make the rest of the day feel less chaotic. Finishing your cleaning once you’ve turned your computer off for the day will also give you a chance to de-stress.
You can try to reduce distractions by doing the following:
- Declutter your desk and work area. Leave only the important items.
- Hang up a sign when working on tasks or during meetings, when you require full focus.
- Close your browser and/or applications that are open but not relevant to the tasks you’re busy with. Put your phone on aeroplane mode and respond to texts later.
Depending on your work, you may want to set up a double monitor on your work desk. This is one of 6 work from home setup tips that will make your business day more productive.
6. Keep Regular Work Hours
One of the most basic, yet important things to do when you start working from home is to create a regular schedule for yourself. As tempting as it is to give yourself complete flexibility, rather stick to a regulated routine, with breaks of course, and end the day at a suitable time.
Setting regular working hours keeps you accountable to yourself and your boss. You will also be likely to get all your work done, and colleagues will be able to get in touch with you more easily. You should work when you are most productive, but you must still make sure to find out when your boss needs you to be at work.
7. Create A To-Do List
If you are struggling learning how to work effectively from home, try using a to-do list or planner. You can do it every morning to set your day up effectively. You can create a plan based on the amount of time you think every task will take.
Your list can also be created with the most critical tasks at the top. If you like to use a planner, try creating a schedule for the day to motivate you to get projects and tasks done in a specific amount of time. That way you will be more likely to complete your goals and stay on top of the day.
Things To Remember:
Here are some quick tips to keep in mind if you are or are going to be working from home:
- Make a schedule to stick to.
- Focus on what you have accomplished at the end of each day to stay motivated.
- Create a workspace for yourself and be sure that your family knows when you’re unavailable during working hours.
- Work all day long without any breaks, your motivation and productivity will drop.
- Isolate yourself.
- Neglect regular check-ins with colleagues and bosses, as it’s important to make yourself visible even if you’re working from home.
When you’re working from home, the day can be exhausting, especially when sitting in the same place and spending lots of energy while focusing. When learning how to work effectively from home,remember to take breaks and to eat and drink water throughout the day. You should also add a 15-minute walk to your schedule. A change of scenery can make you feel refreshed and some fresh air will make you more productive. If you have already set up a work area or desk, find out what the 10 best desk organisation ideas for your home office are to get some inspiration.
If you’re working remotely but still don’t really get the time to clean your home, you can book a cleaning service with SweepSouth for excellent results that will encourage a healthy amount of focus to make the day a breeze.