Working from home can be challenging because it’s an environment that you’re all too comfortable in. It seems ideal because you can take it at your own pace and have the flexibility to balance home and work life, but it’s not easy for everyone to adapt and suddenly be productive in this, otherwise, relaxing environment.
So, in order to make the most of this advantage your company has entrusted you with, you need to form some new habits and setup a workspace in your house where you can efficiently work from home.
Have a designated office
First thing’s first, you need a designated office. You can’t nominate your bed the one day and your kitchen counter the next. When you work in your home, it’s important to have a designated workspace. This will help you turn your brain on to work-mode as well as let the rest of the house know that this is where the business happens and to respect the room accordingly.
Trick your mind into “going into the office” every morning by having a permanent office in the house. Make sure to fill it with quality furniture including a desk, office chair, storage unit, an armchair, a pedal bin and proper lighting. If it looks like an office (maybe more pleasant than normal), you’ll be more inclined to be productive in it.
We mentioned the need for a storage unit and that’s something that needs to be reinforced. Storage units and other organisational furniture are necessary to keep your office space organised. You won’t be able to be productive if there is clutter everywhere around the room. This is another reason why you should have a designated office area and not just a room in the house with kids toys and other goods lying around.
It’s not a room you should fuss over, so make sure it stays clean and organised.
Implement a strict morning routine
It’s tempting to sleep in a little longer, forget to brush your teeth and roll out of bed and into the office to start working. But just because your work from home, doesn’t mean you can give up all levels of professionalism. You’ll make it so much more difficult for yourself to get into your workload that way.
Implement a strict morning routine that will encourage productivity and ready yourself for the day’s work ahead. Don’t sleep in too much, fit in a quick exercise session, have a proper breakfast and quickly neaten up the house before you step into your office. Getting it all out of the way will free your mind from wanting to sort it out during your work hours.
Routines are healthy and working from home shouldn’t be an exception to the morning-routine rule.
Stick to your to-do list
When it comes to the actual working part of the day, you need to create and stick to a to-do list. With all the distractions that come with the house and flexible hours, you need a reminder of what has been tasked for today to make sure you get it done.
If there are non-work things you’d like to fit in during the day, only allow yourself the opportunity once your to-do list has been completed. This will hold you accountable and also reassure your employer that you are doing what needs to be done for work.
Don’t take advantage of the flexitime
Too many people take advantage of working from home as extra time to run personal errands, slack off with work and have a mini holiday. That’s not the point of a flexible work schedule. You and your employer will have an agreement as to the terms of your flexitime which will still require you to work your eight hours.
It’s a way for you to equally balance home life and work not favour the one because you don’t have to physically be in the company office for the other.
Change office spaces every now and again
With that said, you know what you are capable of and whether your employer should trust you or not. If you find that working in the home office for an entire day is too much, take a break from the room and carry your work to a coffee shop for a change of scenery.
You need to find environments that are stimulating and motivating enough to encourage productive a workflow. And if you’re still getting your work done, there’s no reason to indicate the abuse of flexitime.
Communicate with the rest of the company
And, lastly, you need to keep in communication with the rest of the company. Find a colleague to have random Skype chats with who will be able to vouch for your workday. Keep the head of your department updated with projects you complete and ask for advice when you need it. Working from home isn’t supposed to be isolating. You still need to keep that team dynamic going and that can only be done through communication.