So you’re working from home? A lot of us are these days, and even more probably will be soon. If you’re new to remote work, it pays to be prepared. Even with modern technology, it’s not actually as simple as it sounds. There are lots of small details to get right. Otherwise you could wind up unproductive, bored, and maybe a bit stir crazy.
Luckily, we here at Stonehenge NYC have compiled a handy list of tips to work from home like a total boss.
Take the Time to Perfect Your Setup
Remote work becomes a lot less effective if you’re just sitting in bed with a Macbook on your lap. Take the time to set up a designated work space. Get a desk and put it somewhere that makes you feel productive. We all have a different environment which fosters work best. Some prefer standing desks, great views, lots of light, or complete silence.
You should also be sure to consult with your IT department to get all of your work software and equipment running on your personal computer. All that stuff that runs smoothly at work needs to be set up before you can work from home effectively.
Dress the Part:
You’re not going to work, that means you can spend the day in your pajamas right? Why shower when you’re not going to be interacting with other humans in person? Maybe that’s not the best approach.
Although you may not be required to dress to the nines when you’re working from home, taking a shower and dressing up in something respectable is a good habit to form. Obviously, it’s okay to go a bit more casual, but you never know when you might be asked to jump into a video conference. More importantly, putting on day clothes will get you in the proper mindset for work. Remember, it’s not a day off. You’re expected to be productive!
Use Your Extra Time:
One of the best parts about working from home is that you don’t have to commute to work. There’s no subway or taxis involved! That doesn’t mean you have to start early or stay late. Take advantage of that extra time. Exercise, cook a healthy meal, meditate, or just sleep in. It’ll make you more effective and happier.
Avoid Major Distractions:
It can also be tempting to take a break for an episode of your favorite TV show or a chapter of your favorite book, but beware of distractions. A small distraction can quickly turn into a big time sink if you don’t stay on top of habits. Consider employing the Pomodoro Technique in which you work at intervals with regularly scheduled breaks. Use an app or a timer to set a strict regimen for when to work, and when to mess around.
Practice Healthy Food Habits:
If you’re working from home for an extended period, it’s important to keep your pantry and fridge stocked. Be sure to schedule a real lunch break into your day and stick to it. Try to avoid munching on unhealthy snacks. It’s your responsibility to give your body what it needs, not what it wants.
Connect When You Can:
If you’re not going to meet in-person with your boss or co-workers on a daily basis, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open whenever you can. Try to fit a teleconference or phone call into your schedule on the regular. Not everyone communicates best over text, and your tone of voice and ability to attack problems verbally can be essential.
This isn’t just great for problem solvings, it can help reduce feelings of isolation if you’ve been spending a lot of time working from home alone.
Embrace the Breaks:
It’s a lot easier to slack off on the job when your boss isn’t looking over your shoulder. But, if we’re being honest with ourselves, most of us don’t need a full 8 hours to complete our assigned work. Since you won’t be able to walk over to your co-workers desk to shoot the breeze, it’s important to keep your morale up with regular breaks. Step outside for a breath of fresh air, make a fresh cup of coffee, go chat with your roommates or any family that might be home.
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While it’s important to stay on task when working from home, it’s also important to set boundaries when working remote. Be sure that your employer understands when you are and are not available, and try to stick to it. Working from home can quickly devolve into working 24/7 if you’re not careful.
A healthy work/life balance can be achieved when working remotely. You just have set a real work routine and stick to it!