Top 5 Tips for Working from Home

Working from home

The alarming spread of COVID-19 over the first quarter of 2020 at an international level has made it necessary for many people and businesses to resort to working from home. Some countries including Italy, the United Kingdom and Ghana have had to formulate laws ordering their citizens to work from home while others have merely suggested to their citizens that working virtually is highly recommended, if not demanded.

In order to ensure proper social distancing and reduce chances of coming into unnecessary contact with others, working remotely has become a necessary activity in the fight to flatten the curve of the Corona Virus pandemic. In this article, we will take a look at a few tips to increase your productivity and to make working from home easier and smoother for business purposes.

READ ALSO: How To Stay Productive While Working From Home

1. CREATE A DEDICATED WORKSTATION

The first thing to do when you realise that you have to start working from home is to create a dedicated workstation for yourself. This might include finding a spot in your home that you carve out as a working area. If you have children and a family that might interrupt you, then make sure your work area is in a traffic-free part of your home. Remember, you are supposed to be at work so excuses may be unacceptable to some bosses. It is very important to leave your bed when you’re working from home. Take a shower and dress up to give yourself the right mindset for productivity. It might seem like a trivial thing to stay in bed and work from there but there is always the temptation to relax and go back to sleep or even a lack of energy to get things done quickly.

Once you’re out of bed with an identifiable work area, set up your work station with all the tools you need to be productive whether it is your computer, functioning internet or specific software that you need for your job. Try to minimise distractions like noise from outside or TVs playing in the background. Remember, your workspace is sacred and should be treated accordingly.

2. PLAN YOUR WEEK

The next thing to consider when you’re working from home is to make a plan for your work activities. You can begin with a weekly plan where you outline your projects for the week, activities to be carried out under each project, timelines and deadlines. This allows you to create order for yourself. In addition to that, you can create a daily schedule with accompanying goals. For example, you can have virtual meetings scheduled for 8:00am to 10:00am, work on reports from 10:30am to 12:30pm, give yourself a one hour lunch break and continue the rest of your work from 1:30pm to 5:00pm. Structure is very important for achieving goals. Don’t forget to measure your productivity after each week to determine what is working for you and what needs to be tweaked for better results.

3. MAINTAIN OPEN COMMUNICATION LINES

Self-isolation is the current buzzword all over the world. You are staying at home and working remotely in an effort to isolate from the rest of society but this does not mean that you must disappear from the surface of the earth. Keeping communication lines open during a time like this is critical when your superiors have no other way of reaching you. Long before you and your company decide that remote work is the right path for you, you must also identify the right communication platforms that will work for you during the period of your virtual work lifespan. Thanks to the magic of technology, you can call your team, video chat and even share work screens during meetings. It should not be hard to purposefully stay in touch with your colleagues during remote work. Make sure your notifications are on for any alerts that you might get during this period.

4. SET BOUNDARIES FOR YOURSELF

It can be very easy to fall into a disorganised state when you are working remotely. Little distractions can creep in if you are not careful about planning your time well. Eventually, your days will be filled with nonwork-related activities. Set boundaries for yourself when you are working from home. If you are the type of person who is easily distracted by social media, set times for yourself during the day when you are allowed to use social media for personal purposes. Any period outside that should be dedicated to working. As a human, you need breaks and rest while working. Allocate sufficient time for food breaks and walking around your home or your dedicated workspace to ensure that you do not get too lethargic. The point is to make sure that you’ve created a healthy ecospace for your work. You are expected to work 100% of the time at home the same way that you are expected to work 100% from the office, but with short breaks for food and some minimal exercise in the case of working from home (you’d get this same level of exercise in the office from moving between departments to ensure projects are being handled on schedule). Your boundaries ensure that you are at least as productive as you would be in the office, but really, the truth is: for most jobs, when working from home, you are expected to be, at least, a little more productive than you would be from the office especially when you consider you don’t have to travel a long way to work and possibly arrive tired and need to unwind before you get started on the day’s activities.

5. COMMIT TO DOING MORE

It takes a lot of trust for a business to decide to allow employees to work from home. Take steps to maintain this trust by working at full capacity as if you were still in the office. Overestimate how much time you are going to need to get certain projects done. This will give you more wiggle room while working from home. The biggest mistake you can make is to assume you can get everything done in the least amount of time. This will very likely compromise the quality of your work if you underestimate the time required to complete a task and have to rush to finish within the allocated time.

READ ALSO: Top Co-Working Spaces In Accra

We hope the five tips shared above help you make the most of your time working from home. The tips may not apply to every single person or job situation, but there should be something in there for everybody. Take advantage of any bursts of productivity you have during work hours and everything should be fine.

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