For many, working from home is the perfect way to balance your home and work lives. If a pandemic should strike or if a disaster keeps you at home, your supervisor may tell you to work from home. While this sounds like a dream come true, it’s not always as easy as people think.
The effort it will take to remain focused on your job while you are at home is immense. There are multiple distractions, interruptions, Netflix, and so many great snacks in the kitchen!
To keep yourself motivated, boost your productivity, and not lose your patience, we have 5 tips that will help you learn to love working from home, quarantine or not.
Tip #1 – Set Up a Separate Place to Work
While you might think that you can write that report from the sofa while your kids watch TV, the truth is that you can’t. You need to be able to focus and you need as few distractions as possible. Otherwise, your report might end up being incoherent and riddled with errors. Whether you choose a basement, the guest room, or some other spot in your home, make it yours and try to have others respect your space by not interrupting you.
Tip #2 – Dress for Success
Yes, while one of the joys of working from home is wearing your PJs all day, but how motivated will you be to actually work if you are wearing PJs or shorts and a tank top? While you don’t have to wear a suit and tie or a dress and high heels for your toddler, you should at least wear casual clothing (think Casual Fridays at the office) such as polo shirts and khaki pants so that not only do you feel like a working person, but you can take conference calls without worry.
Tip #3 – Create a Routine
One of the best perks of working from home is not having to get up early to catch the train or hit the freeway to make it work by 9. If you want to sleep in until 10 every day, that’s great, but make that part of your schedule. One disadvantage is that your supervisor and co-workers or team partners get used to you being available all the time (since you are home, right?) and you can end up working 24/7. Establish a schedule and routine of when you ARE working and when you are NOT working.
Tip #4 – Watch out for neighbors and family
Once your family and neighbors find out that you are home, while they don’t mean any harm, they will become a very unwelcome intrusion very shortly. Put a sign on your door that says something like “Shush! Families are working. Come back after 4 PM.” Unless someone else is home to answer the phone or the door, you might also want to put a similar message your answering machine and cell phone.
Tip #5 – Don’t Neglect Other Chores or People
While you don’t want to be interrupted constantly, you also don’t want to neglect family and friends. You also will need to remember to do the little things that keep your house going, such as grocery shopping, cooking meals, NOT eating in front of your computer, and paying your bills. You will become accustomed to juggling everything, however. It just takes practice and a little patience.
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