5 Tips for Success in Working from Home
Working from home - does the idea bring a smile to your face or cause you to hang your head in dismay? Whether it sounds like a dream come true or a nightmare brought to life, working remotely is a reality many are currently facing - one that comes with unique positives and challenges. Looking to not just survive but thrive during this time? Follow these 5 tips for a successful work from home experience!
When working from home, maintaining a solid work-life balance is crucial but challenging. It can be easy to allow work to creep into spare moments that should be devoted to other things or to let yourself become distracted when you know you should be working. Therefore, compartmentalization is key!
Consider creating a designated workspace. Have some fun with it! Free yourself from the constraints of a typical office environment and make your home workspace your own, but only spend time at it during work hours. That way, you can still maintain a sense of leaving “the office” and its stresses behind you at the end of the day. An added benefit? Having a designated workspace will also serve as a visual cue to roommates or family members that you are working.
You may also want to stick to a regular work schedule. While you may have a bit more leeway with when you start and end your workday, maintaining regular hours of some type will both keep you on track and establish a bit of normalcy in the midst of uncertain times. Deciding in advance when you are going to work and not will also make it easier to resist the urge to keep going after your workday has come to a close. 2.
2. Become your own project manager.
With greater freedom comes greater responsibility. While you may have a boss that you report to, when working from home, the responsibility for remaining motivated and getting things done falls squarely on you. Become your own project manager by establishing strategies to complete your tasks in a timely manner.
In addition to any predetermined deadlines set by your boss, break larger tasks up into smaller steps and set mini deadlines for each step. Spend some time first thing in the morning creating a to-do list for your workday and check things off as you go. You may even want to break your day up into sections, allocating a certain amount of time to each task.
3. Change things up.
While working from home, don’t let yourself get weighed down by monotony. To remain energized and inspired, change things up from time to time.
Rather than working on one project endlessly, if you are able, consider keeping a few things going and rotate between tasks when you need a change of pace. While it may be helpful to stick primarily to a specific, designated workspace, consider occasionally working from a different area to keep things fresh, as well.
Another vital but easy-to-overlook strategy is to maintain any breaks that you would have typically taken on the job. While it may be easy to get caught up in what you are doing and work through lunch or your morning coffee break, stepping away from your work from time to time may be just what you need to gain a new perspective!
4. Stay connected through technology.
Working remotely can feel stifling and isolating after a while, particularly if you are an extrovert. It can also make it more challenging to collaborate with coworkers. Offset this by taking advantage of the multitude of technology-based tools available to maintain that connection you crave.
If your department is working remotely, everyone may not be on the same schedule. Try to set up predetermined times to check in with team members to ensure that everyone will be available at once. Missing in-office conversation? Consider establishing an informal chat via an instant messaging service. Sometimes even a brief greeting in the morning can provide a much-needed sense of connection. Also consider looking into options for virtual team building activities. Allow yourself to think outside of the box and come up with ways to build camaraderie virtually while you are physically separated!
5. Embrace the flexibility.
While getting things done is important, keep in mind that this is a challenging period of time in which things may not always go exactly as planned. Unexpected situations may arise, but that’s just part of what makes working from home unique, so don’t expect constant perfection. Cut yourself and others some slack and embrace the flexibility!
Wear a pair of sweatpants with your work-appropriate top during video meetings. Go for a jog at lunch. Flex your time a bit and take a break to build a blanket fort with your kids. This is a temporary circumstance, so try to enjoy the positives working from home has to offer rather than being overwhelmed by the challenges.
Don’t get stuck simply trying to survive working from home. Take advantage of the tips above to thrive while working remotely and experience work from home success!