This year is full of many uncertainties and changes. One of the biggest changes most of us have faced, is the transition to working from home.
Whether you work remotely regularly or are working from home for the foreseeable future, these top seven tips will help you stay organized and focused!
1. Have a dedicated workspace.
While not everyone may have a separate room to convert into a home office, it is important to have a dedicated workspace you can use every day. Whatever space you have to work with, make sure you feel comfortable spending time in it. Make sure this space has a window for natural light and fresh air. Having an ergonomic chair also ensures that your body feels good at the end of the day.
Bonus Tip: Try setting up your workspace away from the TV and fridge to eliminate distractions and unnecessary snacking.
2. Maintain regular work hours.
Maintaining your regular 9-to-5 work hours while working from home may not be possible, especially when you have to factor in childcare or taking care of other family members. Work with your manager to establish a work-around to your regular hours. Consider working a few hours in the morning, taking a break for personal tasks, and working again when possible later in the day. Once you have agreed upon a schedule with your manager and communicated with your team, make sure to stick to it.
3. Keep a clean and uncluttered desk area.
As you would keep your work office desk clean and organized, it is important to do the same at home. A clean work area increases creativity and eliminates distractions. If everything has a set place, your mind will be clearer, and ideas will flow in. An organized desk also ensures you are able to find important documents easily.
4. Use a planner, notebook, notepad or calendar.
When working from home, the level of distractions increases greatly – making it that much harder to stay on top of work and personal to-do lists. By using a planner, notebook, notepad, calendar or a combination of any of these, you can stay on top of to-do lists and any important deliverables. Find a system that works for you and start writing all your tasks and deadlines to stay on top of both personal and work tasks.
5. Establish an effective communication method with your team.
Working remotely can create gaps in communication or even miscommunication. Work with your manager and colleagues to decide on a communication tool and plan your team will be using. Whether it is by email, an interoffice communication tool, or texting, find a tool that works for everyone and continue to use that method. Setting a weekly or regular check-in with your team is also helpful in ensuring there are no gaps in information being shared. If you have personal reasons for unique working hours, you should share those with your team as well.
6. Maintain work-life balance.
When commuting to a physical office location, we have the opportunity to leave everything work related at the office. While working from home, it can become difficult to separate work from your personal life, since now both worlds have collided together. If your home office is a separate room, you can easily shut the door and leave the office, but not everyone has that option. To prevent overworking, set a regular schedule and power off all work-related devices once working hours are over.
Remember to take breaks throughout the day, especially during lunch. Try activities to separate work-life from personal-life while working from home as well! Keeping social distancing in mind: go for walks, have a picnic, take a trip to the beach or just tune into a good book or movie!
There are many ways to maintain a productive and healthy remote working life, the above tips are just a starting point! Just remember, if you are having any challenges while working remotely, talk to your manager.