What Do You Need to Know About Working from Home

What Do You Need to Know About Working from Home

Do you want to work from home? Has COVID-19 forced you to work remotely? There is more to working from home than just having a laptop and an Internet connection.

According to Statistics Canada, 4 of every 10 jobs are presently performed remotely. Whether you work remotely every day or one day a week, the tips outlined below can help boost your productivity.

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Skills for Working Remotely

For close to a decade, I have worked out of my home office, and I love it. Most of the time. People have told me ‘I could never do that’. It takes some getting used to.

Before we get into the tips, let’s discuss the skill set you need to work remotely.

1. Self-motivation

Working from home is like going to college. You know you should go to class, but no one is going to make you. Can you start work without your boss standing over your shoulder? If not, working from home is not for you.

2. Self-discipline

There will always be something that needs doing around the house, like laundry and dishes. Can you ignore all those things to focus on your work?

3. Focus

We are all guilty of opening Facebook for a minute and losing an hour. Not to mention if you just have two more episodes to binge-watch on Netflix. Can you avoid the distractions of social media and streaming? 

4. Time Management 

Accomplishing more in less time defines time management skills.  Can you plan your day to complete your daily tasks and hit your deadlines while managing your family or personal needs? Can you keep yourself on track with your projects? 

5. Organization 

Being organized is crucial for working at home. Are you organized? Can you find everything you need at a moment’s notice? Do you know all your deadlines?

Photo by Tranmautritam from Pexels

Tips to be Successful Working from Home

The last ten years have taught me how to work at home successfully. Here are some important points to consider:

1. Schedule Work Hours

Set regular hours and stick to them. There will be the odd time you need to attend to something personal inside your working hours, but make it the exception to the rule.

It is tempting to keep working after the designated hours, but stop yourself. It is important to keep work-life boundaries separate.

2. Morning Routine

Create a morning routine similar to the one you had when going out to work.

I eat, walk the dog, shower and exercise before I start work for the day just like I did when I worked outside my home. (Disclaimer:  I didn’t exercise prior to working at home.)

3. Don’t work in your Pajamas

Even though it is more comfortable, change your clothing before work. Even if you change into sweatpants, this will help to put you in a work frame of mind.

4. Have a Dedicated Office Space

Set up an area to use as your office, preferably with a door. At the very least, you will need a computer, printer, and a reliable internet provider.

5. Comfortable Office Chair

 You will sit most of the day so invest in a comfortable office chair. Just remember to get up and stretch every hour.

6. Schedule Lunch and Breaks

It is very tempting to skip breaks and lunch but this is a mistake. Taking breaks increases productivity. Additionally, you can make a nutritious lunch instead of eating bad cafeteria food.

According to Jobillico.com taking breaks is mentally refreshing and helps avoid burnout.

7. Digital Communication Tools

Although phone calls and email will be the primary tools you use, you will probably need ZOOM or Skype for conference calls and meetings.

You will probably also need a working knowledge of Microsoft Word or Google Docs. You may even need to know WordPress and some coding.

New to word press check out this article.

8. Keep a Tidy Work Area

It is hard to focus in a messy work environment. Keeping things clutter-free helps you to concentrate. 

9. Get Organized

Getting organized will help you stay on top of all your projects. Keep a to-do list, a planner or a calendar. There are all kinds of apps online to keep you organized like Google Calendar,  Evernote and Asana.

If you are a writer, Scrivener is the organizational tool you need. Check out this article.

Final Thoughts

I hope this has been helpful if you are debating working from home. Let me know in the comments if you have any tips.

Until next time

Frankie

Feature image by Pexels from Pixabay.