How To Work From Home

Updated February 27, 2023

While working from home provides you with several benefits, knowing how to effectively manage your work-from-home schedule sets you up for success. Understanding these benefits and the various ways you can make the most out of your remote employment can help you determine whether or not you want to pursue or continue with remote employment.

In this article, we explain the benefits of working from home and list tips to help you work remotely with greater ease.

Related: 15 Tips for Working Remotely

Why should you work from home?

Working from home offers several advantages for working professionals. Knowing these benefits can help you determine whether or not you should pursue a remote career in the future. Here are some of the main benefits you get from working remotely:

  • No commute: Since you don't have to travel to a physical building or work setting, you can avoid lengthy commutes and rush-hour traffic. This also means you get to save on transportation costs and help the environment since you're not contributing to emissions.

  • Flexible schedule: When you work from home, you typically have the ability to rearrange your work schedule to fit your needs. For example, instead of a traditional 9-to-5 shift, you may have the option of starting your shift earlier or later in the day depending on your personal circumstances or preferences. This can help you find a greater work-life balance and help you find greater job satisfaction.

  • Your choice environment: Working remotely gives you the opportunity to work wherever you find yourself the most productive. For example, you can work in your bedroom, in a home office, in a coffee shop or in a quiet library. If you work from home, you can design your workspace to your liking and ensure the environment is conducive to your overall productivity.

  • Fewer distractions: When you work remotely, you can seclude yourself to ensure you have a quiet environment. Whereas you may get interrupted by outside noises or your coworkers with a traditional job, a work-from-home job lets you work in the quietest location you can find, as long as you have all the tools necessary to do so.

Related: The Benefits of Working From Home

How to work from home

Once you know the benefits that remote work provides, consider whether or not this type of employment is worthwhile. If it is, use the following tips to help you work from home with greater productivity:

1. Work during your most productive hours

When you have a work-from-home job, you're often able to set your own work hours. Use your flexible schedule to your advantage and aim to complete your most difficult or challenging tasks during the hours when you're most productive. For example, if you're a morning person, get the majority of your work done during the morning hours. If you're a night owl, opt for working into the evening.

Related: 10 Simple Ways To Be More Productive at Work

2. Have a routine

Do everything you would do if you were going to an actual workplace. Establishing a routine and pretending you are going to a physical workplace can help increase your productivity. For example, set your alarm, make your coffee and wear a nice outfit. Having a set routine can help your body become accustomed to this new work style more easily.

3. Have a designated workspace

Even though you're working from home, you can still have a designated workspace, area or room. Rather than working from your bed or from your couch, set up a separate area of your home where you can get your work done. This increases your productivity and lets you disassociate your workspace from the more leisurely areas of your home. Consider setting up a home office or dedicating a specific area of your home to your work.

4. Work outside of the home

While it's a called work-from-home job, you can technically take your work with you wherever you choose. For example, instead of working from your home office, you can opt to work in a coffee shop, public lounge or library. Working outside of your home gives you a change of scenery and helps stimulate your energy. If you require the internet, make sure to choose a Wi-Fi-enabled location.

5. Log out of your social media accounts

To eliminate distractions, log out of all your social media accounts. This can deter you from consistently checking these platforms and potentially turning a short break into a longer one. Consider working in a private browser window that has you manually input your social media account information in order to log in. This encourages you to stay off social media websites during your shift and allows for greater focus and productivity.

6. Plan your days in advance

Consider planning your workday the night before your shift. Make a list of the day's important tasks and deadlines. While it's best to stick to your plan, you can also alter it as needed. Aim to solidify your plan the day before so you can get right to work the next day.

7. Use a planner

To help you plan your workdays, invest in a planner. You can use a planner to track deadlines, due dates, meetings and appointments. Having a planner can help you feel more organized and allows you to work more efficiently.

8. Dress for work

Though working from home means you can essentially start your shift in your pajamas, dressing for the day can put you in the right frame of mind. It also ensures you don't answer any video calls in your pajamas or sweats. While you don't need to dress as formally as you would for a traditional job, putting on a new set of clothes lets your brain know it's time to get up and start the day.

9. Stay connected

Since you're not working in the same vicinity as your coworkers, it can make you feel disconnected from them. To remedy this, use various forms of technology to stay in touch. For example, instant messaging platforms and videoconferencing tools provide you with easy ways to check in with your coworkers and manager on a daily basis.

10. Take breaks

As with any job, stepping away from your workspace can help you relax and come back to work with a renewed mindset. Consider going for a short walk with your dog, getting lunch from your nearest sandwich shop or spending time with your family members who may be in your home.

11. Set boundaries

If you work from home with other individuals in the house, make sure they know your work schedule. Communicate clear boundaries and expectations so they know to respect your space when you're on the clock. Even though you're home, having boundaries in place helps you stay focused and increases your productivity.

12. Prepare your meals in advance

Meal prepping saves you valuable time during the workday. While working from home gives you the ability to cook a nice breakfast or lunch, you're better off putting the time you'd spend in the kitchen into your work-related duties. Spend time preparing your breakfast, lunch and snacks the night or day before. Not only does this save you time during your workday, but it also ensures you put that energy to better use at your desk or workspace.

13. Eat healthy snacks and meals

As you prepare your food, make sure you're creating healthy snacks and food. Eating nutritious food helps you feel more energized and provides proper nourishment to your body.

14. Know when your shift ends

While working from home provides you with a greater work-life balance, it also makes it easier for you to lose track of time. Set a definitive finishing time each day so you know when it's time to step away from your workspace. Consider setting an alarm to alert you when the end of your shift has arrived.

15. Have an exercise routine

If you exercise regularly, make sure to stick to a routine. Keeping up with an exercise routine helps boost your endorphins, therefore, putting you in a better mood. It can also give you more energy, which can increase your productivity when you work. Opt for exercising in the morning before your shift ends.

16. Reward yourself

Consider rewarding yourself after completing a goal or a difficult task. For example, you can reward yourself with a short break to watch a TV show or with a quick trip to your favorite eatery upon completing a project on time. Not only does having a reward system give you something to look forward to, but it also ensures you get your work done.

17. Spend time with your coworkers

Apart from connecting with your coworkers through various forms of technology, make an effort to spend time with them outside of work hours. For example, going for a company picnic can help you bond with your team, therefore, improving your workplace relationships and creating smoother communication during work hours.

18. Have a strong internet connection

Depending on the nature of your job, you may need to have a strong and fast Wi-Fi connection. Make sure you have a strong internet connection that can handle both your workload and video calls.

19. Inform your coworkers of your work schedule

Notify your team and manager regarding your work hours to help them contact you at the right time. It's also helpful if you're working across different timezones. This makes it easier to schedule meetings and get in touch with everyone on your team.

20. Be flexible

As a work-from-home employee, you need to have some flexibility in order to attend certain meetings. If everyone else has a different time zone, for example, you need to fit your schedule to meet the needs of the majority of the team. This shows your employer that you can still be a part of the team despite your time difference.

21. Avoid getting hacked

While your company's in-office computers may have anti-virus systems in place, your personal technology may not. Consider using a virtual private network to avoid security threats. Report any threats to your company's information technology department as soon as they occur. It's also important to avoid sharing sensitive information with anyone outside of your company.

22. Know what's expected of you

Review your company's work-from-home policies to know what's expected of you as a work-from-home employee. Understand both your work priorities and the communication methods your company wants you to use.

23. Stay hydrated

Keep a water bottle nearby your workspace to help you stay hydrated. Drinking enough water keeps your brain functioning properly and puts you in a better mood. This ensures you stay energized while increasing your productivity.

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