Working from home is a new reality for many people; a reality that is proving hard to get used to. Many people are hoping that the COVID-19 pandemic ends soon so that they can go back to their normal work routines. However, until the coronavirus is contained, the best you can do is to adjust accordingly and make the most out of this reality.
Besides, if you think about it, working from home isn’t too bad. It has lots of benefits, for example not having to leave home before everyone is up, not having to dress up for work, and not having to go through the hustles of beating traffic to and from the office. If you could find a way of keeping yourself motivated, accountable, and productive when working from home, you’d be surprised at how beneficial and fulfilling such a working arrangement can be. These 6 work from home tips might help you with that:
#1 Create a home office
Perhaps the hardest part in adapting to the new working arrangement is setting boundaries between home life and work life. Your kids, your pet, your TV, and your bed are all there screaming for your attention. How can you ignore them and focus on your work? The best thing to do is to create a home office. It could be an extra room in the house or an empty corner in one of your rooms.
Set it as per your personality and preferences, eliminate all distractions, and fit it with comfortable furniture. Set the boundaries from that point and make it abundantly clear that no one is allowed near that area; no one should chat with you or disturb you in any manner when you are in that space.
#2 Use VPN
Remote working is a security risk by itself. First, you will be transmitting sensitive company data over the internet; data that cybercriminals salivate for. Secondly, attackers are smarter than you’d imagine. They can sniff your Wi-Fi passwords and use them to steal sensitive data. That is why you need to secure your connection with your employer’s network using a Nord VPN.
If you are wondering what VPN is, it is a virtual private network that encrypts your connections so that you can work with confidence knowing that your passwords cannot be stolen or your data sniffed.
#3 Create a routine that includes breaks
Getting dressed to just sit at home doesn’t sound like the smartest idea, but freelancers who work from home will tell you that it helps boost their productivity. You can work in your fleece pajama set, you can work without showering, and you can work when you feel like it, but you really shouldn’t. Try as much as possible to treat your home workstation like it was your regular office.
Apply the time management skills you’ve learned from your time in the office to create a timetable and to schedule reasonable breaks in between tasks.
#4 Maintain open communication lines
Stay connected with your colleagues especially if you are working on a project as a team. Keep consulting with your supervisors and line managers. Note that they are also trying to adjust to the new arrangement, so you should try to make their job as easy as you can.
And even if you aren’t working on a group project, it is good to chit chat with colleagues just like you would in the office. Ask them what they are doing to remain organized and focused. Check-in with them to know how they are holding up. These are uncertain times where a call from a colleague or a friend could mean a lot.
#5 Ask your employers for the tools you need
There are equipments you will need for your work from home routine to be efficient. Don’t shy away from asking your employer to provide them. Maybe you need a laptop, maybe your home keyboard is broken, maybe you need new software, or maybe your paycheck isn’t enough to pay for strong Wi-Fi. It is also impossible to remain productive if you don’t have a comfortable office chair and a desk at home. It is okay to ask your employer to provide such items for you.
#6 Don’t multitask
Forget about your chores around the house, even when you are on a little break. You will not be productive if you do laundry or prepare dinner in between tasks. Whatever you wouldn’t do at your regular office, don’t do it now just because you can. Wait until you are done with the day’s work to do household chores.
Final thoughts: Take good care of yourself
Being stuck at home can hurt your mental health if you don’t take good care of yourself. Set aside some time each day for exercise and meditation. Don’t watch too much TV, but a movie a day won’t hurt your productivity. If you have an underlying health issue, ensure that you have all the medication you need at the house. Make your physical and mental health your top priority.