25 Tips for Working From Home
Updated September 30, 2022
Working from home allows you to make your own schedule and gives you the ability to create an office suitable to your liking. However, knowing how to work effectively in this environment can help you find greater success as an employee. In this article, we explain the benefits of working from home and provide you with tips to help you work from home more efficiently.
Related: 15 Tips for Working Remotely
What are the benefits of working from home?
Working from home comes with several advantages, no matter the field you're in. Understanding these benefits can help you decide if you should pursue a remote career. It can also provide you with an added appreciation for this type of employment. Here are some of the benefits that come from having a remote job:
Custom environment: When you work from home, you have the ability to create a customized workspace. Whether you create a home office or set aside a particular area of your home for work, you can create an environment that suits your design style and promotes your productivity.
Greater work-life balance: Working from home lets you create a schedule that better aligns with your personal life. For example, you can take breaks to spend time with your family or eat lunch at a time that's more conducive to your schedule. You can also start your shift at a later time if needed.
Less time commuting: When you work from home, you don't have to worry about getting caught in traffic. Not having to commute also means you can save money on gas or public transportation that you would have spent traveling to a traditional workplace.
Related: The Benefits of Working From Home
Tips for working from home
When you work from home, it's important to establish a rhythm to ensure you meet expectations and produce high-quality work. Knowing how to work efficiently in this environment sets you up for success as a remote employee. Use these tips to help you work from home more efficiently:
Start your shift early
When you work in a traditional office setting, you're often required to start your shift in the morning. Working from home, however, tempts you to stay in bed longer, therefore, starting your shift at a later hour. Start your workday as soon as you wake up to help you work more productively. Doing this can help you make more progress and increase your motivation as the day progresses.
When you work from home, you have the option of wearing anything in your closet as opposed to following your company's dress code. However, getting dressed for the day can make your work-from-home space feel like a real office. It can also put you in the right mindset as you begin your workday and ensures you don't answer a spontaneous video call in your pajamas.
Have a designated workspace
Even though you're working from home, having a designated workspace can eliminate distractions and therefore, increase your productivity. Consider creating a home office or setting aside a specific area of your home for work. Make an effort to keep your work separate from your home life—especially the areas of your home where you spend your leisure time.
Work outside of your home
Despite having a work-from-home job, you can take your work with you anywhere you go. Consider working in a coffee shop or a library for a change of pace. Make sure the environment you choose is conducive to your productivity. It's also important to find a Wi-Fi-enabled space if your job requires internet use.
Log out of your social media accounts
As tempting as it may be to take a break and check your social media accounts, find a way to make it harder for you to go online. Remove any links to your social media accounts from your browser shortcuts and log out of every social media account. Working from a private browser window enables you to do the latter more easily since it already signs you out of all of your accounts. Having these obstacles in place lets you avoid unnecessary social media breaks that can hinder your productivity.
Work during your most productive hours
Save your most difficult tasks for your most productive periods of the day. For example, if you're a morning person, try to get most of your work done in the earlier half of the day. If you're a night owl, consider working into the evening. Work during the hours you feel the most energized to make the most of your productivity.
Make a to-do list
Make a to-do list to help you manage your work-related priorities. Allot a certain amount of time to each task to help you stay on track. Making a list of your priorities even just a day in advance can help you feel more organized and encourage you to complete your necessary tasks on time. Committing to a schedule as best as you can also help with your productivity.
Aim to start each day reviewing your priorities so you know what's expected of you when you begin your shift. As you work through your to-do list, cross off tasks on your to-do list as you complete them.
Use a planner
Along with making a to-do list, keep track of your deadlines, meetings and appointments with a planner or calendar. Using a planner can help you organize your day and various responsibilities more efficiently. It also provides you with a visual aid to better monitor deadlines.
If you can play music during your workday without finding it distracting, consider listening to a playlist that matches the energy of the task you're working on. If lyrics get too distracting, opt for lyric-free music to help you focus.
Set boundaries with others
Even if you have a designated work area to eliminate distractions, you may still have family members or roommates wandering about in your home as you work. Communicate your expectations with them and ensure they respect your workspace and hours. Even though you're home, it's important for them to understand that you still have a job to do and work to get done.
Set aside time to take a break during the workday to relax. Stepping away from your workspace gives your brain some much-needed rest and allows you to return to work more energized. Consider taking a short walk outside or spending time with someone in your household away from your designated workspace.
Set definitive work hours
Separate your job from your home life by setting definitive work hours. Keep track of time and put down your work once you've completed your shift. Setting an alarm can help alert you that your shift has ended. It also helps avoid overtime and helps you achieve a greater work-life balance.
Interact with others
As a work-from-home employee, it's important to stay social. Interact with your coworkers over various communication platforms or use your break to talk face-to-face with members of your household. Regular interaction stimulates your brain and provides a sense of normalcy to your day.
Use noise-canceling headphones
To eliminate distractions, invest in noise-canceling headphones. When you're on a conference call or phone call, using your headphones can help minimize background noise, therefore, making it easier to focus.
Prepare your meals in advance
When you're home, you may feel tempted to create an elaborate breakfast or lunch. Set aside time the night before your workday to make both of these meals. This allows you to spend your day focused on work rather than spending too much time in the kitchen.
Eat a healthy snack or meal
Prepare nutritional meals and snacks to help you stay energized throughout your workday. Rather than chips or cookies, opt for healthy snacks like carrots or almonds to improve your productivity and overall health.
Use productivity applications
If you're worried about distractions that can hinder your workflow, download a productivity app for your mobile device or desktop computer. These apps can help you stay focused, therefore, improving your performance and overall output of work.
Communicate with coworkers regularly
Even if you work from home, you can still find ways to connect with your coworkers or your manager throughout the workday. Regularly meet with your team through video chats and phone calls. Make sure to have an agenda for each meeting and meet both as a group and with each person. The latter gives them the opportunity to share status updates and receive coaching.
Related: Q&A: Why Is Communication Important?
Exercise regularly to boost your endorphins and put you in a better mood. Having a positive attitude during your workday can help boost your productivity. At a minimum, stretch throughout the day to improve your posture.
Spend time outdoors
Rather than spending all of your day indoors, take the time to step outside for a short break. If possible, take your laptop to your patio or balcony and continue working under the sun to get some much-needed vitamin D. When you're indoors, open up some windows to let the sunlight in and help boost your mood.
Implement a rewards system
Create a rewards system to motivate you throughout your workday. For example, reward yourself with a short break once you finish an important business call or meeting. Aim to implement a reward system that involves the completion of tasks you've put off.
Connect with your team outside of work hours
While it's important to connect with your team regarding work-related matters, make time to build strong relationships outside of work. Consider going for a company lunch or other outing to encourage team bonding. Team building can help everyone find greater job satisfaction and make communication easier during work hours.
Protect yourself against hackers
Look up your company's policies when it comes to Wi-Fi and personal devices. Consider using a virtual private network for encryption and make sure to report any security threats to the information technology department as they arise. Do your best to avoid the disbursement of sensitive information to people outside of your organization.
If you're new to remote work, make sure you have a clear understanding of what's expected of you. For example, understand your work priorities and the methods of communication you're expected to use. It's also important to know your shift hours and whether or not they align with those of your coworkers. This makes it easier for you to make it on time to certain meetings if your coworkers are working in a different timezone.
Have a strong Wi-Fi connection
If your work-from-home job requires a steady internet connection, make sure it's robust enough to handle your workload. It's also important to have a good bandwidth to handle video conferencing.
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