Regardless of the reason why you are working from home, the work process from the comfort of your own home often raises questions about the differences and the similarities between working from home and an ordinary day at the office. We are giving you 7 tips and guidance to ensuring productive and smooth working processes for you and your teams.
1. My home is my office
No matter if you are enjoying the comfort of you home or you are among coworkers at the office, make sure that your work day includes the same rituals and habits. In order to feel as if it’s an ordinary day at the office even when you are working from home, prepare yourself and your home by following the same routine prior to starting and while you are working.
Decide where you will set up your work space at home and avoid your bedroom or the couch if that will distract you or make you feel lethargic. Prepare your work space by stocking with all materials and resources you will need so you can have them within arm’s reach whenever you need to take notes or check something.
Although you are saving yourself the time you’d spend commuting, start your home-office day at the same time you usually wake up to go to the office. By doing so, you will have the opportunity to spare the time you need to mentally prepare for the work day and to get used to the thought of doing your usual work in a different setting. Stick to your routine by dressing appropriately, preparing your work space at home, and doing everything you normally do before heading to the office.
During conference calls, follow the office etiquette and avoid browsing social media and any other activity that can distract you or affect the work process and the smooth communication.
2. Ensure you have Internet connection and the necessary software
To ensure your own work processes as well as your online meetings go smoothly, make sure you have good connection and the necessary or recommended software.
To avoid potential disconnections or issues, test your connection on your own or contact those in your team that can help you. Make sure you have and can work with the software that your whole organization uses so you can connect quickly and easily and store the information you need to in place which is familiar and easily accessible to each team member.
3. Ensure you have the social connection and the necessary communication
Working from home should not mean isolation and does not equal lack of communication. Even though it’s over chat, you can keep in contact with you team just like you would in the office. If you organization applies such as breakfast, lunch or refreshment breaks, take the opportunity to participate, be it form a distance. Though online communication cannot be compared to quality communication face to face, take advantage of technology to keep in touch with work and coworkers.
4. Align demands, expectations, and capabilities
Make sure you have the same understanding of the demands on the work you will do from your home as the other members of your team and as those above you in the organization hierarchy. Discuss the expectations, the tasks and the deadlines that you have but do not hesitate to clarify your own capabilities and expectations about the work processes.
5. Define limits
To make sure you maintain the same level when working at home as you do in the office, define clear times for starting and ending your work day as well as for the breaks and interruptions that you need. If you choose your couch or your bedroom as your work space, you can easily get carried away while working and neglect your needs for rest, food, and movement. Working from home does means neither more, nor less than the work load you would take up at the office, and well-planned breaks can make you even more productive by keeping you energized and focused.
6. When the whole household is working from home
If you are working from home together with other family members, prepare a variety of fun activities and materials for the youngest ones. Take advantage of the coziness of the space you share with your pets and have understanding for the needs of the others in your home. Be prepared for unexpected interruptions and let the other team members you communicate with know what environment you are working in.
7. Stay toned
Don’t forget to find time for some stretching and exercises to interrupt the long hours of sitting in front of the screen. Try to stand up and move around throughout the whole day but make sure you do some quick and easy exercises even while you are sitting at your desk. Every movement contributes to your tone which, for its part, helps you maintain your energy level and stay productive.