A home office is the most recommended workspace these days. For many, it’s a rather new experience and might feel odd to skip going to an office or a co-working space and take care of work tasks from a distance. Remote work itself isn’t anything new, but for many, it has mostly been an additional alternative. Let’s look at the first steps to take when trying to work remotely from home over a longer period.
Set up your work area. If possible, create a home office area or set up a comfortable and appointed work-corner at your home. It could be a desk, where you can keep the laptop, notebook and other work-related things or you can organise your workstation at your dining table. It is essential to have a great chair to feel comfortable during working hours. The couch in front of the TV nor the bed are reasonable solutions – at least not in the long run. When you’re finished with work for the day, try to bring this space back to a state that allows you to retire from work and rest.
Keep your morning routine as an essential part of any day. The new situation might need some updates, look over the way you start the day. Wake up on time, take the time for healthy breakfast and get dressed, act like it is a usual morning. Instead of the morning commute, head for a brisk walk around the block or start with the morning exercise. If you are used to beginning work at 8:30 am, then keep on it. The routine will help you to get into the mood of the working day, not a weekend.
Set up a weekly and dailyschedule. Working from home has its risks of getting out of hand – working hours start to mix with personal. For balance, it is essential to discipline yourself, plan well ahead and keep the schedule. According to psychologists, planning gives us a sense of calm and control over the situation.Experienced remote workers say that while working alone from home, you should keep a more structured daily schedule than usual. As the typical structure of the day, influenced by others, is shifted, some might have trouble dealing with it. Working remotely successfully relies on discipline and motivation – a weekly schedule and a task list helps to keep the focus.You probably have noticed your “in the zone” hours, when you’re most concentrated and full of energy, right? Schedule your day around that time. If you are on your own, take the chance to listen to your favourite music to get the creativity flowing or enjoy the silence for concentration.
Arrange a virtual coffee-break. Chatting with colleagues by the coffee-machine is one of the aspects people start to miss while working remotely. To keep the emotional connection with teammates and share your day, you could set up a virtual “kitchen” in Slack or any other IM tool. Why not have a daily virtual 15 minutes coffee-break with your closest colleagues in the format of a video conference?
Talk the process through with your family members. As many have experienced, the major challenge in keeping work routine at home is related to other family members. So, agreeing on remote work routine with them is crucial. Inform your kids and other family members and try to work out a schedule that works for all – even though you are at home, there is a time frame you are focusing on work (with almost no exceptions). Also, keep the routine yourself and don’t let your family shift your focus.
Take breaks and go out of the house. Working at home might bring you additional free time that you used to spend in traffic. On the other hand, it might turn out you are just sitting at your laptop the whole day or even more than before – no meetings to go to, no need to step outside to get lunch etc. Use this extra time wisely – step out of your home and go for a walk. Keep in mind that any active movement during the day has a positive influence on for your brain – it might help to tackle some problems, concentrate better, increase your creativity, and boost your mood.
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