Remote working is becoming the norm and that means more people will need to learn how to work from home. While some workers may have spent time working from home on occasion, full-time work from home roles are becoming more popular for employers. There are a lot of benefits both for the employee and the employer when they leverage the power of a work from home base.
When you’re the one working from home for the first time, it’s critical to think about the following essentials. They’ll help set you up for success.
1. Dedicated Office Space
Working from home comes with a lot of distractions. By having your own home office space, you won’t need to contend with as many household distractions. While a separate room would be ideal, having a dedicated workstation can still provide for the space you need to get work done.
The key is to create a spot that you use only for work. Work when you’re there, and then when you step away you can be in home mode.
2. Use a Dedicated Phone
No matter what industry you’re in, it’s important to think about your phones. Whether you talk to customers regularly, you make sales calls, or you’re a lawyer who needs a legal answering service, it’s important to have a phone line dedicated to work. You don’t want to get work related calls during work hours on your personal line.
So, having a dedicated phone ensures you can get calls transferred to you as needed without accidentally thinking it’s a personal call.
It’s not about multi-tasking, it’s about tasking differently. Pick a task or project you want to work on and schedule a specific time block to only work on that thing. When you’re done, take a quick break, and then start on your next block of time. This can help you set aside time for work and time for home tasks.
So if you feel like you want to start on dishes but you’re in the middle of budgeting, you know that later in the day you can work on that task when the time block allows for it.
Success in working from home requires excellent communication between you and your team. It’s imperative that you keep as many lines of communication available as possible. Many teams leverage project management apps, apps like Slack for communication and document sharing, video conference calls and more.
Remote teams work best when there is clear communication.
5. Give Yourself a Break
When you’re working from home there is a tendency to stay at your seat the entire time. At the office you would get up, get water, use the bathroom, take a walk, etc. These are okay to do when you work from home as well.
Just be sure to block your calendar and communicate to your boss or team when you are unavailable. You also need to take lunch and get up and move when necessary.
6. Create Daily Routines
You may not be getting up, stopping for coffee and heading into the office, but you can have a routine. Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, and then start working. When your day is done, create a routine that signals to yourself that you are done. And be done. It’s okay to log out of your accounts, turn off your computer and call it quits for the day.
Part of working remotely all requires you to make these routines yourself and implement them at home.
7. Work From Somewhere New
When you work from home, you sometimes need a change of scenery. Go somewhere new to get work done. Think of it like a retreat for yourself. Find a place where you can go work, come up with new ideas, and get away from the distractions of home.
8. Create the Right Amount of Noise
Do you work best in silence or do you need background noise? You could turn the TV on low in the background in another room, or turn on a noise machine, or add some low music if it helps you work. If you need silence, some noise cancelling headphones or ear plugs can help muffle ambient noises as well.
It’s important that your remote work environment has what you need to work effectively and efficiently.