It’s not an overstatement to say that working from home might be the way of the future. Thanks to the pandemic, an estimated 26% of all Americans may have remote jobs through 2021, in addition to the more flexible schedules many offices are adopting.
This means the chances are high that your employer will support remote work in some way, whether you’re working from home on a regular basis or just every once in a while. And while working from home sparks images of office workers typing in their PJs, it’s not always easy to step out of your office and start working in your house!
If you’re new to working from home, for now or for the long-term, it’s a good idea to get a handle on the strategies you’ll need.
Create a Dedicated Workspace
Not only is it less productive to work from your bed, but it’s also worth remembering that your back won’t thank you for it! Instead, creating a dedicated workspace can help usher in a sense of focus. Try setting up a space in your office or moving a table to your living room, and don’t forget to consider the ergonomics of your chairs, monitors, and keyboard.
Stick to a Schedule
It’s tempting to change up your workday for the occasional morning lie-in, but this can make it difficult to add much-needed structure to your days. That doesn’t mean you need to stick to the normal 9-to-5 workday if it doesn’t suit you, but you should establish—and follow—a routine. This can help you get in the habit of focusing at the right time.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
If you’re coming from the type of office where you can easily turn and talk to a colleague, communication may be a new hurdle for you. If your team uses collaborative apps and messaging tools to manage its workflow, make sure you’re using those to communicate how you’re doing. If not, consider reaching out to decide what channels you’ll use to check in and interact with your peers and manager.
On the note of digital communication, it’s worth considering the full spectrum of tools you’re using. Today’s digital offerings make it easy to collaborate and be more productive, so grab the apps you need to make it work:
- Cloud apps like Google Drive and Office365
- Document management software like Microsoft OneDrive or Dropbox
- Communication tools like Slack, Google Hangouts, Discord, or Microsoft Teams
- Video conferencing tools like Zoom or GoToMeeting
- Productivity tools like Pomodoro or Toggl
Tools like these can help you focus, stay organized, and get more done, even when you’re out of the office.
Find Your Work-Life Balance
When you’re working from home, it can be harder than usual to strike the right balance between your home life and your work life. Don’t hesitate to communicate with your family or housemates about when you can and can’t be disturbed, but don’t forget to make time for your loved ones when you can!
Remember that working in remote jobs can require a big adjustment, which means it’s completely valid to need an adjustment period! Using these tips can be a great help as you make your way forward, but don’t forget to be kind to yourself as you navigate this new work-from-home world. You’re definitely not alone!
For more tips on making the most of your work productivity—both in and out of the office—be sure to check out our other posts.