I am sure you are excited to start working from home. Maybe you just accepted a remote position or your boss finally allowed you to work from home. Either way, you will encounter days wherein you will ask yourself if working from home is really right for you. You see, working from the comfort of your own home has its ups and downs.
Working from home benefits
- Flexibility. This means that you will get more flexibility in doing your tasks and your time as no one will be breathing down your neck at every second. Yes, this means taking even a 3-minute break to grab some coffee!
- Multitasking. Do you want to eat breakfast while working? Sure. Do you need more space for your paper works (since you’re tackling a lot of tasks)? The floor is free.
- Convenience. You won’t have to wake up super early to beat the morning traffic or even miss your breakfast because you can just start working right after waking up. Yes, even while you are still in your pajamas! As long as you will not have a video call with your boss, of course.
- Time. This is especially important if you are a working parent. You will have more time with your family and more time in taking care of your children.
Working from home disadvantages
- Distractions. The TV is right there. The bed is seducing you to come near it. Netflix is just one click away because no one will even know, right?
- When to stop. One of the biggest problems for those who are working from home is that they don’t know when to clock out. The lines start to blur between leisure time and working hours.
- Technical problems. Simple problems such as software issues, website issues or other technical problems might be a challenge when you’re working from home. You can always email your co-workers or call them, but the response will be not as quick as when you are with them in the office.
- Productivity. This is usually the cause of distractions or being too comfortable in your own home. You start to become lazy and procrastinate which takes a negative toll on your productivity.
Work from home productivity tips
With all that said, I personally will still choose to work remotely than going to the office. However, I will have to admit that it wasn’t that easy for me at first. My biggest issue was overcoming the distractions and boosting my productivity. But after over a year of working from home, I finally found a routine and system that works for me—and I believe will work for you as well!
Set strict work hours
And by strict, I mean strict. What differs from working from home instead of working from the office is only the location. If you are working for a company full-time, then you still need to follow their working hours. Start working on time and stop working on time as well. Trust me, this will save you from TONS of stress and panic.
This should be pretty obvious but you really need to practice self-discipline and self-control when you are working from home. Face your back on the television. Do not work on your bed if possible. Only open tabs that are related to your work. Put your phone facedown on your desk. If you are in a large household, then tell them that you are working so they should not come and disturb you.
Find your space
You may find that you will work best at your desk. Or maybe you will want to bring your laptop to your garden or veranda to have some fresh air while working. And if you think that you are also productive working on your bed, then do so. Just don’t get tempted with your mattress’ softness, okay? Finding your workspace or assigning yourself a workspace is important in boosting your productivity because it will make you feel that you are just like in your office.
Make a to-do list
Get a piece of paper or your planner, and start planning your day and listing your tasks. This will help you stay on track with your tasks and will help you not leave anything important out. Make sure that you prioritize tasks that have a stricter deadline because you would not want to rush and send out a mediocre output. Another way of doing a to-do list is by listing your tasks on a spreadsheet and make sure it is color-coordinated so that you will have an easier time identifying which tasks are more important.
Since you are away from the office and away from your peers and boss, you may want to establish clear two-way communication between both parties. Before timing out, you may want to email your boss about what you did for the day and already ask them what they expect of you on the next day. If you have any questions, do not guess. Message your boss or your co-workers. You wouldn’t want to make the rookie mistake of failing a task just because of unclear communication.
To become productive and effective in your work, it is important to not burn yourself out. One of the main reasons why people quit their job is because they feel that they are too overworked or they are finally burnt out. What’s good about working from home is you have the freedom to take breaks – even small ones. Go have a bathroom break. Go grab some water or fruits from your fridge. Stretch a little. I know someone who takes breaks every 15 minutes or else he will lose his focus. Don’t forget to listen to your body. If your eyes are tired, then take a break. If your back is already aching, take a break.
Find a system that works for you
I could tell you all the things and routine that works for me but that won’t be any help unless we have the same working style. You might find yourself more effective working on minor tasks first then bigger tasks after on your to-do list. I personally take breaks every hour but you may want to have yours every 30 minutes. Don’t be afraid to test things out to find out which routine works for you best.
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