Studies have shown that over the last five years, working remotely has grown over 44%. But why is it becoming so popular? There are many advantages of remote working for both employees and employers, including working on a flexible schedule, working in a custom environment and no commute. But how do you work from home without being distracted? How do you keep your willpower to work? And finally, how will you minimise the risk of getting bored? We answer all, giving you the best tips and tricks for working at home effectively. Read more to discover how to work from home like a pro.
Maintain regular hours
When working from home, it can be easy to lose track of time and how effectively you are using it. It is therefore important to create a schedule and stick to it, to successfully structure your working day. Setting clear guideline times can really help maintain that vital work-life balance, which some employees tend to miss out on because of ineffective time management. Set a start and finish time, and then set aside enough time for regular breaks and lunch. If possible try to stick to your usual working hours when working from home. If you are struggling to keep track of your time, there are a number of useful time tracking apps, such as RescueTime and Harvest, which will enable you to track your time and how long you spend on each task and client. This way you can review how much time you’ve spent per day, and what you need to align your focus towards.
Have a dedicated work space
Just because you aren’t working in the office, doesn’t mean you can’t create your own. If you don’t have a study or office area in your home, dedicate a room into your house to be your work from home space. Ensure that you have enough space for everything that you will need throughout the day, whether that be your laptop, folders, files, food, drink etc. It is important to keep all of your essentials within arms reach when working from home, to reduce distraction and minimise the opportunity for you to leave your work space. The important rule to follow when working from home is to ensure the work-life balance is maintained. To do so, make sure that you are spending your break time away from your work area, to help create that all important work-life balance.
Set your rules
Although this can be difficult, it is important to set ground rules with everyone in your household when you’re working from home. For example, if you have children, perhaps set a number of rules to prevent you from getting distracted by noise or interruption. If you are lucky enough to have your own office space in your home, ensure you shut the door to prevent distraction from other family members or whoever you share your space with. There is also nothing worse than having an unexpected intruder when on a video call, either. This makes it all the more important to set clear rules for everyone in the house when you’re trying to work from home.
Buy a noise cancelling headset
The last thing you want when working from home is for online meetings to be disrupted by outside noise, or to lose your focus because of distracting sounds. Invest in a decent noise cancelling headset to eliminate this noise, to help create a professional environment for when you call work or other organisations. This will make all the difference for both you, and the recipient of your call. There are a number of online stores which sell a good range of noise cancelling headsets at great prices which are perfect for working from home.
Check into the office
Even though you aren’t in the office, it is still important to check in with everyone several times a day. Contacting work shows that you are invested in the company, and care about the team you work with. In addition, keeping in contact means that it is easier to ask questions and keep up to date with what is going on. There are some great online apps to help you retain contact with the team when working from home, whether that be by video call or phone call.
A solid option for many companies is to use Microsoft Teams, which is a Microsoft application that allows rapid communication between employees by both message and video or audio call. Teams also allows multiple people to join a call, which is a great option if there are a greater number of people working from home. Another popular option is Zoom, which is a great online app used for video call purposes.
Here are some useful resources to help you work from home effectively.
Google calendar – Brilliant for organising future dates as well as having an ability to share events.
Harvest – Useful time tracking tool to assist you in keeping track of tasks and how long you’ve spent on each one.
Zoom – Video conference app to make collaborative working simple.
Slack – Instant messaging with your team
Turbine – Quick and easy way to request and approve time off
Dropbox – Cloud based storage, which means you can access files from a number of devices.
By: Richard Edwards
Published: 12th March 2020