So you’re stuck working from home due to a situation far out of your control and you’re unsure of what to do. This is a new situation for all of us so here are 4 easy steps to make the transition from working in the office to working at home much easier.
1. Find and Create a Dedicated Office Space
The struggle of shifting all of your work from your office to home can be frustrating. Should you have a dedicated office space, or should you set up and break down your station every time you use it?
Take our advice, if you can find a spot in your home to do all of your work in, you’ll feel much more productive. Maybe you have a spare bedroom, a dining room table you rarely use for eating, or space in your basement. Wherever the extra space is, get ready to own it. If you can leave your computer set up with the files you need, a notepad, pens, and everything else you’d use in your regular office, then you’ve successfully created an at-home office!
Some extra tips for really owning your at-home workspace is to make sure you’re by a wall outlet in order to power your computer. It’s also a great idea to make sure you’re in a spot that has a good wifi connection since you’ll be doing your work remotely. Our last tip to creating a great dedicated office space is to decorate. If this is an area of your house that you’re not usually in for long periods of time, add in a personal touch to make it feel like yours.
2. Create a Schedule
Another challenge that comes up when working from home is timing. Make sure you’re timing your “punch-ins” and “punch-outs” and don’t forget to give yourself a lunch break. It can be challenging to work in a brand new environment, so even implementing something like a 15-minute focus break could be a good idea. Make sure to relax your mind for those 15 minutes and then get back to work
We also realize that working from home presents a whole new set of problems about who’s in your home while you’re working. If you have a family, make sure to create time for them throughout the day. If you have kids, don’t feel bad about needing to go and check on them or cook them lunch. If you have a dog, by all means, let it out to go to the bathroom periodically.
Pro Tip: Make sure to get up and get dressed every morning at a reasonable hour. We know how tempting it can be to want to sit at your desk in your sweatpants all day but something as simple as putting on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt can really have an impact on your mindset.
3. Create “Rules” For Your “Office”
With the need to keep your work balanced against the daily struggles that could be happening in your home comes the need for rules. Who is allowed in your office and for what? If your office is somewhere more open in your home, like the dining room, it could be unreasonable to want everybody and everything out for the duration of your work period.
If you have kids and they have an issue, then they should obviously be able to access you! Should your dog be allowed in the office space? Will that dog make noise during remote meetings?
More rules should be put in place considering distractions. Should you be allowed to be on your phone doing non-work-related tasks such as browsing Instagram or perusing Twitter? Should you have your TV on at all? What about having music playing? These are questions that we’ll all have different answers to. We all work in different ways and excel in different environments. Just find what works for you and make the hard decision to not be on your phone, to not have the TV on in the background, etc.
4. Stay Accountable
This point is in reference to point number 3- just make sure you’re following the rules you set in place. If you decide you’re going to leave your phone outside of your office to focus better, then don’t bring it in. If you told yourself that you’re going to have a lunch break after 3 hours of work, then do that and try not to go any earlier.
All of these rules have been put in place for you to help yourself stay focused and efficient. Stick to your schedule and make sure to stay up to date on tasks and deliverables. Now is a great time to get a paperback planner or to start utilizing an online planner app.