6 tips on how to work effectively from home
In the last few years working from home has become a norm. Even though a lot of employees have returned back to office life, there are some companies and individuals who still prefer the work-from-home setting. Are you one of them or maybe you are thinking of adopting this lifestyle? Keep reading and learn a few tips and tricks on how to work effectively from home!
Working from home – is it for you?
Everyone will agree that working from home has its blessings and challenges. It is great to sleep in a little bit longer since you don’t have to commute to work. It is also a chance to do uninterrupted work and avoid the overall fuss of an office. Working from home is perfect for those who enjoy being in their own company and who thrive as independent workers and do their best job without constant supervision.
However, working from home requires iron strong discipline, high motivation, and the ability to be your own supervisor. There is also the lack of human interaction, the possibility to lose the track of time, and easy distractions including chores and TV.
If you have decided that working from home is for you, below are a few tips on how to make the most out of it!
1. Create a schedule and stick to it
One of the things that help us be productive is a routine. Routine is a way how to prime your body and mind for the activities to come, so when it is time to do them, you are ready. It applies to the nighttime routine to prep your body for sleep as well as the morning routine – to prep your body and mind for the day ahead.
When going into the office, we have a routine. We know what time we need to wake up, what time we need to leave, and what activities we need to do in between. It helps us to stay focused and motivated. We also have a schedule for the day – what we need to achieve, and who we need to meet. And lastly, we know when the clock strikes 5 p.m., it is time to go home and spend the rest of the day relaxing and socializing with friends and family.
So, the key to a successful work-from-home routine is to mimic the one you would have in the office and adjust it to your own personal needs.
Here is an example of what it could look like: 7:00 a.m. – Wake-up 7:15 a.m. – Morning workout or stretch (optional but good for waking up) 8:00 a.m. – Breakfast 8:30 a.m. – Brisk walk outside to wake up the body (get that sunlight in!) 9:00 a.m. – Workday starts (the morning is reserved for the hardest tasks that require the most of attention) 12:00 p.m. – Lunch 12:45 p.m. – Short nap (helps to stay alert better than coffee) 13:00 p.m. – Workday continues (the afternoon is perfect for meetings and smaller, easier tasks) 17:00 p.m. – Close your computer and enjoy the rest of the evening
But keep in mind that everyone is different and you should create a schedule that works specifically for you. That is one of the best things when working from home – you don’t have to follow rules created for you, you can create the day you want yourself. That said though, a schedule does help not only to be productive but also to maintain good mental health.
2. Setting up a dedicated workspace
We all know that an office has some perks and one of them is that it is a dedicated workspace. Yes, you might chat with your colleagues from time to time but you know you are there for work and that keeps you focused. When working from home, it is a bit more challenging.
A whole room dedicated for work
The perfect solution is to make an entire room your home office. That way you can close the door and be in your workspace uninterrupted as well as it is easy to leave your work “at work” in the evening.
To start using an office room you don’t need much – a desk, chair, and a few shelves. Once you have the basics, you can over time easily decorate the room to your liking. It is important to have a beautiful room for your work – it will inspire you to be more productive, it will motivate you, and help you feel more confident. Don’t underestimate the impact good home decor can have!
One of the easiest ways how to add a “put-together” feel to a room is to use wallpaper. If you are not ready to commit or you live in a rental – peel and stick wallpaper is perfect for it. Here are a few wallpapers that would look amazing in an office room: Royal Orchestra, Four Leaves, and Modern conifer. To see our full office wallpaper collection click here!
A workspace as part of another room
Sometimes it is not possible to dedicate a whole room for your office needs and that’s fine too! However, you should really try to find the space at least for an “office corner”. It will help you separate work and home better, it will put you in the work mood and you can leave all the tools (computer, notebooks, etc) necessary for work there – you don’t need to set up for work every time from the scratch.
Peel and stick wallpaper can really come in handy in this situation as well. It can help you create a feeling of an office room – it means you can get faster into the work mode and feel productive right away.
3. Managing distractions and staying focused
>Even though there are distractions in the office as well, they are nothing like distractions at home – TV, chores, messy rooms, dirty dishes, pets, and children. It requires much more willpower to stay focused on work at home than in the office. But that said, there are some things you can do to manage the distraction and stay focused.
Set a timer
Do work with a timer. You can use a Pomodoro method or create your own. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that once you set the timer, you are focused only on the work – you mentally push out the other things that might distract you. More or less, forget about them while you are on a timer. After the timer period is over, make sure to take a break. It is a great moment to set another timer for a mini-relax time during which you can unload the dishwasher, do some stretches, or scroll Social Media. Just make sure, you can put down the relaxing activities once the timer strikes and calls for work.
Close the doors
Having a room for an office really makes a difference when you need to focus. It helps to not only keep out of your mind chores and relaxing areas, but it can also keep out pets, children, and a spouse. If you don’t have an office room, you might need to train your family members that when you are at your work desk, you are not to be disturbed.
Freelancers and people working from home in general, sometimes have a problem with friends and family who do not understand that you actually do work at home. Meaning they might ask you out on long lunch dates, ask you to do work-unrelated tasks during work hours, call you for mid-day chats, and overall disrespect your workflow.
To avoid that you might need to set clear boundaries. It means informing your friends and family that even though you work from home, you have a work schedule and cannot drop everything to do fun things during work hours. It might take time for people to understand, but in a while, they will. Just keep the communication channel open.
4. Meal Prep!
Making your own lunch takes time. Even though it might save you some money, you will pay for it with your precious time. If you start to prepare your lunch when lunchtime comes, your lunch break easily can stretch from one hour to two hours, which prolongs your workday. To avoid that, try to meal prep. Either the previous day or on the weekend. You can also just order in if that is something you enjoy and can afford. That way you will have your lunch hour just for lunch and relaxation, and you will feel much more accomplished overall
5. Set a workday mood
Help yourself to achieve the most while working from home! Think about different ways how you can set a mood that helps you to get lots of work done. Below are a few tips that often help.
Outfit, face, and hair
Take your workday seriously. Ditch the pajamas and messy hair, and dress up for yourself! You don’t necessarily need to wear office-appropriate clothing (but you can!) like blouses, shirts, and good pants, but you can dedicate a few comfortable outfits that still look put together as your work attire. It can be a cute legging/top combo or shorts with a good t-shirt. Make your hair and put on some make-up if that is something you do. Take a look into the mirror and feel like you are ready for a work day not that you have just rolled out of the bad.
If you enjoy listening to music, soft background music might be a good idea to put you in a working mood. There are Spotify as well as Youtube playlists dedicated to setting a mood for a workday, but you can also choose your own.
A mind works better in a tidy space. If possible make the workspace a place in your home that is always tidy and clean. Again, if you have a separate room for your work, it is relatively easy to achieve. If you have a dedicated spot in another room, it might be a little bit more challenging, but you can do it. Think about the environment you will need to do your work in, and try to make it as peaceful, inspiring, and good for you as possible.
6. Interacting with people
And last but not least, to have a healthy mental and emotional state, be sure to schedule time outside your home. Go for a walk, go to a class of any kind, and meet friends and acquaintances. Humans are social beings and we need social interactions. Working from home gives you a space where you can do your best job by eliminating office distractions and tailoring a work day that works for you, but it also strips you from meeting different people. So, make sure you schedule a time to interact with other human beings.
Working from home has its challenges but if done right, it can be a true blessing. If you are someone who likes being by yourself, who enjoys working in a quiet, familiar space, and who has a high work ethic, working from home might just be the right thing for you. But if not, there is nothing wrong with wanting to go to an office and enjoying your workday there. Choose what suits you best!