Working from home has its obvious perks, like no daily commute and being able to wear sweatpants. But it also brings challenges we might not think about, like limited communication with our team, household distractions and a lack of structure. This handy guide will help you avoid those pitfalls so you can keep your days productive (even while wearing sweatpants).
Make sure your workspace is in order
Sitting on the couch with your laptop all day might seem great at first, but not having a dedicated workspace will get old very quickly. That’s why you should make having a dedicated workspace your #1 priority.
Take some time to re-arrange your living or dining room into a functional office space. This includes getting all your cords, cables and monitors set up. You’ll want this new home office to mimic your work office as much as possible.
Create structure in your day
One of the biggest challenges people have when working from home is creating structure in their day. When we’re in the office, we have our daily rituals. 9:30 AM, get coffee; 11:00 AM, take a walk to chat with Mike, and so on and so on. When we’re working from home, these routines are thrown off, leaving us with a sense of disorganization.
The best way to get around this is to make a new routine during your time at home. Plan out small 5-minute breaks throughout the day where you can grab coffee, switch over the laundry or feed the cat. These small breaks will give you something to look forward to and add that much-needed structure to your workday.
Stay in contact with your team
Since you won’t be sharing a workspace with them, it’s critical that you stay in constant communication with your team. This open line of communication is especially important since your entire team is most likely working remotely. While working from home, it can be easy to get so focused on our own work that we don’t communicate effectively with the rest of our teams. This is a recipe for disaster with people not knowing who’s supposed to do what, passive-aggressive emails being sent back and forth and a general sense of disorganization.
The number one way to stop this in its tracks is to make sure you’re constantly communicating with your co-workers. Continually asking what they’re working on, what stage projects are at and if there’s anything you can do to help is the best way to avoid the above scenario. You may even get to a point where you’re bordering on over-communicating, but that’s much better than the alternative.
There’s a number of messaging platforms that you and your team can use to stay in contact if you’d prefer not to send emails back and forth for every little thing. We recommend Slack. This is an especially popular messaging platform that’s used by over 12 million workers daily to send quick messages and updates to one another.
Block out disturbances (when possible)
You may not be sharing a wall with a co-worker who loudly takes personal calls during work hours anymore, but now you’ll have new co-workers interrupting you to ask if you picked up bread from the store or who your favorite superhero is.
While these disturbances can’t be completely avoided, the best way to limit them is by setting down firm ground rules with the people you live with. Let them know that just because you’re home, that doesn’t mean it’s your day off. You still have work to do and will not be available constantly. Setting these boundaries early will limit those disturbances. If that doesn’t work, you can always go with some noise-canceling headphones!
Looking to make sure your team has the tools they need to work from home with confidence? Get in touch with your local Proforma Professional. We can provide you with everything from webcams and privacy blockers to branded coffee mugs and polos.