Having a work from home is a form of employment that for a decade has been a viable option for programmers and other people who only need a computer and a fast Internet connection to be productive. But in these times of crisis, when social isolation is the best option to control the pandemic, working from home is more than an option, a must.
Those companies that accepted and promoted remote work are now in a privileged position. Without knowing it, they prepared themselves to maintain their productivity. Its workers, who are already adapted to this modality, know how to organize their time and have already created an environment and rules to guarantee that their work will be not affected.
But, more than the logistical aspect, working from home without having office colleagues and social interaction around is the real problem. Therefore, it is better to listen to those who have already managed to organize their day to day around remote work. Their experience and advice will help you prepare to work from home.
What do you need to work from home?
These are the tips from remote workers who have years of experience and have managed to make this modality a way of life working effectively, sustainably and having fun in the process.
Have a work place
The place where you work matters. You must have a specific office area, even if it’s not in a building or a separate room in your home. A chamber devoted to be your office space would be ideal, but a corner of a room may be enough.
It must be at least one place that you can occupy and that your brain recognizes as the area where you are going to work. It is also a place to leave at the end of the day, so that you know in your mind that you have finished working for the day.
It should be clear to all family members that while you are there, you are working. Only then you will find the concentration to be efficient and productive.
Another useful resource for working at home is dressing properly. So, if you have a “work clothes” and other clothes “to be at home”, your brain will immediately know when it is time to work and when to take care of the housework.
Have a Schedule
Working remotely blurs the line between work and home, so having a schedule for each activity helps you not work too hard or too little. These hours must be strictly followed, avoiding distractions of any kind during your working hours.
Another recommendation from our employees is that you try to concentrate your work hours in the morning, which is the most productive period after a good night’s sleep.
Also a good tip is to leave the phone out of your reach during business hours. Unless you use it as part of your job, your smartphone can distract you and make you waste a lot of work time… which happens both at home and in the office.
It also helps to listen to your favorite music and find the best ergonomic posture possible. If you work on the couch, you will regret it later.
Have daily routines
The fact that there is not much separation between work and home does not justify not establishing daily routines. Get dressed to work, bathe, eat at your hours and sleep as necessary. Being in PJs for three days is the fastest way to depression and lack of productivity.
You should also cook regularly, if possible preparing what you will have for lunch the next day, so you don’t have to waste work time cooking.
Go outside from time to time
Although in the current situation it is not advisable, it is very possible that this tip will help you when conditions improve. Keep in mind that the pandemic will pass, but still due to the circumstances many companies decide to keep the remote working modality. In addition to being safer for employees, it is an economical solution.
However, if you have a garden or a safe space, it is recommended that you do some outdoor activities. Growing plants or doing some calisthenics exercises always help refresh your ideas.
Or just sit in the sun and get some fresh air. Working at home can be truly oppressive.
Keep in mind that good communication is essential to work remotely. In this mode, you cannot detail the body language of your interlocutor, and if it is by email, you cannot capture the inflections of his voice.
Therefore, you need to communicate more than usual. Make everything crystal clear, or there will be details that you will not take into account in your work.
Use the available remote tools
Work from home involves mastering the tools to collaborate with other members of your team. Gmail, Google Docs, Telegram, Whatsapp and Trello are some of them, each one with a specific role to work without being in the same room with your colleagues.
However, keep in mind that working from home you cannot go to a colleague’s cubicle for a quick chat. You will have to wait for it to be available in the remote tools, and responses may take some time. Also note that your colleague may be in a different time zone.
You must also choose the most suitable communication channel to communicate. It can be by sending a document to review, by email, by text message, by voice, by video … the possibilities are many, but choose the one that you consider most appropriate and convenient for your interlocutor.
Also note that voice and video calls are an ephemeral source of communication. It is better to clarify the important things in writing. Working remotely often involves asynchronous communication, so being able to progress through tasks without depending on the response of others increases productivity.
We hope these tips from our employees helps you adapt to work from home. The world is changing due to its new circumstances, so it is preferable that you consider this modality as the one that will prevail in the near future.