Best work-from-home tips

Working has been one of the most constant things in people’s daily lives. Many people work to live, while some only live to work. However, the recent changes brought about by the pandemic and the current public crisis have permanently made work and personal life more integrated than ever. The rise in remote work has provided a large portion of the global workforce with a reason to work in their homes.

Remote work is not something new. Many jobs have been offered to people as purely remote work without the need to show up in the office. The persistence of recent changes to economies and industries, i.e., lay-offs, job removals and public health threats, elevated and highlighted the benefits of work-from-home life opportunities.

The results in a preference for remote work continue to change. A report that “GoodHire’s second annual report on remote work finds a significant decrease in a desire to work from home: Only 44% of workers said they preferred remote work now versus 68% a year ago.” While the most significant cause of the remote work increase was the Coronavirus, health developments influence hybrid work models and return-to-office arrangements.

Public health does not end with the topic of the Coronavirus or the pandemic. Keeping a healthy body and mind is essential to make remote work compatible with your current lifestyle. Prioritise work-life balance despite being steps away from your office setup. If you continue to work from home and attempt to build a sustainable lifestyle with remote work, apply some best work-from-home tips.

Productivity Hack: How to Impress Your Boss while Working Remotely

Nobody can discuss work without tapping into work productivity. Productivity is the main thing that drives businesses towards more beneficial changes. People often work and aim to be productive to feel valuable and useful to the world. The concept of productivity is not disconnected from the persistence of work. Remote workers are not exempted from the productivity talk. On the contrary, productivity is more crucial for remote work setups.

The reality is that productivity is very crucial and valuable for businesses. Productivity is the ability to yield and produce results. While there are strong drivers for balancing work hours and keeping good health, companies must present results at the end of the day. Productivity keeps businesses moving, rolling, and developing against all global changes.

For remote employees in their comfort zone, productivity tips for working from home are necessary. Just because you are working from the comfort of wearing home clothes and a non-office setup does not mean sacking off with your work drive. There are many ways to stay on top of isolated work, even at home. Find ways to transform your lifestyle into a more sustainable experience in a remote working setup.

Prepare Yourself

The first step in your way to staying productive is to prepare yourself for remote work. Preparation is very personal for each person, so whatever helps you keep yourself in check for productive work is crucial. Preparation can make or break any remote worker’s resolve to start, complete and produce good work results.

Physical, emotional and mental preparation produces effective methods for effective work. Here are some ways and tips to prepare yourself physically, emotionally and mentally before work starts:

Tips to prepare physically

  • Establish a morning routine that involves physical activity, such as minor workouts and short exercise sets
  • Walk the pets around the location to move around and energise yourself before your work schedule starts
  • Schedule some chores that require some labour to keep yourself from staying stagnant, resulting in more time lying in bed or on the sofa
  • Get some fresh air by walking around the neighbourhood at a regular pace
  • Perform some stretching so that when you need to sit down for longer periods, some parts of your body will not ache easily

Tips to prepare emotionally

  • Listen to music that complements your mood or sets your overall disposition by listening to music that calms your feelings
  • If you want to relay a productive disposition or want to maximise the time before work, listen to a specific podcast niche such as financial podcasts or investment channels
  • Perform some breathing exercises like deep breathing while counting to ten to regulate emotions before working remotely
  • Read some motivational texts or literature that does not involve work, such as the Bible, self-help books and personal success biographies of other people
  • Learn the art of compartmentalisation to keep work-related things in your remote work schedule and the home life matters before the work shift starts

Tips to prepare mentally

  • Read current affairs and look at the recent news on the television to know about the day’s events before work starts
  • Prepare a to-do list so that workflow and work schedule arrangements do not become messy during your productive hours
  • Install productivity apps on your device to keep yourself from checking the phone for unnecessary things, i.e., iPhone has a feature called Focus to differentiate various phone modes for work, free time and downtime
  • Set a proper sleep schedule before working so that you do not tire quickly during the times when work needs deep focus and effort
  • Create a morning ritual that involves physical and emotional preparation to start stimulating your mind even if it does not directly produce results for work yet; many work out, listen to music and prepare their coffee drinks for the day before work starts

Set a Schedule

Schedules are effective in keeping a productive time for the remote worker. Many people work in different time blocks. No two people share the same way of spending time and effort when working. Formulate schedules that work for your remote shift. It does not only benefit you in becoming more focused and productive. A schedule sets your family members specific times when they are permitted to talk to you or disturb you with non-work-related concerns.

Setting schedules now is not as complex. Before, workers could only use alarm clocks or stopwatches to keep track of time. There are online applications, web apps, or mobile phone applications that help create, automate and monitor productive schedules. Here are some applications to help you keep a productive time:

Trello

Trello is an app that provides productivity functions. The app positions itself as a work management tool for all users, allowing workers to manage and handle time efficiently within productive work schedules. Here are some of the things you can do with Trello:

  • Create tasks with multiple modifications for task settings such as collaborators, deadlines, progress charts and schedule alerts
  • Manage various tasks for different people who are part of the remote worker team
  • Integrate third-party applications that are part of the work

Google Calendar

Almost everybody knows about the tech giant that is Google. Google has a productivity suite and tools that help people, even remote workers, with work. Google Calendar is Google’s take on the classic calendar that each working person should have. Here are some things you can do with Google Calendar:

  • Schedule and set up meetings and video call schedules with respective people
  • Assign time blocks for work in the online calendar, and modify settings such as schedule and task collaborators
  • Use advanced search features to find anything in your Google Calendar account

Doodle

Doodle is another scheduling app that provides tons of features for remote workers. Here are some of the things you can do to maximise the app in terms of setting productive time blocks for remote work:

  • Send meeting invitations to people you are working with
  • Set time block rules to customise the tasks in the scheduled calendars
  • Grow the business or the business of your work and turn the online calender into a booking page to allow potential clients and customers to set an appointment with your business

Designate an Office Workspace

A dedicated office workspace is an investment for all remote workers who want to keep a deep level of productivity. Any environment influences the level of disposition to allow focus and increase productivity. Office space is the closest simulation to a traditional office environment for anybody working remotely.

The increased remote work prompted many people to change to an office workspace setup at home. The demand for office furniture continues to dominate among searches. People are still looking to set up home offices despite the surge of return-to-office announcements happening globally.

According to HR News report, “Not only are employees still looking to furnish their home offices, despite rising energy costs, they are also more interested in comfort and health in their work environment too, with searches for ergonomic chairs and standing desks being around 200% and 150% higher respectively post-COVID.”

Tips for setting up workspace

Here are some tips for setting up an office space at home that boosts productivity:

  • Assess your furniture needs first to know which things are non-negotiable in helping you keep productive times at home, i.e., others prefer a standing desk while others invest more in ergonomic chairs
  • Choose a colour palette that helps you focus and complete work, e.g., blue colour palettes influence a calm and relaxed atmosphere, while neutral colours inspire familiarity and comfort in the midst of demanding work
  • Search for resources online, such as company blogs, videos and portfolios from businesses that are experts and professionals in designing workspaces at home
  • Add some accessories to keep a home-like comfort, such as plants and greeneries, trinkets and award shelves, or home living furniture such as a sofa
  • Keep a clean and well-ventilated space that does not draw clutter to avoid messy workspaces, i.e., install appropriate garbage bins, put some drawers and invest in an air conditioner unit
  • For those working a remote day shift, maximise the use of natural light in a home office space to lessen the power bill and invite a more natural atmosphere while working
  • Maximise any wall space by adding a whiteboard, blackboard, paper calendars, and corkboards, which help keep a reminder to you during the work schedules
  • Minimise the clutter by removing unnecessary objects, furniture or things that become a source of distraction to you during work
  • Invest in additional storage such as drawers, shelves or filing cabinets to keep office things that you constantly use during work
  • Keep a separate home office space as much as possible to create certain zones in your home

Keep Regular Working Hours

Working from home should not be a reason to keep a chaotic daily schedule. Working remotely is not a license for irregular work demands that affect your home life. Never forget to keep separate hours for work and home life. Many health conditions start to worsen from the imbalance of schedules purely for work and other things in life. Learn to schedule break times to ensure you have time to eat a regular meal and maintain yourself.

If your work shifts are the regular hours like the traditional office, 9 to 5, then keep control of that time at home. Schedule your work during this time and show up for all necessary work affairs at this time of the day. If your work schedule is a night shift, follow a stringent time block dedicated to work and breaks that would follow the regular time block pattern of a typical 9 to 5.

Tips for keeping a regular work schedule

Keeping a discipline to follow regular times is a real challenge for many remote workers. Not all workers have the luxury of keeping track of regular work schedules due to various and frequent changes in work demands. However, implementing the little changes help you manage both work and time while being at home:

  • Set alarms, sound alerts and flash indicators that will remind you in times of your regular breaks, scheduled meetings or any regular task during work
  • Keep a time tracker to manage any occurrence of demanding and changing time blocks in your workweek
  • Never forget to update your work calendar apps, project management tools or any tools for work to stay on top of the most current demands at work
  • Always remember to time in, log in and turn on your work monitor to record the number of hours you spend at work
  • Avoid staying past dedicated work time blocks to avoid resulting in an irregular work schedule
  • Do not forget to eat and check your health conditions, i.e., drinking medications and keeping track of any ongoing treatment
  • Know which time blocks or periods in the day where you are the most productive and if that schedule works better, try requesting schedule changes ahead of time
  • Do not forget to schedule your vacation leaves or advanced leaves to alert you of incoming time offs
  • Divide the workload into portions that fit your work schedule every day
  • Learn to delegate workloads for projects to other remote employees at your job

Short Breaks

The number of remote workers experiencing some form of burnout is still prominent. There are upsides to keeping remote work at home. The comfort of your home should help in keeping you in check both mentally and physically from exhaustion. There are startling results and correlations between people who are working remotely and burnout. Stress reduction is not the best benefit of working from home and staying home.

Zhang’s article about burnout and motivation states, “An Indeed survey from 2021 shows how prolific burnout has become. Among professionals in the United States asked about their stress levels, 52% reported feeling burned out. At the same time, worker engagement numbers are dropping, falling to 34% by Q4 2021, per Gallup.”

Stress levels are very evident even in people who are just working from their home desks. The demands and workload levels do not change just because people no longer commute to and from work. As a remote worker, keeping a few breaks whenever you are working from your home office is best. The purpose of retaining a regular schedule is to attend to your physiological needs, including regular rest breaks, even if you are working.

Tips to keep breaks from work when work life revolves at home

Here are some tips on how to take breaks during work:

  • Do not forget to set alarms for the break times during work, such as lunch break or dinner break
  • Boost energy levels by using breaks to eat meals and take power naps. i.e., ten-minute micro breaks while completely closing your eyes reduces eye strain and migraines
  • If you have enough time to go out, enjoy some exposure to the sun to energise and get a semblance of a natural environment while walking around
  • Eat your meals with other family members to socialise during breaks and reduce the burden of continuous work during work blocks
  • Do not eat at your work desk to avoid doing work while eating meals, i.e., multitasking your meal and office work defeats the purpose of getting that one-hour break for meals

Isolate Yourself from Social World

Many distractions prevent you from completing a job immediately. Anybody is guilty of easily giving in to the distraction of using smartphones for non-work-related things during work times. The presence of social media applications and entertainment apps like games provide a way to escape work. Unless your smartphone is for something work-related, keeping it away and isolating yourself from the online world when work calls is best.

Using social media to stay connected is a good way to keep up with others. Conversely, using these tools sometimes is the reason that people do not finish tasks immediately. If you are working remotely to keep yourself safe from the Coronavirus, then keeping a social distance from your smartphone is the equivalent when you are working remotely.

According to statistics, “A smartphone user checks their phone on average 63 times per day.” Another report states, that the average daily social media usage of internet users worldwide amounted to 151 minutes per day, up from 147 minutes in the previous year. Smartphones heavily influence the levels of focus and time consumption of each individual. Setting some practices and measures helps curb these numbers, especially at work.

Tips to avoid using a smartphone

  • Some phone models have features to help lessen the usage of specific applications, e.g., the iPhone’s Focus modes remove permission and authority to use selected mobile apps during particular times of the day
  • Maximise the silent mode function of your phone and put it in another part or room of the house to create some physical distance from you
  • Disable the notifications of your phone and set the phone to Do Not Disturb to avoid getting notifications during work hours
  • Stow away your phone in a separate drawer with a lock or a high shelf
  • Turn off your phone during work and forget its existence

Look for Learning Opportunities

The world keeps evolving and changing every moment of the day. It should be your goal as a professional and remote worker to learn and keep up with the demands of the world. Remote work means that you are often in front of a desktop, laptop or smart gadget for the majority of the day. Whether you are getting conference calls or crossing out tasks in your list, do not forget to set aside some time to learn new things.

The internet has a lot of websites, platforms and organisations that offer a lot of learning opportunities. Mentoring is not supposed to stop just because you are away from a few influential figures at work or the business you are working in. Always keep yourself on the lookout for new things, current updates and recent developments in your field. Look for online places where you learn more about your work and upskill yourself.

Online networking sites

Online networking sites are like social media platforms, but these spaces are focused on professional development. One of the most popular networking sites, LinkedIn is a gold mine for people who can teach you new knowledge in their field. Moreover, it is a platform with a lot of professional content from individuals with years of experience and expertise in their field. It would not hurt you to reach out and ask these people for a learning experience.

Educational websites

Educational websites only have one goal: to teach new knowledge to visitors of the website. Moreover, educational websites are not limited to the official websites of universities like Harvard or Stanford. Any website provides you with new learning and knowledge only if you want it to. Search engines such as Google alone can provide you with the relevant resources you need to leap new career paths. Do not limit yourself to what you already know.

Online platforms

The rise in popularity of Coursera, Class Central and Khan Academy is not surprising. Online courses are becoming a go-to method for people who want to gain certification. Like educational websites, these online platforms provide online courses and actual classes from real professionals with the knowledge to share. Online courses are the original pioneers of online modular learning. Enrol in courses, learn new things and get certificates afterwards.

Communicate with Colleagues

Remote work has a heavy impact on interpersonal communication between colleagues. Because you are not beside your teammates, you are not able to feel the morale of a group working hard to finish a project or a demanding task. Remote work challenges many people in terms of straightforward communication and cultural differences. No organisation with remote workers can avoid communication issues.

Communication is essential if it is your first time working with others in a remote team. There will always be differences in communication styles, cultural impacts on work differences and personal deviations between team members. However, it is still a fact that you need to talk to real people regularly. It is best to have tools and a working system that allows other workers to easily communicate with you.

Tips to improve communication with colleagues

  • Always have all available communication tools like Microsoft Teams, Skype, or Zoom to aid you in sending messages and emails and setting up calls fast
  • Always start messages with a polite approach, such as proper greetings and salutations, before proceeding with the message, especially with clients and people you are directly working with
  • Use helpful symbols and appropriate emojis during casual social interactions to emulate a smooth, approachable disposition that is ready for conversation
  • Always respond urgently to messages that require immediate attention, and if you miss out on these messages, apologise and pick up on the message as respectfully as you can
  • Build communication channels within the organisation or workplace to relay important announcements and messages fast
  • Optimise the use of hashtags to engage with other people in the team so that people can participate and converse within common topic spaces
  • Set the status settings in your online tools to note to others about your current status, i.e., Microsoft Teams status options like Busy, In a Call, Away, and Offline are available as indicators to people who may want to reach out urgently
  • Schedule fun times like games day and breakout rooms to hit two birds with one stone: Casually communicating with other people and having breaks at work to lessen the stress before tackling heavy workloads
  • Manage your expectations on replies and responses to messages unless the messages require urgency and immediate resolutions
  • Never forget that your remote teammates are human, and so are you; getting in touch with your feelings and airing out grievances should still be handled with grace and professionalism

Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself

The pandemic presented many issues and problems for everyone in the world. As many workers struggle to handle the anxiety of isolation and the possibility of losing work because of the challenges in public health, more people started to look for ways to address work issues. Remote work became one of the opportunities and changes that transformed the world in the middle of the crisis.

The virus affected everybody, so it pays to go that extra mile to be respectful or to send somebody a smile. Times are tough right now as the world experiences more changes every day. With much uncertainty ahead, the best thing to do is make the most of what the world offers. If there is an opportunity to apply and finally transition to remote work, it is worth considering taking this leap, especially if you want to be closer to your family.

It is equally important to check yourself the same way you constantly check your emails. When you finish work, take deep rest and find the time to enjoy the content you find that makes things easier when you are offline from work. Simple joys like watching an insightful Youtube channel, reading a few chapters of your next book on the list or practising your religion make the difference in keeping your work-life balance.

Challenges are a natural part of life. Whether you are working in an actual office or you are keeping remote work schedules daily, life can become tough. Do not forget to unplug from work and attend to yourself first. There are many opportunities to know the things that work for you and those that do not. As a real human going through work and life, take it slow but take it.

Conclusion

Working from home has changed the lives of many people looking for more flexible work options. The rise in remote work does not mean it is the perfect way to build your career and find work that sustains your lifestyle. Remote working is still evolving and changing along with all the changes in the world. Nevertheless, practising some tips to keep a stable home life with a dense impact from work will elevate you while you work to earn.

First, prepare yourself the same way you would prepare for work and the commute to the office. During work, follow a schedule that includes all the things you need to consider and invest in an effective workspace setup at home. As your home becomes the main space for productivity, assign a space conducive to work so you can start working seamlessly after your daily preparations.

Time becomes an often ignored currency in remote work. Managing regular working schedules and integrating the necessary breaks is not optional. Be wise in using your time to balance productivity, personal needs and interactions with family. Utilise the breaks wisely by making it a rest time, reconnecting briefly with your phone for social media updates or keeping in touch with people in your home.

Remote work is not a cage for pure work efforts only. You can still learn a lot about the job from resources online. Make remote work your avenue to learning newer things to help progress your remote work career. Make remote work an avenue to learn more about the communication styles you are comfortable with so you can communicate effectively. Lastly, it is okay not to be okay with work sometimes. Learn to bounce back and be human.

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Join our team

Join our team today and be part of a company that values your skills, invest in your professional and personal growth,, and empowers you to make a difference.

Together, we can drive innovations and deliver remarkable results for our clients.

Work with us

Finding the right skills for your business should not be a hassle. With our expertise, extensive network, and personalized approach, we can help you find the perfect match that will fuel your business success.