Top 20 tips for working from home

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Written By Stephane

Working from home has become normal since the major COVID outbreak in 2020. Not everyone started working remotely in 2020, some people were working from home before the pandemic and they are usually folks who want to have more control over their work schedule and work environment. However, it can be challenging to stay productive when you’re not in an office setting. Managing your home life could also be another challenge.

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1. Create a Pre-work routine

I happen to be one of those people who worked from home for more than 3 years before the coronavirus outbreak and now permanently after the Pandemic in 2020. When I started, I quickly realized that I’d need to change my habits and routines to make work-from-home life a success. Many remote workers have questions like, When does work begin, and when does your personal life begin? How much interaction can I have over Zoom?

While everyone may confront unique problems and take different approaches to solving them. Whether you’re a new remote worker or just looking for fresh new ideas, in this blog post, I will share 20 tips for having the best experience when working from home!

In the spirit of inclusiveness, I will not assume that we all start work in the morning, so I refrain from saying a morning routine, but it’s the same idea for any shift. For example, before I start working, I chat over tea or coffee with my wife and kids about the night and what they’re looking forward to for the day. We play a couple of songs from our echo show and I even bust a move every once in a while. Then the kids are off to school and I get to work.

When my kids are off school, I have a slightly different ritual which would work if you don’t have any children as well since they’re usually, if not always, sleeping in. I do my usual morning hygiene routine, start the meditation channel on my Amazon Echo show, cook the family breakfast, and then head off to work.

2. Set an active work schedule

The traditional nine-to-five schedule is unrealistic in remote work culture. One of the benefits of working from home is that you can set your work schedule. But with that said, it’s important to have some structure in your day, so you’re not working all the time and start to lose track of time. I like to set a number of work hours for myself and take breaks between tasks. This helps me stay focused and avoid burnout.

3. Get dressed for work

Working in your PJs all day may be tempting, but getting dressed for work can help you feel more productive. While you don’t have to dress for traditional office settings, have different clothes for work. You’re less likely to get distracted by household chores or personal errands when you’re in work mode.

4. Create a dedicated office space

It’s important to have a dedicated office space for work when you work from home so you can focus and avoid distractions. If you don’t have an extra room in your house, try a work-from-home setup in a quiet corner and set your home office equipment there. You can also turn your bedroom into an office bedroom combo seamlessly.

5. Schedule your Breaks

Especially your lunch break. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you should always be working. Make sure to take breaks throughout the day to move your body, stretch, or take a few minutes to relax when you work from home.

6. Set boundaries with family and friends

It can be difficult to set boundaries with loved ones and other family members when you’re working from home. But it’s important to let them know you’re unavailable while you work from home so you can focus on work.

7. Check your phone only on your break

There are many distractions when working from home, from the TV to social media. It’s important to find ways to stay focused on work. I like to set a timer for myself and work for a certain amount of time before taking a break. I check my phone during the breaks and set a timer for when the break should be over.

8. Use a separate phone

While I would not advise you to get a second phone number, you should definitely have a second phone just for work. Instead of trading in that old phone, use it for work over WIFI. Most smartphones now have the capability for a separate work profile on your phone; I’m still not comfortable using the same phone for my personal and professional life.

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9. Keep your office space clean and organized

When you’re working from home, it’s easy for your workspace to become cluttered. Keep your work area organized so you can stay focused and productive in your remote work life. If you can maintain a clean and clear space, it’ll be easier to maintain a clear head when working remotely.

10. Keep a to-do list

To-do lists or task lists are a great way to stay on track with work. I like to list tasks for the day or week, so I know what needs to be done.

11. Book the same calendar for Work and Home

Find a work-life balance. The lines between personal and professional life are blurred sometimes when you work from home. Make sure to schedule time for yourself and your loved ones. if you have to pick up your kid from school during working hours, block the time on your calendar.

12. Create a self-care routine

Take care of yourself. When working from home, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. Make sure to eat healthy meals, exercise, and get enough sleep. Schedule around your life not just work.

13. Set simple and realistic goals

Setting goals can help you stay on track with work. I like to set weekly or monthly goals to know what I need to accomplish and prioritize. This helps me stay on top of my client’s hot-button issues and get to work once I turn on my computer.

14. Schedule virtual happy hours

Working from home can be isolating, so staying connected with friends and co-workers is important. Attend optional meetings if it provides a networking or learning opportunity. Schedule video calls or coffee dates with friends and coworkers. Plan virtual team-building events. As a mildly introverted person, I sometimes need to connect with other humans. Besides, where else would I draw my energy from?

15. Stay flexible

Things will inevitably come up when you’re working from home. Try to be flexible and work around things that come up. I’ll say it again, schedule around your life.

16. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for help

If you struggle to manage work and life, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk to your boss or a trusted friend for support. Find counseling services your employer provides or book your own therapist if you already work with someone.

17. Take time off

It’s important to take time for yourself when you’re working from home. Make sure to schedule time and not just for a vacation. Take time to do something you enjoy, such as reading or going for a walk.

18. Focus on the positives

Try not to negatively assume tones in emails or texts from your work colleagues when working remotely. While communication could pose a challenge, remember your coworkers are also working remotely and facing their unique challenges, especially if you haven’t shared these tips with them :).

When you’re feeling positive, you’re more likely to be motivated and focused on your work. Maintaining a positive attitude can also help build better relationships with co-workers. People are more likely to respond positively to someone who is optimistic.

19. Leave the house daily

It is important to leave the home office and house every day, even if it is just for a short walk around the block. Getting some fresh air and sunshine is essential for our physical and mental health. Being outside can help to improve our mood and reduce stress levels. Taking a break from work or other obligations to go for a walk, play with a pet, or sit in the park can help to refresh and rejuvenate us

20. Be kind to yourself first, then to others

We all have moments when we feel unworthy or undeserving of happiness, but it is important to remember that we are worthy of love and respect – both from ourselves and others. Instead of beating ourselves up for our mistakes, we should learn from them and move on. Only when we are able to show ourselves compassion and understanding will we be able to be indeed kind to others. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and don’t be too hard on your coworkers. 

Working from home can have its challenges, but it also has a lot of benefits. These tips will help you stay productive and connected while working remotely. Stay flexible, take time for yourself, and focus on the positives to maximize your work-from-home experience. 

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