Spring is finally here and with that comes a deep yearning to cash in on company perks like working from home. I have only been with my current employer for two years now and I have just started embracing the work from home policy. It took me months to find my stride and discipline myself into making sure I am as productive as possible.
Advantages of working from home:
- No office chit chat distractions or meetings
- Personalised and flexible schedule
- Saves time and money
- Balance between personal and professional commitments
Through trial and error, struggling to figure out how best to be at optimal productivity when working from home, I discovered a few tricks that I thought might help you on your way to becoming your own self-proclaimed “work from home guru”:
1. Prepare your schedule: Planning ahead can be daunting, but it will help you prioritise tasks so you don’t stray from your deliverables. The best thing about working from home is that you can make time for laundry before getting on a conference call with your manager.
2. Set up your environment: This is subjective, while some people prefer sitting in bed with a laptop perched on their knees, others incorporate a “get ready for work” ritual that entails waking up early and “dressing up” for the office. The point is to find something that works for you and sticking with it consistently.
3. Keep it clean and minimalist: The state of your work space can sometimes determine the manner in which you work. A clean and simple space with your typical office basics makes you a winner! Ensure that you know what you need to facilitate your tasks on hand and do away with unnecessary items that might clutter your space or serve as a distraction – that means if you don’t have a 2 o’clock phone call with the CEO, get rid of your cellphone!
4. Timing is everything: I get it; you’re teetering dangerously on a tight deadline, but breaks are important! At the end of the day, the point of working from home is to allow yourself to breathe and work at your own pace, by your own rules.
5. Respond to emails and prepare your report-back: I always get this nagging feeling that some nosey work colleagues wonder what you get up to when you’re at home, and this can create extra pressure to overcompensate on the day’s tasks and work beyond realistic capabilities. To avoid this, simply respond to important emails and be sure to regularly update your superiors and/or team on your progress.
As mentioned before, these tips are subjective and have worked for me. I have used Google docs and the likes to share documents with colleagues. We all have our own working processes and what works for me might not work for you.
Do you have any tips you can share with me on how you manage your time while working at home?