Given our current health crisis, you may find yourself in an unfamiliar working environment – your home. It can be challenging to work from home if you’re not used to doing it. It takes discipline and organization to work from home successfully. Below are some things that you can do to help you manage this new way of working.
Have a designated workspace
If you don’t already have a home office space, you will need to pick a place in your home to set-up your home office. Try and find a space that’s off to itself. I wouldn’t advise selecting a space that’s a high traffic area in your home, such as the kitchen or living room. You don’t want to set-up where your family congregates to hang out with one another. Some good places might be a spare bedroom, your bedroom, or even a closet if it’s large enough to house a small desk.
Establish a routine
You may have been accustomed to getting to the office by 8 a.m. and leaving at 5 p.m., etc. Now that you no longer have a commute or have to be at the office by a certain time, it may be tempting just to work whenever; however, doing this is a recipe for disaster as it relates to your productivity. You should create a new routine and determine what time you will start work, take a lunch break, and stop work. Make sure that you stick to the times that you choose.
Try and eliminate distractions
You may have had distractions at your corporate office, such as co-workers stopping by to chat. Now you have even more distractions at home – television, laundry, children, etc. Refrain from turning on the TV, you may think that you can work with it on in the background, but believe me, you won’t be as productive. Don’t do housework during your work hours; that time should only include your office work. Try and remind yourself that you wouldn’t be doing housework if you were at the corporate office and that it can wait until you’re done working.
Get creative if you have children at home
If you have older kids who are home now also, have a conversation with them and explain to them that it’s important that you stay focused on your work. Share your designated work hours with them and let them know not to bother you during these times unless it’s an emergency, and constitute what things are considered an emergency.
If you have smaller children, it can be more challenging to stay focused on your work. If your spouse is also home, you may try tag teaming – you watch them for an hour or two, and then you switch. You can also try setting up a play area near your work area so that you can keep an eye on them. Another option is to get up earlier to work some while they’re still sleeping.
Working from home can be challenging, but you can do it with a little planning and a positive attitude. Hang in there, and you will find yourself settling into your new way of working just fine.