The Coronavirus Pandemic is accelerating working from home, a trend that was already happening in many businesses and organizations.
If you’re new to the work-from-home lifestyle you will probably need to change some of your habits and routines to make working from home a success.
Here Are a Few Tips to Help With Your Work From Home Transition:
Have a dedicated area to work
Have a place in your home that you specifically use to do your work. It will help you stay focused and in the right frame of mind to accomplish your tasks. If you don’t have a good supportive office chair, this might be a good time to invest in one.
If you can find dedicated office space where you can close the door and shut out distractions, all the better. In any case, using the same space consistently, that you can associate with your job, can help you leave it when you’re “off the clock.”
Keep regular working hours
Having regular hours like you would have at a job helps to maintain work-life balance. However, a benefit of working virtually is flexibility. For example, sometimes you might need to work later or start earlier to accommodate someone else’s schedule. If that happens be sure to wrap up earlier or start later the next morning to make up for it.
Posting a schedule can make working from home seem more official, so people might be more inclined to respect your boundaries, and less inclined to ask you to run errands in the middle of the day.
You can set your own schedule but clearly define what hours you will be working and stick to it. Log out of your computer and turn off work devices at the end of your workday.
Did you know that having a set daily routine can make you much more productive? Doing the same things every day builds up your skill set. This means, it starts to take less time to complete the same tasks as it used to once, they become a daily habit.
Plan your days in advance, as much as you can.
Consider using the block system
The block schedule system involves separating tasks into blocks of time. This means, you’ll give each task a start and an end time. ( for a detailed explanation click here)
The goal is to work on your to-do list, prioritizing tasks into time frames. So, if you have a large project you need to work on you could schedule it in between 8am and 10am. Then, the next block of time is reserved for the next task on your to-do list.
This simple yet clever method is extremely effective in ensuring you get everything done that needs to be done. Be sure to include a time to exercise, for healthy eating (snacks and lunch) and family time.
Everybody gets the same 24 hours in a day; it’s how you choose to use those hours that determines your success.
Think about the distractions that you may come up against. For example, will noise be an issue at home (while the kids are possibly home, too)? If so, noise-canceling headphones would be a good idea. Set a schedule to let your family know, "I am going to be working from 8 am to noon, then taking a break for lunch." This helps ensure you can focus without the distractions.
Eliminate distractions that don’t serve you.
Is social media a distraction? It’s so easy to open Facebook, look through Twitter posts, like a bunch of photos on Instagram, and before you know it, a whole lot of time has gone by. If that’s the case, then download a social media blocking tool and set your “work hours.” (click here to see one.)
If the ringing of the phone or constant notifications from Social Media disturbs your focus, try simply turning the phone off during working hours. Or putting your phone on vibrate and turning it face-down so you can’t be distracted by notifications.
You can include in your schedule certain times to check your phone throughout the day, so you don’t miss important calls. Find a way that works for you while still keeping available for calls.
Communicate a LOT
Better communication while working virtually can help retain your relationship with your colleagues, clients and employers.
With an increasing amount of cloud technologies, collaboration platforms, and advanced devices, you can work from wherever you are and still stay connected.
Zoom Video Conferencing is a great communication platform, so you can all see and hear each other. It’s important to go beyond email and use digital tools that can better replicate the in-person experience.