Working from home sounds awesome until you quickly realize you have a lot you need to accomplish and no one hovering over your shoulder to make sure you meet a deadline. It requires a lot of discipline, a schedule and focus. Our world is changing before our eyes and many of us are now finding working from home is not only something we want, but something we have to do to stay safe as a community and country. This is why it’s important to set up the perfect work from home office to suit our needs.
Here are five ways to help you work from home successfully:
SET UP A HOME OFFICE
I know many of us don’t have the luxury of having a home office. This because plenty of us spend the majority of the time in the workplace with our colleagues. Regardless of whether you’re in a small urban studio apartment or in a multiple-bedroom home with your family, it’s important to dedicate a space to working. This can be your kitchen island, a seat at your dining table or perhaps set up a temporary desk and chair in the corner of a room. It’s important to designate a proper space as your work from home office. This not only helps get you into a mindset to be productive and work when you get there but separates your living space from your workspace. Having boundaries and separation will be key.
CREATE A SCHEDULE
It may seem intuitive to handle tasks as they come in or tackle obstacles as they come to you, but creating a schedule will keep you on track. I use Google Calendar in the weekly view and schedule literally every minute of my working date. I recommend color-coding tasks, such as using red for emails, purple for calls and whatever floats your boat. GCal also makes it easy to invite others and you can use Hangouts for calls.
Don’t be afraid of taking lunch, taking your dog on a walk or doing the dishes while you’re working from home. Just because you set up your work from home office doesn’t mean you have to stay there until your work hours are over. Trust me, breaks are not only okay but recommended. Take a stretch. Keep your eyes from being fatigued by looking at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes or so. Chances are you’ll come back refreshed and ready to keep working. Plus, you probably “waste” more time at work grabbing coffee, chatting with coworkers, etc.
DON’T TAKE FEEDBACK TOO PERSONALLY
Getting feedback via emails, slack or any other virtual way can be hard because tone isn’t easily communicated. If someone responds, “thanks” it doesn’t necessarily mean they are being rude. They might be busy, juggling a few other tasks or currently taking a call. The response in real life might be more along the lines of, “Thanks! This is awesome!” but it can be hard to tell, so don’t take anything too personally.
EXPRESS YOUR GRATITUDE
Just because you don’t see your colleagues in real life, doesn’t mean you can skip saying thank you. If you get great work from someone, or they go out of their way to handle a task for you, say thank you and make sure they know you appreciate them. Whether it’s an enthusiastic email where you CC all those involved so that person feels good about themselves or you send them a giftcard for a local restaurant to get takeout, try and do something nice.
GET READY & GET DRESSED
I’m a firm believer when you get up and get dressed, you get in a different mindset. Just like you would get ready for the workplace in an office setting, you should do the same even when you are just working from your work from home office. I won’t lie, there are definitely days I don’t put on makeup and don’t get dressed and am still productive. However, getting ready always makes me feel confident and ready. I’m not saying you have to put on a suit and blazer. But, ensure to change out of the clothes you slept in. If you are doing video conference calls, I highly recommend completely getting dressed and not just wearing a nice top with sweatpants. You never know when you might need to stand up and I wouldn’t want my colleagues to know I only cared enough to get halfway dressed.
SOURCE: Color & Chic