5 Tips for The New Work-At-Home World
Over the last few months, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of how business gets done. There has been a massive increase in working remotely as social distancing and sheltering in place guidelines have been implemented. It’s a new world with new rules and new operations to succeed!
Whether you work for yourself or an established employer, you have likely faced many challenges in adapting to working in a home-based environment. Here are five tips that will help you to work more effectively from home:
1. Carving out a functional workspace is critical to your success. Dining rooms have become offices, kitchens turned into classrooms, and bedrooms into gyms, but when it comes to productivity, don’t just sit at the dining room table or the kitchen counter. Find a spot where you can set up your space to contain all of the necessary equipment you need: computer, printer, etc. Feel free to decorate your workspace to your liking, but try to keep distractions to a minimum. You may not have the luxury of a separate room, but you need to have a designated workspace.
2. Establishing a working schedule is also key. Having regularly scheduled hours will help you to be more efficient during these times. Be sure to schedule work time as well as break times so that you will not become overwhelmed. One of the pitfalls that some home workers fall into is working too many hours. There are a clear beginning and end of the day in an office, but at-home employees sometimes have difficulty ending their day. Bonus, if you have kids at home going to school online, it will help them–and you–to have well-planned out time to work, study, have a break, eat lunch, etc.
3. Motivating yourself is essential for working remotely. In an office situation, you most likely have supervisors, co-workers, and even team members you lead who inspire you to complete your work, but when you’re working at home, you only have yourself to push you to succeed. Sure there are video conference calls and all, but how many of those have you done in your PJ’s [be honest].
4. Maintaining a professional attitude is also important. If you have frequent client interactions, be careful to answer the phone or before-mentioned video calls, or respond to their emails in a professional way. A home office may be an informal environment that affords you the luxury of wearing shorts and flip flops,but client interactions should always follow certainetiquette. Keeping your interactions businesslike will ensure that the client does not doubt the amount or quality of work put into their projects. Over the past few months, it’s becoming more common for kids and pets to cutely interrupt business as usual, and that may be fine for some business interactions as no two clients or situations are alike. Just make sure you know your customers’ and co-workers’ tolerance and expectations.
5. Avoid volunteering for too many activities. Many people will assume that you have more time to help run errands, pick up around the house, or be an emergency babysitter or dog walker because you are working remotely. While you may want to help your friends and family members, make it clear that your work is just as important as theirs and that you have obligations to take care of each day.
The most important thing to remember is that your home-based job deserves the same attention and commitment as it did when you were going into the office. Following these tips will help you stay on course and become a productive home-based worker.
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