10 Tips for Working From Home

For the last year, many of us have worked remotely and have fully embraced home office life. Once considered a perk, the ability to work from home (WFH) is now likely to be the norm for the foreseeable future. Many companies like Atlassian, Twitter and Coinbase have already adopted a WFH forever approach. Even when surveying our followers on LinkedIn, the majority (76%) say will be mostly WFH from now on.

This WFH model adopted by companies is trust-based and focuses on the work being done efficiently and on time. If that is happening, they do not mind the occasional 10 am dog walk or a quick trip to a local coffee shop.

While this approach gives us all a better work/life balance, WFH fatigue is real. You are at home, no one is watching, your boss is not peering over your shoulder and it is easy to fall into bad habits. So, how do you stay productive?

Here are our 10 tips for staying top of your game at home:

  1. Get up at the same time every day

If you were working in the office, you would not blink an eye at waking up at the time every day. Just because you no longer need to do that commute does not mean you cannot get a head start on the day. Get up, exercise, have a coffee or just watch a bit of the news. You will set yourself up for the day and be twice as productive.

  1. Use lists to structure your day

At home, you will need to motivate yourself to get your work done and lists are a simple and effective way to keep yourself going. Start off with something small and build yourself up to the bigger tasks. Each job accomplished will be more satisfying than the last when you strike it off your list. By using lists, you are training your brain to be more productive and goal-oriented.

  1. Make a home office or dedicated workspace

We know this is not possible for everyone but if you can make a home office outside of your bedroom or living room you should do so. Many have found themselves working, eating, and sleeping in the same room.  By having a dedicated space, you can separate your home and work life better. Otherwise, lines between person and professional life will become blurred.

  1. Leave the house

It is easy to stay indoors all day, but before you know it, you have not left the house for 5 days. Whether it is a jog, walk, shop run, or you want to go knock on a friend’s door, make sure you get out of the house and away from your work. This is especially helpful if you are stuck on something. 9/10 times the solution to a problem will come to you while you are not thinking about it.

  1. Plan breaks and stick to them

When you are on a roll, you are on a roll. We all do it but if you do not have clear breaks set for lunch or to break from your screen, you will find yourself burnt out by the end of the day. Sticking to your breaks and getting away from your desk is great for your brain and eye health. We are spending more time than ever in front of bright screens, give yourself a chance to break away from them.

  1. Set your dedicated finishing time every day

When at home it is almost too easy to just check your emails before bed. That quick peek turns into just doing one task and before you know it, it is 10:30 pm and your personal time has been eaten up. This is a problem for many, so much so that there are now calls to ban out of hours emails from bosses to respect workers boundaries and well-being. Make sure you set a time to finish every day and stick to it. Close the door to your home office or put your laptop away and enjoy your evening.

  1. Structure your day and plan calls

By grouping your calls together for a certain time of the day, e.g. the afternoon, you can keep yourself productive. This way you can have the morning to catch up on emails or any overdue work without having to stop and start again due to sporadic calls throughout the day.

  1. Avoid social media

We are all guilty of just checking Facebook or Instagram while at work. When your day starts make sure that you log out of all platforms on your work computer and try to keep your phone at arm’s length. Looking at Twitter for 1 minute can easily turn into 10 and before you know it, you have been doom scrolling for an hour.

  1. Stay connected

Whether it is through Skype or Microsoft teams, make sure you stay connected with your colleagues. Not only to stay productive but for each other’s well-being. In the office, you would not think twice about a quick catch up at the water tap. It is important to remember that you are all in it together and not lose your team spirit.

  1. Work when you are most productive

There will always be a lull in your day. If information is not sinking in or a problem is not getting solved, you will achieve nothing by constantly grinding away at it. If you can, get away from the task and come back to it after a break or go do something else completely. When you return, you will find that problem much easier to deal with.

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