Home-based work is not new; remote employment has been on the rise throughout the world for many years. As per the stats, 4.7 million people were already working at home before the pandemic.
However, the sudden outbreak of Coronavirus dramatically increased the number of remote workers as industries switched to Working from home cultures. Around 88% of companies encouraged their employees to work from home after the pandemic was declared.
Both small companies and international entities are rolling out work-from-home policies in different parts of the world. As per the stats, 16% of companies globally are fully remote. More and more jobs are being moved to remote locations and becoming home-based.
Switching from a structured office environment to your own home might seem like a dream for some, but it presents a surprising number of challenges. If you want to succeed and be efficient at your job, you need to learn how to work from home.
Here are some tips that will help you to work from home more efficiently, reduce your stress, and become more productive, but before we get to the tips, let’s understand what work from home culture is.
What is Work from Home Culture?
The term “Work From Home” describes an employee working from his or her home, apartment, or place of residence rather than from the office. The majority of companies have a WFH policy, or openwork policy, which enables their employees to work from home either full-time or whenever it is convenient for them to do so.
A remote working policy describes how and when an employee can work from outside the office. These policies can be temporary or permanent. A remote work policy describes who can work remotely, what best practices to follow, and how remote employees are legally protected.
Learn more: Advantages and Disadvantages of Working From Home 👩💻👩💻
20 Effective Tips To Work From Home
1. Dedicate a Space For Work
Even if you’re tempted to work from the couch, easy chair, or even from your bed, this could have a negative impact on your productivity as well as on your health. Try to work from the same room, desk, or chair every day so that your brain knows it’s time for work.
This will help your brain associate sleep with your bed, relaxation with your couch, and working with your desk, helping you to shift your energy levels accordingly. Keeping your home office organized can make you feel more alert, more confident, and more organized.
Thus, having a dedicated workspace at home can be very beneficial. Here are some tips for setting up your own home workspace.
- Choose a location where you feel most comfortable working
- Maintain a clean, organized workstation/desk
- Make your workspace enjoyable by adding plants, adjustable lights, and other equipment as needed.
- Have a good and comfortable chair to sit on, which helps in reducing back pains
Thus, get a comfortable, supportive chair, a spacious desk, reliable Wi-Fi, and consistent working tools for yourself. If possible, you separate computers; for work and one for personal use. It’s more secure for the employer and lets you maintain your privacy as well.
Learn more: Best Practical Ideas for Creating Healthy Home Workspace 💻💻
2. Keep Regular Work Hours
The most important and basic thing to do when you are learning how to work from home is to make a regular schedule for yourself. You might be tempted to allow yourself complete flexibility around when you start, take breaks, and call it a day.
Your schedule needs to be consistent, or you’ll do yourself a disservice. Establishing regular hours will make you more accountable both to yourself and to your manager. This way, you are more likely to complete all your work on time, and it is easier for others to contact you.
In setting an at-home schedule, you should consider the following factors:
- Be there for your boss when they need you
- Keep in touch with your colleagues
- Identify your most productive time of day
That doesn’t mean you have to work 9-5 every day. Consider scheduling your work time when you are most productive. Yet, it’s a good idea to find out when your boss really wants you at the office. For instance, knowing when conference calls are planned will allow you to schedule them accordingly.
3. Leverage Technology To Connect With Co-workers
Keeping in touch with colleagues via video conferencing and messaging can make you feel like a valuable team member. Fortunately, there are software platforms and apps available to help coworkers build virtual connections. You can easily start a video chat or discuss the topics you share using platforms like Slack, Skype, and Zoom.
However, the constant state of digital stimulation can make one feel overwhelmed. So, remember to disconnect from your devices at the end of each day and consider a digital detox to decrease your dependence on technology.
Learn more: Best Employee communication Tools For Organization 👫👫
4. Give Yourself a Break
Because of the stigma surrounding remote work, some employees, especially overachievers, feel they must work longer hours and be available all the time to compensate for not being physically present.
If you are a remote worker, however, allow yourself adequate break time to get away from your computer and phone. Your organization might set up break times, so know what they are and take them.
Standing up and moving every so often at least once an hour is crucial, especially when working at a computer because it helps to get your blood flowing. Taking your eyes off the screen is also beneficial, even if only for a micro-break of 10-20 seconds.
5. Separate Work Time and Personal Time
It is paramount to be punctual in your work, in the same way, it is equally crucial to spend time with your family when it is needed. Do not extend your working hours beyond what you have scheduled to avoid burning out.
Keeping work and personal lives separate is one of the most important tips for working from home since it will keep you productive when you’re at work and reduce stress when you aren’t. Likewise, you set work hours, set your schedule, communicate, and plan the days you will be unavailable for work.
For example, when you spend time with family, be sure to communicate with them and not keep checking email while you are enjoying quality time with them. And keep your commitment!
6. Plan Your Workflow
Getting smart about how you plan your workday is one way to maximize your productivity when working from home. Identify your priorities for the day before you begin working, determine how long you will need to accomplish everything and decide what will be your next priority.
Taking a few minutes to consider your day before you sleep can help you sleep better. If you are not stressing over the next day’s plans, you may feel more relaxed.
Consider these points when planning:
- Prioritize your tasks based on priority
- Do the most challenging work throughout the day when you are productive
- Take frequent breaks during the day
Keeping your focus this way will ensure you don’t easily become distracted.
Learn more: Steps To Create an Effective Productivity Plan ⏰⏰
7. Establish Boundaries
The responsibility is on you to make your family and friends aware of how to relate to and respect your work time and work environment. The reason is that many people do not know you work from home. You need to let them know you won’t be available for the long lunch break or the movie break.
If you are working from home, you probably possess quite a number of advantages. You are in charge of your own schedule, and you are able to set the boundaries that are appropriate for your particular position.
8. Limit Your Social Media Use
With notifications pulling you in all directions, it may be difficult for you to focus on your work. If it’s permissible based on your role, change your phone or app settings to silence distracting notifications. But, the social media world is one of the most tempting places to be.
You may Keep looking up what is happening among your friends and the news may be of interest to you. In such a case, you may schedule “social breaks” time to allow you to check your phone for a specific time period.
Observe how much time you spend scrolling social media, that way you’ll know how much you’re spending each day on each activity and work on limiting your social media usage.
Learn more: How To Monitor Your Employee’s Internet Usage 👩💻👩💻
9. Set a Ground Rules With People in Your Space
There are many misconceptions about remote working, especially among those who are not accustomed to it. Yes, working from home offers more flexibility than working in an office, but it can also be a challenge when you have kids and elder family members who believe you are just there for them.
Today’s generation, however, has a crystal clear view of working from home because they have either experienced it personally or have seen someone else do it. But, the older generation finds this concept strange.
Thus, while working at home, it’s important to establish clear boundaries with other members. You should create rules for people around you if you work from home effectively. For example, if you’ve got kids or another adult who works from home, explain that during your meeting times they cannot disturb you.
10. Exercise and Stretch Regularly
Whenever you work from home, you should include some physical activity in your schedule. Since it is easy to get lethargic when you work from home, it is important to schedule time when you should exercise.
In order to stay fit and productive, what should you do?
Take advantage of the great outdoors and exercise your muscles.
When you exercise, you get more than just stronger muscles but also boost your brainpower. Your body will feel energized after a workout thanks to the natural release of endorphins.
Learn more: Effects of Working in an Unhealthy Work Environment✍✍
11. Do not Just Stay at Home
Spending time outside can be beneficial to our mental health, this is especially true for those working at home. Fresh air and time away from your desk can help you recharge during the day and feel inspired.
Consider taking a walk during your lunch break or taking your cup of tea into the garden for a few minutes so you can spend some time away from your computer. If it is warm enough outside, open the windows once you are back at your desk and you will feel more energized.
12. Use Time Management Apps
When you are working from home and struggling to stay organized, you should use a time management app.
Apps that track productivity can reduce distractions and even track the amount of time spent on each task. Some examples include:
- timeTracko – Best For Employee Productivity and Monitoring Software
- When I Work – Best Software For Teams Of All Sizes
- Toggl Track- Best Time Tracking Pomodoro App
It is crucial to have a time tracking app that lets you see your daily and weekly productivity levels so that you can determine what times during the day you are most productive, while also providing insight into how much time you spend on each task.
13. Set Alarms To Take Regular Breaks
It can be tempting to take little breaks when working from home. You may also find you don’t take enough breaks to accomplish your household to-dos.
Breaks increase productivity. Imagine how many times you get up in the workplace just to make a drink or have a chat with a colleague.
So take a five to ten-minute break away from your desk or any screens every two hours so you can reset if you find it difficult to take breaks.
14. Reduce Distractions
In an office, there would be fewer distractions, but at home, there are clearly more. The list of distractions is seemingly endless, but the key is to reduce them where possible, such as using techniques to gain control over kids, pets, your TV, your phone, the piles of clean laundry, the dirty dishes, etc.
It’s important to keep your home office separate from your living space so that you can be private from any family members who may be in the house with you.
You can still use a desk as a home office even if you lack a dedicated room. You can have it in your bedroom, loft, basement, or even your closest.
Learn more: Workplace Distractions that Kill Employee Productivity💪💪
15. Stay in Loop
Collaborating and socializing in an office is one of the best parts of working there. Just because you work from home does not mean that you lose these benefits.
When you are adjusting to work from home, be sure to check in regularly with your coworkers, whether through email, phone, video call, social media, or in person.
It’s a good idea to keep up on a personal as well as a professional level. Taking just 5 minutes to share what’s most important, and encouraging your coworkers to do the same, will suffice.
16. Update Your To-do List Every Morning
It can be difficult to keep track of your tasks, priorities, and deadlines when you’re working from home without a boss looking over your shoulder.
You can accomplish a lot while working from home if you review your priorities for the day before you start your day. When you make your task list, stick to it. It can be tempting just to jump into an email, but with an extra focus, you’ll see results.
Each task should have a clear goal and time limit. Once completed, cross it off the list. Such an approach is very effective and provides great satisfaction.
Learn more: Best To-Do Apps To Boost Productivity 📑📑
17. Avoid Work Creep
Having a career that allows you to work from home has the potential to be invading your personal life. If you are always home and near your work, it can creep into your home life. The risk is real, however, only if you let it be.
Set specific work hours for yourself and adhere to them so that you will be more productive and have a flexible schedule.
Shut off your computer at the end of the day, put your work app on “away,” and close your office door. You’ll be thankful (and your team will, too).
Learn more: Remote Employee Lifecycle 📈📈
18. Invest in a Quality Technology
To create a home office or workspace, you must invest in computer equipment, laptops, tablets, and a phone system. It is likely that you will need to buy technology to perform your job, just like you would need to start a new business.
With a high-performance router, you can avoid many technology hassles. A router from several years ago might be prone to common network problems. When you work from home, you need a router that is capable of handling more than just chat messages.
Consider purchasing whatever you need for a comfortable and efficient work environment. If you are confused about what kind of equipment is necessary and worth investing in, here is a video for you.
19. Set a Definite Work Hours
It’s time to get down to business now that you have set up your office or work area. Set specific business or work hours if you will be working from home every day.
Having the flexibility to set your own working hours is one of the advantages of working from home. Likewise, you can lose track of time if you get so absorbed in your work that you seem to be in a casino.
“If you work from home full-time (or regularly), it’s really easy to let your work life bleed into your personal life,” says Tyler Littwin.
Don’t work nonstop after working a hard limit during the day. Distancing yourself from work will help you avoid working nonstop.
Establish a schedule that you will follow every day. Make sure your coworkers, teammates, and boss are aware of your schedule.
20. Use WFH (Work From Home) To Your Advantage
There are some benefits to working from home, and it comes with its own set of perks. Think about a hobby you used to enjoy, but are no longer able to pursue due to work demands.
Taking a commute to work every day exhausts our mind and body, and we are seldom able to do other things. But working from home eliminates the exhaustion.
The convenience of working from home allows you to pursue your passions without sacrificing your work-life balance. Having to cook and bake at home can be challenging, especially if you’re working full-time in an office. However, if you’re working full-time, it’s difficult to find the time and energy to do this.
While working from home full time might be difficult for you, it can be beneficial. You won’t have to commute every day, and you’ll be able to spend more time with your loved ones.
You can take advantage of our work-from-home tips to make the most of your new routine. Consider trying them out and you might find that working from home is just as productive as working in the office.