Working from home can be one of the best experiences of your life, but too much of a good thing can be disastrous if you don't have a plan of execution.
For many modern professionals, working from home every once in a while is a luxury that our respective companies afford us. But which environment actually allows us to be more productive: the home office or the office?
The trick to working remotely heavily depends on the structure and clear daily objectives. We have listed several tips to ensure that you have the best home working experience while away from the office.
Take a look at some of our remote worker's tips to get your gears into motion.
1. Get started early.
When working in an office, your morning commute can help you wake up and feel ready to work by the time you get to your desk. At home, however, the transition from your pillow to your computer can be much more complicated.
Believe it or not, one way to work from home productively is to dive into your to-do list as soon as you wake up. Simply getting a project started first thing in the morning can be the key to making progress on it gradually throughout the day. Otherwise, you'll prolong breakfast and let the morning sluggishness wear away your motivation.
2. Pretend like you are going into the office.
The mental association you make between work and an office can make you more productive, and there's no reason that feeling should be lost when telecommuting.
When working from home, do all the things you'd do to prepare for an office role: Set your alarm, make (or go get) coffee, and wear nice clothes. Internet browsers like Google Chrome even allow you to set up multiple accounts with different toolbars on the top -- for example, a toolbar for home and a separate toolbar for work or you could do what I do and simply use different browsers to separate your work from home.
3. Structure your day like you would in the office.
When working from home, you're your own personal manager. Without things like an in-person meeting schedule to break up your day, you can be quick to lose focus or burn out.
To stay on schedule, segment what you'll do and when over the course of the day. If you have an online calendar, create personal events and reminders that tell you when to shift gears and start on new tasks. Google Calendar makes this easy.
Are mornings for writing while you're in the office? Use the same schedule at home. While you probably will get tasks done faster at home than at work, this structure will help keep you focused and productive.
4. Choose a dedicated workspace.
Just because you're not working at an office doesn't mean you can't, well, have an office. Rather than cooping yourself up in your room or on the couch pick a space that you associated with leisure time and dedicate a specific room or surface in your home to work. It helps you get into the right frame of mind.
5. Make it harder for yourself to mess around on social media.
Social media is designed to make it easy for you to open and browse quickly. At work, though, this convenience can be the detriment of your productivity.
To counteract your social networks' ease of use during work hours, remove them from your browser shortcuts and, according to Fast Company, log out of every account. You might even consider working primarily in a private or if you're using Chrome, an "Incognito" browser window. This ensures you stay signed out of all your accounts and each web search you conduct doesn't autocomplete the word you're typing. It's a guarantee that you won't be tempted into taking too many social breaks during the day.
“ I remove all social networks from my toolbar bookmarks. Even if I don't mean to browse them, some uncontrollable impulse subconsciously clicks on them when I experience downtime. You can get sucked in without knowing it (or even intending to), so eliminating the gateway to those networks keeps me on track."
6. Commit to doing more.
Projects always take longer than you initially think they will. For that reason, you'll frequently get done less than you set out to do. So, just as you're encouraged to overestimate how much time you'll spend doing one thing, you should also overestimate how many things you'll do during the day. Even if you come up short of your goal, you'll still come out of that day with a solid list of tasks filed under 'complete.'
Currently, our team is using a task manager to help increase productivity in these remote times. You can check out productivity tools such as Trello, Slack, Airtable and Asana to give your team the best possible outcome with regards to workflows.
7. Work when you're at your most productive.
Nobody sprints through their work from morning to evening be realistic with your motivation as it will naturally ebb and flow throughout the day. However, it's all the more important to know when those ebbs and flows will take place and plan your schedule around it.
To capitalise on your most productive periods, save your harder tasks for when you know you'll be in the right headspace for them. Use slower points of the day to knock out the easier, logistical tasks that are also on your plate.
"For me, the most productive times of the day are usually early in the morning or late at night. I recognise this and try to plan my day accordingly. Also, music that really pumps me up doesn't hurt."
8. Save calls for the afternoon.
Sometimes, I'm so tired in the morning, I don't even want to hear my own voice -- let alone talk to others with it. You shouldn't have to give yourself too much time to become productive in the morning, but you can give yourself some extra time before working directly with others.
If you're struggling to come up with a reasonable work schedule for yourself as a telecommuter, start with the solitary tasks in the morning. Save phone calls, meetings, and other collaborative work for when you've officially "woken up."
"Take advantage of morning hours to crank through meaty projects without distractions, and save any calls or virtual meetings for the afternoon."
9. Interact with other humans.
Remember: You're working from home, not the moon. Interacting with other people during the day is allowed, even if they're not your coworkers. In fact, it's a good idea to see another face during the day when most of your workday is solitary.
"Go outside and find a human to interact with may it be your neighbour, roommate or family member. Don’t be afraid to say hello and use it as an opportunity to strengthen relationships you didn’t have the time for in the past.
10. Plan out what you'll be working on ahead of time.
Spending time figuring out what you'll do today can take away from actually doing those things. And, you'll have planned your task list so recently that you can be tempted to change your schedule on the fly.
It's important to let your agenda change if you need it to, but it's equally as important to commit to an agenda that outlines every assignment before you begin. Try solidifying your schedule the day before, making it feel more official when you wake up the next day to get started on it.
If you found these tips helpful in navigating your day to day remote work, feel free to visit us on social media ( @KelvinCorner on Instagram and Facebook ) as we will be sharing daily helpful tips to get you set up for a successful isolation period to make your life a little bit more convenient.