At this moment, I am in my 12th week straight of working from home. Before COVID-19, I was working from home fairly regularly but never to this extent. There were some ups and downs, but I feel like I really hit my stride and now I’d be happy to work from home forever (Shhh don’t tell my boss). If your office is now your home, and you haven’t quite figured it out yet, check out my tips below!
Own Your Office Space
The key to effectively working from home is having a dedicated office space. I’m a big fan of working from my couch every once in a while, but trust me doing it all the time is terrible for your back. A desk and chair are a necessity. Also, consider the elements at your office that help make you more productive/happy while working. Do you like standing while you work? Make sure your desk allows for that. Does working on one screen drive you nuts? Buy a second (or third) monitor.
If you can designate a space for work away from the main areas of your home, definitely do that. I live in an apartment with a roommate, so my desk is right next to the tv in our living room. It’s not the most ideal space, but it fits the space and I don’t have to look at it when I’m trying to sleep at night.
Remote work can only be successful if you are open and honest with everyone involved. First, you should make sure everyone you live with are aware of when you are working and what you need from them during your work hours. Second, keep an open line of communication with your team and manager. My manager and I have daily check ins that are both for resolving daily issues as well as socialization. My company has also been doing check ins as a whole team twice a week. These types of things make me feel like I’m still collaborating in the office, but with fewer interruptions.
Keep Scheduled Office Hours
It’s easier to stay on track throughout the day if you work regular hours and create an action plan each morning. Each morning I write out what I want to accomplish for the day and then I block my calendar for each task. Not only does it ensure I get most of my task list done, but it also forces me to “eat the frog” instead of procrastinating. Do your best to sign on and sign off at about the same time every day. Consistency is key to separating work from life when they’re both occurring in the same space.
Shut it DOWN
At the end of the work day, LOG OFF. Throw a sheet over your workstation or close the door to your home office. When your standard work day ends, that’s it. You may be tempted to keep working because why not? But you need balance for your health and sanity.
There’s tons of other tips out there, so find what works best for you!