Working from Home Takes Some Getting Used To. Here are My Top Tips on How to Work from Home Effectively
Transitioning from office work to working from home is not always easy. And, whilst it brings its frustrations, working in-office does have some perks that we often overlook. It gives our days a natural structure, a routine. Human contact and communication is always there and easy. And when you go home at the end of the day, it’s easy to leave your work at work.
When circumstances beyond our control force us to go remote (no prizes for guessing what I’m referring to!), and with the future of the office and workplace changed forever – we need to find ways that enable us to adapt and thrive in this new working environment. And that’s why I want to give you my tips on how to work from home effectively.
So, with working from home looking set to stay for a few more months and you are still struggling to get used to the new world of remote working, listen up. And then think of some ideas that work for you too.
#1. The Need for Structure
One of the most important elements of working from home successfully is giving your life more structure.
Humans need structure – and even the most spontaneous and flexible of us need routine in our days. We take this for granted when we go out to work; then, we have a routine handed to us on a plate. But, when working from home, you need to apply a bit more conscious effort to create one. And, believe me, you won’t regret it. Without routine we have to make many decisions each day, this is taxing on your brain and why you will feel more tired after and unpredictable day than a predictable one!
Start by planning your week – and, if you live with your family, get them involved too. Knowing what everyone is doing when in the space around is crucial for establishing realistic and respectful boundaries around your work and that of others.
Think of it like a school timetable. You know what to expect and when. Meanwhile, the certainty of what comes next allows for a greater focus through the ups and downs of the world outside. It will help draw a line under that lockdown-induced procrastination too.
#2. Boundaries Between Work and Home
The second key part of being able to work from home effectively is actually knowing when not to work. If you are regular on this blog, you’ll know that this taps into one of the topics that I write on a lot: work-life boundaries.
These enable you to stay sane when working from home. They enable you to avoid burnout, exhaustion, and overwhelm – and they give you back the time that should be better dedicated to your family and wider world.
In the office, there are certain routines that wind down the day. The office empties, you say your good-byes, and you transition from work to home through your commute. These rituals aren’t there when you are working remotely – so you need to create them for yourself.
Draw that boundary between work and the rest of your life by making a clear distinction at the end of your day. Take a shower. Go for a run. Do something that takes work out of your head and gets you into the mindset for the evening. You don’t want to be working all evening – and this is the best way keep the temptation to just keep working to a minimum.
#3. Consider Your Environment
Finally, when you are working from home, that space becomes your office alongside your living room. During lockdown, it can be your gym, your cinema, and your library too. When you are spending so much time at home, it really needs to be as comfortable as possible.
Do you have a dedicated space in which to work – an office, study, or spare room? Or are you happy working at the kitchen table? If you sit in the latter camp, you need to make sure that everyone else is okay with that too – because even if you don’t mind being disturbed, people don’t necessarily want to disturb you. During this period, it might not just be you who wants the space.
We are unconsciously influenced by our environment – make changes to your space to help you feel in work mode even when you are in your home.
Here are some great articles to help you navigate working from home: