So, when you first heard that you were going to have to start working from home, what was your first thought?
Be honest now.
OK, if you want to make this work and not get fired for poor performance, you are going to have to learn some new skills and quickly. Here are some essential suggestions to make this caper work out perfect for you and your company.
Make a home office
You need to make a dedicated office space at home. For best results, your area needs to be distraction-free. That means no thoroughfare for the rest of the family or housemates.
Try to make the room look like an office. Have easy access to all the tools and supplies you need to succeed – computer, printer, paper, pens whiteboard, post-it notes.
If it looks like you are going to be on this adventure for a while, put up your degrees, certificates etc. Anything that makes you feel like you are back in your centralised place of work.
If you don’t have the capabilities of making an office in your home, consider co-sharing facilities when the COVID-19 movement restrictions are released. That way, you are making it to work, but it is close to home, and you get to be away from all the distractions.
Wake up early
It’s easy to get up at 6am when you know that you must be at work by 8am every morning. It’s a habit, you have enough time to have breakfast, get the lunches made, iron clothes and catch the tube.
Now, working from home, it is easy to lie in till 9am and then think about getting up, wander down to the kitchen, log onto your computer and put the TV on. But how about you get up 30 minutes earlier than usual?
If you must work from home now, do yourself a favour and set a specific time to wake up every day and don’t shirk on it. Make it early. Get all the silly distractions such as laundry and vacuuming out of the way before you sit down to do your work. Go for a jog, and make sure you have enough food at hand to eat for snacks and lunch.
Don’t’ worry if you aren’t a morning person and can’t get up that extra bit earlier. But do make sure you get up at the same time every day.
Establish a Routine
I know, I know, you thought that it would be a breeze……..no more answering to the man, face to face. But, if you don’t have a routine, it’s going to get messy, disorganised, and overwhelming.
Work is just a habit. Determine when and how you work best from home. Then set up a regular work schedule based on that information.
Get into a routine. Just like you did when you had to go into your job. Wake up, exercise, shower, meditation, get dressed, eat a healthy breakfast, make a checklist of everything you need to accomplish. Once you get into your routine, you’ll find it easier to stay motivated and achieve what needs to be done.
Take regular breaks
Sometimes when you sit down at your computer at home, it’s like you move into a time warp. Before you know it, it’s 6 hours later, and you haven’t moved.
Work can pile up, and you just want to get it done. You want to make sure you are not seen as being lazy because you are working from home.
Well, when we are in an office, you can simply get distracted – going to the loo, getting a cup of coffee, having a chat with a workmate. These are the regular breaks. At home, you must schedule them in.
The science says you need to have breaks to increase productivity. They help you stay focused.
Try the Pomodoro timer. Have it set for 50 minutes of work and then a 10-minute break. That way, you are regularly getting up out of your chair and simulating a typical day at the office.
Organise something to look forward to at the end of the day
Corporate and centralised offices pride themselves on having a killer company culture. The office perks translate into things like free food, team outings, pool tables, and great coffee.
Just because you are working from home, doesn’t stop you from getting in on the reward system that works for you. When you finish the deadline, you get takeaway from your favourite restaurant. Maybe organise a virtual catch up with your friends to have a few after-work drinks.
It doesn’t matter what type of reward system you have in place. It is about looking forward to something to acknowledge your achievements.
Get Dressed for Work
I know. The first thing people think of working from home is that they don’t have to get out of their pyjamas. This does nothing for your motivation!
When you dress for work, you are more productive, confident and feel powerful. This increases your ability to focus.
Eliminate the Distractions
Do you find yourself scrolling through Facebook Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn?
If you are trying to stay on task, then make a goal not to check your social media profiles while you are working. Leave your phone away from the desk if you can. Get an app such as mindful browsing or Stay Focused to block you out of social media during your work hours. If you must look at them, use your lunch break or scheduled breaks to have a scroll.
Staying motivated while working from home can sometimes be tough. Particularly if you must share the house with others. You can put into place simple solutions to help you get your workday done and dusted with the least amount of anxiety.
Let us know what you think about staying motivated while working from home.