With the COVID-19 situation going on right now, many people worldwide are having to work from home as offices are closed for the health and safety of everyone and social distancing measures have been put in place. It can be a struggle for some people to adjust to a home office when you’re so used to working in an office surrounded by colleagues, or you may not have the appropriate work-from-home setup to help you work effectively. It can be quite daunting if you’ve never worked from home before and are worried about how the change in environment may affect your work and home life.
Having worked from home before for previous companies and also occasionally for myself as a freelancer at Carissa Lam Digital, I thought I’d share some of my WFH tips to help you ease into this transition! Let’s get to it!
How to work from home effectively:
Set a daily routine
Being in the comfort of your own home, it can be quite tempting to get up at noon, work in your pjs all day or watch tv whilst you work. But establishing a new daily work routine would give you some structure to your day and keep you on track with the things you need to do. You don’t need to stick to your usual 9-5 routine that you used to have at work, as you can take advantage of the fact that you’re at home – so you can allow yourself more flexibility! Without the morning commute to work, you’ll have more time in the mornings to get ready, make your bed, have breakfast, make a coffee before settling down at your desk for work. Remember to schedule in regular breaks, your lunch break and what time you’ll finish working (it’s so easy to get carried away with work!).
For my schedule, I wake up at 8am, have breakfast at 8:30am, start work at 9am, lunch around 1pm, back to work around 2 or 2:30pm, break at 4pm, do some exercise, finish around 5pm. This is a rough guide and my times are quite flexible depending on my workload and also other things on my agenda, but I try to keep to these times as best as I can!
Take regular breaks
It’s important to take breaks between your work. I like to set alarms on my phone to remind me when it’s time to take a break, as sometimes you can easily forget when working from home. Make sure you take some time out to stretch, get some fresh air and drink more water!
Move your body
Sitting down at your desk for long periods of time can make you cranky and stiff, so make sure you get up from your desk every now and then to stretch and walk around the house, or even set some time to do exercise!
It can be really easy to get distracted when you work from home, so try to remove those distractions if you want to be productive! For example, put your phone far away from you so you won’t be tempted to go on it, or put it on silent. Ask others in the house not to distract you whilst you’re working or set some ground rules if you’re all going to be working together in one space. Also, clear up your desk space to make sure it is tidy so you can focus better on your work.
Have effective communication tools
Make sure you’re able to keep in touch with your team whilst you’re working from home. There are lots of effective tools and apps theses days that can help with this! For example, Skype, Google Hangouts, Slack and Trello are some tools that I like to use!
Make a to-do list
Making a to-do list can help you organise your workload or break down big tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks so that it’s less overwhelming. Without your boss or colleagues around you, there is no one to check up on you, so you need to keep yourself in check.
Get some home office essentials
Depending on your job, everyone will have different needs for certain equipment to be able to work from home. Some people may only need their laptop to work, others might need to invest in a screen/monitor, a headset, a printer, a mouse and keyboard, desk lighting, or even a better chair for your posture. If you’re going to be working from home for a long time, it would be worth investing in proper equipment to help you to work more effectively.
Switch up your environment
If you feel like you’re getting stuck in a rut, try working elsewhere such as at the kitchen or dining table or in your lounge area. A change of environment can improve your mood and can also spark some inspiration. If you work from the bedroom, make sure you have a proper desk set up and that you are not tempted to work on the bed, as this can make you feel very lazy and unproductive. When working from home, it is important to separate your work from your rest, which can be challenging when your home is also your workspace.
I hope you enjoyed this post and found some useful tips for working from home! If you have any tips for WFH, please do share! 🙂
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