Work from home sounds so tempting and comforting if compared to a regular office job. There are millions of people out there who are stuck in regular 9 to 5 office job. Those people dream about working from home every day. If you are officially allowed to work from home, its time for you to feel lucky.
If you are lucky enough, don’t get too comfortable as this freedom if misused, may lead you to some undesirable situations.
You must also be aware of the fact that working from home is not as easy as it looks. You may get distracted with anything quite easily while working. It can be the sound of a honking vehicle, the noise of playing kids or even the sound of the washing machine. Every minor thing that goes around in the house can cause What?
Yes, you got it right?
But, don’t worry! As soon as you will adapt a few changes in your routine, you can defeat distraction monster and work like a pro even from home.
Believe me, I have got 7 years of experience on this one. I am a business owner and a mom of 4-year-old with so much on my plate to do. I am only able to do so much because I mostly work remotely from home. My office visits only happen when it’s really necessary.
All you need to do is to make a few changes and set a few boundaries!
So let’s take a look at the master guide of changes that you are supposed to make to your schedule from today if you are working remotely from home:
Home office setup
Once you start working from home, you discover a lot of situations that don’t work in your favour. Especially, when you are trying to concentrate. Even if you try to set some boundaries with your family, there are situations that you can’t control which hampers your consistency as well as productivity. So, the very first step for you to take is to set up a separate workspace for yourself at your home. It can be a room, a corner or an area by the window. This is one of the many benefits of working from home that you can set up your office space as per your preference.
To read more about how to set up a home office for increased productivity, read this article 10 Home Office Decor Tips To Maximize Your Productivity
As I already said above, you have to deal with a lot of distractions while working from home. You may waste a lot of your precious hours due to that, during your day time working hours. Do you know what this may cause you?
I hope you all will agree with me here!
You can’t afford to do overtime every day where on the other hand you wanted to do so much with your life when you decided to work from home. But I also agree with the fact that you also can’t just pretend that you are going to the office every day. With all the deadlines, workload, supervisors pressure to get the work done its easy to lose your calm and start stressing over it.
So, to avoid all this mess in your life the first thing you should do right now is to create a schedule for yourself. You can use an online calendar to structure your days by populating your calendar with meetings, events, tasks, daily chores, family time etc.
Also, know that just creating a schedule won’t be enough! If you seriously want to excel the skill of working from home. You also need to adhere to your schedule strictly every day, no matter what!
Speak with your family
Once you are done setting up your home office and creating a schedule, the third step for you to take is to speak with your family. Discuss the entire situation with them, let them know about your schedule, your dedicated workspace and what are you expecting from them. During this discussion, you can mutually set some boundaries with the family.
You will not need to make many efforts in setting boundaries if you only have adults living at your home. On the other hand, if you have kids at home you may need to learn how to focus on work with all the kid’s noise going around in the house. Don’t try to be too strict about your boundaries with the kids, as it may turn out complicated and nerve-wracking for you.
Creating a schedule doesn’t really mean that you should schedule to sit for 6-8 hours in a row like an office schedule.
You can’t do that at home!
Instead, create a flexible schedule that goes well with your daily routine.
For example – You can start your day by working for an hour and then take a small break to enjoy breakfast. After breakfast, you can work for another 2 hours and take a break to do your daily chores. Then spend another hour at work followed by a break to spend time with family and so on. You can always adjust your breaks and working hours as per your needs. This way you will be able to get along with your family as well as work quite well without going crazy.
Start Your Day Early
I personally feel that early morning time and late-night work hours are the most productive hours while working from home. Because while your family is enjoying their sleep, you can take advantage of those peaceful hours by working on the task that really needs your concentration.
I usually do all the writing and other analytical tasks, when my kid is sleeping. I feel more focused and productive during those hours. So, I try to get the most out of those precious peaceful work-friendly hours. This way I get to play with my kid without worrying about work when he wants me to play with him. Because I found that balance between my working hours and personal life.
Here’s the schedule that I follow
I classify my to-dos in 3 categories:
1 – Tasks that need a peaceful atmosphere and a lot of concentration
2 – Tasks that can be done anytime without much attention
3 – Reboot
I am not an early morning person so I work on Category 1 tasks during late-night hours after putting my son into bed. During the daytime, I just work on Category 2 tasks, spend time with my kid and take care of my other daily chores.
Now comes the Category 3 which is very very important for me. I take 1-hour break after dinner every day to relax my brain and body. I just shut down all the screens during that hour, spend 15 mins in my balcony to breath in the fresh air and 45 mins resting on the couch like a dead person doing nothing. It just reboots my brain and makes it easier for me to work in the night without feeling tired.
I just don’t get frustrated too much now ever since I started following this schedule. 🙂
You can classify your tasks and adjust the timings based on your preferences.
Set the Beat
There are certain hours or days when you get desired peaceful hours to work and you are all focused. But there’s some disturbance you are feeling within yourself due to Xyz reasons. You are trying hard but still, you’re not being able to work proficiently. That’s the exact moment, you should tune into your favourite playlist. Play what you love in the background, keep the volume low as we are trying to set the mood for work, not the opposite.
Music is the perfect therapy to boost concentration. You can experiment with some different styles of music initially and find out the type of music that is working for you and making you more productive.
You can also get yourself into a habit of playing music every day during your day time working hours. It helps lowering other noises that are going on in the surrounding.
Dress up Everyday
When you are trying to do anything in the world, focusing on every minor detail becomes necessary to get it done with expertise.
Same goes with telecommuting!
If you are working from home, the one factor that people tends to miss very easy is to get ready. It’s as essential as having a proper ergonomic chair. You should get yourself in a habit of getting dressed at the same time every day. It’s necessary so you get yourself indulged into a daily routine as if you are going office every day.
If you are just working from home for a short term
Following the schedule at home will help you catch up with regular office routine once you start going back to the office.
If you are going to follow it for the long term
You will learn the importance of the factors that helps you be productive while working remotely.
Ever since technology introduced web-based options like remote screen sharing, VPN Networks, online meetings, remote screen accessing, Wi-Fi etc. It became easy for companies to outsource. Companies are getting more flexible with their employees nowadays. They are offering a lot more telecommuting jobs than ever.
With my experience, the future will be more about telecommuting jobs instead of office jobs. And to make working from home a successful experience for you, the major factor you should focus on is communication.
Communication is the backbone of this entire work from the home process. Since you are not present physically in the office and imagine you are not even communicating actively. There’s no way for your supervisors to know about your work progress or your struggles without communication. Eventually, the lack of communication will cause stress and intolerance between you and your company.
So, the key to work from home successfully is to be super active with communication. If you have a query ask away, any task you couldn’t finish let them know. Also, pay attention to details, chat often to let your supervisor know about the status of your assignments every day or maybe twice a day. You can set the frequency of conversation based on job requirement but never miss out on this crucial aspect.
These are a few tips that I compiled for you to master the skill of working from home like a pro.
Hope you found this article useful! Let me know in the comments below!