Thanks to the many teleconferencing and remote working technologies available, working from home has never been easier. However, transitioning to working from home can be a major challenge.
As a netlogx consultant, I’ve had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings including client sites, our corporate office, hotel rooms, coffee shops, airports, cars, and of course, my home. Adjusting to working in a new environment is never easy, but staying sane and productive working from home is absolutely possible with a few simple tips:
- Stick to a routine
Your routine working from home may be different from your office routine—and that’s okay! The most important thing is to figure out what works best for you and try to stick with it. Define your work from home schedule and stick to those practices and hours as best as you can.
- Find a dedicated workspace
Not everyone has a dedicated home office but try to find a location in your home where you can set up shop. This can be as simple as a card table in the corner of a room or even your kitchen table. The important thing is to find a location where you are comfortable and can focus. Some folks like to work from a couch or a bed, but I have found that I am able to be more productive and shift into “work mode” when I have a separate space identified.
- Be deliberate in your communication
Unfortunately, working from home means the loss of the informal, face-to-face interaction that is often a great way to collaborate and share information. Working from home requires us to be more deliberate in our communications with teammates.
Be sure to reach out to colleagues on a regular basis and consider scheduling a daily “stand-up” with your team to share what you are working on, obtain any clarifications or guidance, and share information. Chat functionality is also a great way to resolve quick questions and just check-in. Finally, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone; some items are simply better resolved in a conversation.
- Take breaks
Make sure that you take breaks so that you do not burn out. In my daily routine, I like to use my lunch break as an opportunity to get out of the house and take a quick walk or knock some chores off my to-do list.
- Sign off at the end of your workday
Disconnecting from work is already a challenge in the smartphone age and when your home becomes your workspace this can be even harder. Try your best to truly “sign off” each night when you are done with work. I try to tidy up my workspace at the end of the day by closing and putting away my laptop and any papers. I have found this to be very helpful in shifting back to “home” mode.
Working from home is what you make of it. Find what works best for you to stay productive, happy, and healthy.