Working from home definitely has its benefits, especially for those who have mastered the art of time management. But despite the perks, there are struggles that come along with remote working such as loneliness and managing distractions at home.
Still, working from home has been a growing trend, as shown in OWL Labs 2018 survey of 3,028 employees polled worldwide, 56% worked for companies that allowed remote working — including hybrid and fully remote companies.
So, amidst the struggles, how does you thrive, stay sane and productive while working from home?
In a traditional office setup, we more or less follow a set schedule, such as working hours, breaks, etc. When you are working remotely, however, these are almost non-existent; you either overwork or procrastinate.
To avoid this, working from home should be treated like any other office job — stick to a routine. Have the discipline to wake up at the same time each day and then exercise, shower and get dressed, and have breakfast to get yourself ready for the day ahead.
It is also important that you structure your day as you would in a traditional office setup. If it helps, create reminders in your calendar so that you would know when to start and for how long you should be working on a task before moving on to the next one.
By doing so, you force your mind to concentrate and stay focused on the task at hand. And before you know it, you have accomplished your goals for the day with so much time left to pursue other things.
As important as having a schedule for your work time, is having a schedule for your lunch and coffee breaks as well. You may also use this downtime to go for a short walk, watch the news and just take your mind off work.
Once you are re-energised, you can get back to work with a fresher mind; allowing you to stay creative and productive until it’s time to log off.
This is an often-overlooked aspect of working from home but may very well impact your overall mood and productivity. Whilst it’s comfortable working in your pyjamas or sweatshirt, choosing a more appropriate dress for work gives you a visual reminder that you are in business mode. You don’t need to be always wearing a full suit (unless it’s appropriate for the situation), but comfortable business attire works, or company branded clothing is a great choice.
Limit your distractions
Set aside a specific time to read your emails, check your social media, or spend time with family members. Turn off notifications so you can focus on work and avoid being tempted to use your otherwise productive hours with non-productive activities.
Likewise, phone calls can ruin your productivity. Turn off your phone’s ringer and then put it away, especially when you’re in a conference call with a client. Return a call or respond only to important or urgent messages.
Indulge in a little time to yourself
Reward yourself with some personal time after finishing for the day. If it is not possible to squeeze it in your daily Monday to Friday grind or too tired to do it after work, make sure to schedule some personal time on a weekend. Also, give yourself a couple of hours break every few days. You do not need to be at your desk working 7 hours a day, every day to be efficient. You need time to give your brain a rest, particularly if you are looking at a screen all day. Think of yourself as working like you are in a marathon, rather than a sprint – you need a strategy to keep going and motivated.
Working from home may not be for everyone and it may be very tough going. But for those who have embraced it, setting boundaries and eliminating distraction is key to a successful work-from-home strategy. More importantly, learning to set your priorities will ensure that you maintain a healthy work-life balance so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
If you’re after some more great tips to getting the most out of your home working experience, check out our blog 7 tips to successfully work from home