Working from home isn’t as glamorous as it’s often talked up to be. In the end it’s still work and you have a job to do. The world is experiencing a new standard and many of us are being asked to perform our duties from the confines of our personal spaces. Suddenly bringing together two worlds that typically have a healthy boundary requires some preparation and forethought. All changes present their own challenges to face and working from home is no different. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean you have to go in blind. If you’re new to the realm of a remote office, we’ve compiled a few tips for you that go farther than an ever boiling pot of tea.
Expect to be distracted. This is a tough transition, accept it upfront and be more successful in the long run. No matter how hard you try, you’re in a space surrounded by your favorite things… and all of your not-so-favorite things, like the laundry still waiting to be done. The most important part of your new home office is that during your work hours, you belong to your work. If you let yourself wander too far, you’ll end up knee deep in a box of donations you’ve suddenly found use for. Be mindful, and accept that things will pop up, your job is to put them away for later.
Keep your routine as best as you can. A perk of remote work is that you can prioritize as selfishly as you want - there’s no pesky coworkers around to observe your second snack break this morning. This perk can also be the biggest downfall, so try and minimize the amount of romanticized procrastinating you do. If you’re sticking to your routine, you’re making sure you’re keeping your work and home life balanced.
Over communicate with your employer, and if you’re the boss be concise with your needs. Cut to the chase as quickly as you can about your software needs, your concerns, and your schedule. A struggle of being out of the office is that you’re not in front of the people you typically wander down the hall and pester. When you have questions you need to work a little harder to get your answer, but it’s important you get your questions answered.
Streamline your space, and your agenda. Declutter your office space, if possible. If this is an abrupt move to being a remote employee, you’re going to want to find the best place in your home to spend your allotted time in front of your laptop or desktop computer. Take a thorough look at its surroundings, and remove anything that’s going to hinder your production. Be upfront about things that aren’t a priority right now, and focus on what is.
Most of all, it’s important to stay positive. Take a break when you need it, open a window and stretch. We are all still here, even if you’re stuck inside your new home office. It’s time to make the best of what we have, and do our best from where we are. Find the bright sides to working from home, and hold them close. Nobody is worried about your unkempt hair and the commute is pretty great. There are worse things in life.