HOMEWORKERS GUIDE TO SMART WORKING
Tips for working from home
Working from home (also called remote working) can have different challenges for different people. Not only because we have different personalities, but also due to our various lifestyles and the type of work do we.
Everyone who works from home has to figure out when to work, where to work and how to create boundaries between work life and personal life.
Below are some tips to make it a positive and productive experience:
- Create physical boundaries
If possible, set up a workspace that is separate from your home space. This should make it easier to shut out the everyday distractions of home life, and to cut off from work at the end of each day.
Set a schedule, and stick to it. Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps maintain work-life balance. The core business hours whilst working from home are 9.00am – 4.00pm Monday to Friday; during this period, you are expected to be readily contactable by email or telephone.
- Create a Daily To-do list
Effective time management is essential if you want to continue hitting your deadlines when you are working from home.
Organize and prioritize key tasks with a To-Do-List. Your to-do list can set the tone of your entire day. Try creating a list of priorities the day before and follow it throughout the day. Cross the completed tasks off when you are finished as this will give you a sense of accomplishment.
- Set Ground rules with the People in Your Space
Set ground rules with other people in your home or who share your space for when you work. If you have children around, they need clear rules about what they can and cannot do during that time.
It can be easy to get so involved in work that you forget to take a break. Give yourself adequate time during the day to walk away from the computer screen and phone. Rather than just opening YouTube and watching some clips, use your breaks to get away from your desk. Breaks can recharge you do to better work.
During business hours, you need to respond to messages promptly; similar to if someone came to your desk and asked you a question. If you are not able to respond immediately, make sure you let the person know you will be AFK (away from keyboard) or not available and when you are going to be back online.
- Socialise virtually with colleagues
Loneliness, feeling disconnected and isolated are common problems when working from home, especially for extroverts. It is important to figure out how much interaction you need to feel connected and include catch up with colleagues via Hangout, Connect or WhatsApp in your schedule.
To stay focused at home, you need to be in control of communication. Working remotely requires you to over-communicate - tell everyone who needs to know – your Line Manager, colleagues, about your schedule and availability often.
When you finish a project or important task, say so. Over-communicating does not necessarily mean you have a write a five-paragraph essay to explain your every move, but it does mean repeating yourself.
Find appropriate times to "check in" with your managers and co-workers. Small problems can often be dealt with there and then, allowing you to work uninterrupted afterward.
The less face time you have with people, the less they know how to interpret your tone. When you work remotely, full time, you must sound positive. So embrace the exclamation mark! And find your favourite emoji J.
- End your day with a routine
Just as you start your day with a routine, create a habit that signals the close of the workday. It might be a simple routine such as shutting down your computer and turning on a favourite podcast. Whatever you choose, do it consistently to make the end of working hours.