Working From Home: An Ultimate Guide on How to Work From Home
Since the pandemic hit in 2020, more and more people are taking to working from home. This has seen a change in the way people approach their daily work and even their taxes!
Some companies have seen an increase in employees’ work rate and general mental wellbeing. This is being attributed to more flexible working habits.
With many companies leaning towards allowing more employees to work from home, we’ll give you some tips on how to tackle your home work environment.
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
Create Your Space
Now we’re not suggesting that you need to suddenly take an interest in interior design, but it’s important to have a dedicated workspace. If you’re in a luxurious situation where that can be a separate room, then great. If not, then choosing a particular desk and chair in your home works as well.
Like going to a normal work office, being in a space that you associate with working allows you to mentally focus on the task ahead.
One of the common complaints about working from home was people found it difficult to separate home life from work life. But having a space that you can close the door on and leave once work is over allows you to separate your two lives.
It’s a great idea to make sure whatever space you choose is well connected. Meaning there is good internet service and there are plenty of plugs around so you can connect your various chargers. It's also a good idea to choose somewhere that has a source of natural light.
At the end of your first day working from home, have a little evaluation.
Did you feel comfortable in the space? Were you able to work efficiently? Are there any little changes you could make?
This helps you curate your best home working environment.
Maintain Your Morning Rituals
A big bonus is you no longer have to wake up in the early hours of the morning and prepare yourself for the daily commute. But this means it can be tempting to roll out of bed five minutes before your shift starts.
As nice as that sounds, it can actually make you less productive and lethargic if you haven’t started the day properly.
The best idea is to keep as close to your normal morning routine as possible. Whether that would include a shower and some breakfast, or an extra-strong cup of coffee.
Some people have even been replacing their daily commute with a brisk walk or some light exercise to energize them for the day.
The same goes for if you normally pick up a cup of tea or coffee on your way to work. It’s nice to keep things as similar as possible so try and make sure you have a way of making hot drinks at home.
Sometimes the little things do count.
We know it can be tempting to spend all day in your pajamas. But getting dressed is an important part of the working day.
Dressing down too much means you won’t just look unprofessional for any conference calls, you’ll likely feel unprofessional.
Basically, you’ll be wanting to wear any form of clothing that isn’t similar to what you slept in. Even if it’s just a shirt and some smart jeans, they can make you feel much more work-ready.
Keep to Your Normal Working Schedule
You shouldn’t be expected to work for longer because you’re in the comfort of your own home.
Therefore it’s important to keep to your normal working hours.
If you normally start at 9 AM, take your lunch break at around 12:30 for an hour, then finish work at 6 PM. Make sure that stays the same.
Far too much emphasis is placed on getting to work early and staying late. This is seen as being a hard worker or used as a way to make a good impression on your boss.
But working unreasonably long days only serves to run you down, and can lead to serious mental side effects.
It’s tempting to think that since you’re saving time in the day because you’re not commuting, you should replace those traveling hours with work. Or maybe you even feel that because nobody can see you working, you have to work extra hard to make up for that.
As long as you work as hard as you would in the office, working from home shouldn’t change how hard or how long you should work.
Make the Effort to Stay Connected
Depending on your workplace, one of the benefits of working in the office is being around your colleagues. Humans are social creatures by nature and it’s lovely to check in with people every day. Group harmony is important in a workplace and it’s nice being able to chat with the same people each day.
Working from home has seen the rise in programs such as Zoom and Slack. They are an easy way to keep in touch with your colleagues for work or personal communications. This helps build and maintain connections.
It’s also important to regularly touch base with your colleagues and or boss. It’s a good idea to mention when you’re ‘in the office’ and ready to work, and it’s good etiquette to announce when you’re leaving for the day too.
Also, don’t forget the importance of phone calls. Things can be misinterpreted over a messaging service, so sometimes nothing quite beats the simplicity of a phone call.
Leave Work at Work
We touched on this before but it’s worth repeating.
Just because you now work at home, doesn’t mean that you’re always at work.
It’s important to create a healthy work / life balance. At the end of your working day, figuratively or literally leave the office behind and go along with your evening as normal.
It’s also a good idea to make certain areas in your home, such as the living room or your bedroom ‘work free zones’. So if you’re still in office hours, those rooms are off-limits. This creates a healthy separation from home and from work.
Make Sure You Leave the House
When you’re not leaving the house every day to go to work, it can be surprisingly easy to spend all of your time indoors.
Make sure you take the time to get some fresh air. Go for a walk or a jog, meet some friends for a cup of coffee, even if it’s just to pop to the shops to grab some essentials.
As the world shifts to more flexible working situations with flexible hours, working from home is gaining popularity.
It can be tricky trying to navigate the problems that working from home throws at you but with the right mindset it can certainly work.
There are many advantages and disadvantages to working from home. But with the right preparation and execution, it can be an enjoyable experience.
Are you looking for more business advice on everything from starting a new business to new business practices?
Then check out FreshBooks. FreshBooks is accounting software that provides accounting solutions for small business owners.