Six ways you can have a positive experience when working from home

Thanks to COVID-19, you may have suddenly found yourself working from home, and lost as to where to start. Here are six tips to help you effectively manage yourself.

The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has had had a huge impact on where and how we work. It has led to travel restrictions, effected distribution chains, and led to a lot of unemployment. 

Working from home shouldn’t be seen as something that is bad, in fact, people who work from home report that they are more productive and feel happier when they remote work.

It’s usually the beginning and changes that are the most difficult to overcome, so we’ve put together six tips below to help get you started. 

1) Understand your work style 

Working from home, just like any other form of remote working, of course, has challenges but also opportunities that may require you to approach work differently.

The first step to take is gathering a clear understanding of your work-style. You will have more freedom and control over how you work, however, you need to be able to align your working style with home-working. 

What time of the day do you work best? Do you peak in the morning or the afternoon? Do you work better in silence? Or with background noise? Figuring these areas out will help you to optimize your working from home experience. 

2) Build your workspace

A big part of being effective working from home is making it feel like work. Your physical workspace has a big impact on this. You don’t necessarily need to have an office to make a huge investment, just plan a little. You might need to rearrange the furniture. 

Think about things like the type of workspace you need for your work-style, whether you can work at the kitchen table and be productive, is your Wi-fi up to scratch, do you require IT support, will there be other people around, etc. Make sure you position your workspace so that you can be most productive and comfortable. 

3) Get into the right mindset

When it comes to starting your first day working from home, it’s not just about opening your laptop or sitting at your desktop in your pajamas all day. You need to try and make it feel like work.

It can be challenging to do this especially when you are surrounded by home, pets, and family. If you make a mental shift into work mode, it should help you to stay productive. Just getting dressed into work clothing ready for the day ahead and set yourself a schedule can help. 

4) Use schedules and routines to help keep you focused and motivated

You will most likely have fewer meetings and distractions from your managers or colleagues. And, although this can lead to a feeling of social isolation, in the long-run, it gives you to chance to more in control of your own schedule. This leaves you to be open to larger tasks and more responsibilities. 

To build up your focus, write down everything you want to achieve each day, and schedule time for each of the tasks. If you have creative tasks, work them into the time where you know you are most innovative and productive.

Having routines and rituals for each day such as checking your emails in the mornings and catching up with your manager at the end of the day will keep you in line. 

If you can, try to write a schedule for your entire work week and further if possible. On a Monday morning have a look at the week ahead and pencil in anything that is of the utmost importance first. As you go through the week, cross off completed tasks, move them, and pencil in others around your routine. 

5) Keep an eye on your physical and mental wellbeing

Working from home is beneficial in many ways, but it comes with some unique stresses, social isolation is number one. Humans are social by nature so working from home all day can affect their physical and psychological health. However, you can fight it. 

Keep in touch with colleagues via video call, emailing just isn’t enough. Find the time for a virtual tea break or cooler chat with your colleagues, even if it just small chit chat. Set a time each day to do something like this, whether they are are in the office or working from home too. It helps to strengthen social bonds and prevents loneliness from remote working. 

It can be easy to feel isolated and out of the loop when you work from home and others are in the office, so having these small chats can also highlight anything that you might have missed. 

You should also make sure you take care of your physical health. Stand up regularly and remember to take breaks. Go for a walk in the morning or utilize your normal commute time to go for a run. It can be easy to get caught into a lazy trap when you work from home so it’s essential for you to remember to keep moving. 

6) Make lunch important

Lunch is a fantastic opportunity for you to secure yourself a routine, stay physically fit, and combat social isolation. It’s a bad idea to eat your lunch at your desk, this is a mussed opportunity for you to take advantage of the flexibility that home working offers you.

Make your lunch in the center of your routine and make it count. Get out and about, go for a short walk, meet with other people (even if it’s on skype), take an online course, or learn a new language. 

Make home working work for you

COVID-19 has meant that many of us now need to work from home – with no idea of when life will return to ‘normal’. And while for some it’s the dream scenario, for others working alone from home is a struggle.

We hope that some or all of these tips help you to make your working from home experience more beneficial. And who knows? You may even come to enjoy your new working arrangement.

Photo by Susanna Marsiglia