The world has sure changed in the last several days. Things are developing by the minute and the fog of war element continues to creep into every discussion in our homes and workplaces. As we move into a time of remote work, many find themselves operating, or trying to operate, in an unfamiliar environment. For many, their homes have been their personal space, their sanctuary, away from the hustle and bustle of their professional life. Now the two have come crashing together.
Here are 8 steps to take to improve your results for working from home:
- Start your day with your same routine. If before your remote work began you woke, ran, ate breakfast, and caught up on your social feeds, then continue to do those same things in the same order. Don’t allow yourself to put off your run until later in the day because you’ll be home. Discipline is key. You must maintain your routine first and foremost.
- If you live with friends or family, be sure they know exactly what’s required of you working from home. While it may be impractical to ask multiple people for absolute silence while you work, you can at a minimum communicate the need for reduced noise. Impress upon the members of the household the significance of being allowed to work from home and remain employed. This is a good thing!
- Care for your pets…if you have them. Ask for help from others in the house if you have a dog. Remember, your animals will probably be wondering what’s going. This will be a break from their norm. Dogs may bark more often than usual until they adjust to your constant presence.
- Establish a formal work space. If you have an office, you’re golden. However, many do not have a formal office to work in. Find a specific spot that you designate as your work area. If you don’t have a desk you may find yourself using the kitchen table, or an old fashioned TV tray table to set up. No matter how you set things up, make sure you focus on the “where” you set up. Try to find a location that is as separate from your typical living area as possible.
- Make sure your electronic devices remained charged. Set up charging stations. If you have portable hotspots, tablets, multiple phones, or mobile power devices, remember to keep them charged.
- Pay attention to giving yourself time to get up and leave your remote work space. If you were in an office, you’d likely get up occasionally to use the restroom, get water, coffee, or walk outside to get some air. Be diligent in doing these things working from home.
- Communicate with your co-workers. Many companies have implemented standard operating procedures for working remote. Follow them. If your company has not done this, be sure to remain in contact with your co-workers, even if it’s a quick simple email, chat, Skype, or Teams talk.
- Leverage video conferencing if available. Seeing those you work with will help you stay connected and maintain the need for human connection. Don’t underestimate the power of video chats.
Finally, if you find yourself with any downtime, have a book, or other form of developmental content handy. This may include a list of blogs that are pertinent to your industry, or a variety of websites. Keep you brain engaged rather than turning on the TV. Productive work from home begins and ends with discipline.