With today’s global spread of COVID-19, working from home (WFH) has become a necessity for many businesses and their employees. WFH and remote work has been on the rise for some time now prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. With “stay home orders” being in effect across the country, many businesses need to adapt. However, WFH has its challenges and pitfalls. If you are new to WFH or looking to improve job performance at home, here are some tips for you to implement.
1) Create a work space
It is important to have a structure and a designated workspace. It is easy to fall into bad habits of watching TV while working on the couch or eating the contents of the kitchen if you are working at the dining table. Make sure you have a desk, comfortable office chair, internet access, and a door that locks. Being able to close the door or lock it, if needed, is helpful for phone and video calls when other people are in your home. This also helps minimize distractions.
2) Develop a schedule and stick to it
Much like reporting to work at the office, you need to maintain regular hours. This will help you still have a healthy work-life balance. Obviously, one of the benefits of WFH is flexibility in hours. But, don’t take that for granted. Having a structure is a good thing. If you work with clients, customers, or patients in different time zones, adjust your schedule as needed to maintain core hours for yourself, either working earlier or later.
3) Have a morning routine
Yes, you are working from home, and you can do so in your pajamas. But that is not always best for a work mindset. While you will not be commuting to work or seeing clients, customers, or patients in person, it is still important to be alert and maintain good hygiene habits. This will make the bounce back to reporting to the office much easier. You may also be required to do video conference calls.
4) Be a planner
In every work environment, it is important to prioritize your time. Write yourself a to-do list every morning to keep yourself on track and productive. Reach out to team members as needed if it is something on which you need to collaborate. Keep in mind, they may be working different hours than you. If you can’t progress on a specific task without them, move on to another one, and check back with them later.
5) Make rules for friends, family, and pets
Set specific work hours, and communicate them clearly with your family and friends. It can be difficult to enforce your working hours and minimize distractions with young children and pets at home pining for your attention. Setting clear boundaries will help you have better work performance and allow you to have quality time with them later when you are not working. Find age–appropriate tasks that will occupy children while you address your own work tasks. You may also consider doing the majority of your work while another adult is home or when the children nap.
6) Stay connected and socialize with your team
It’s important to stay in contact with your teammates so they feel connected and included, whether for a project or just socializing. Take time to meet virtually as a team regularly as well as one on one for updates. WFH life is especially hard for extroverts. Employees should be provided resources for connectivity, such as Microsoft Teams, Skype, WhatsApp, Facetime, Google Hangouts, etc.
7) Don’t forget to take breaks
Taking short breaks can increase productivity and creativity levels. It is always a good idea to step away from your computer or phone once in a while. Take 5-15-minute breaks every hour or in between tasks. As long as you have a task list, it is easy to circle back to work. It is even better if you can leave the house for a bit. Consider taking the dog for a walk or shooting some hoops with your children.
As outlined above, it takes discipline and structure to be truly successful at WFH. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. We hope you found these tips to be helpful. Message Baer Performance Marketing on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter with your thoughts.