Working from home can be a big transition. You might feel any combination of lonely, stressed, frustrated, anxious, unmotivated or on the contrary focussed, relaxed, energized, or productive. Any transitional change takes time to adjust, so we’ve put together some advice in order to approach working from home in the best possible way.
Set up a morning routine
Wake up at normal times, do not wake up at the last minute and start working with pillow marks on your cheeks. It is important to allow yourself some time (maybe see it as your commute time) to help with your work/life balance.
Read, do some exercise, play some music… This will help you stay positive and productive.
Shower, take a healthy breakfast and dress up. Even if it might be tempting, do not stay in your pyjamas all day!
Keep a dedicated office space
Do not work from your bed!
In an ideal world, employees working from home would have not only a dedicated office, but also two computers, one for work and one for personal use. However, not everyone has a separate office in their home, and keeping two machines isn’t always an option. Try as much as possible to set a dedicated desk and some peripherals only for work use as this will also help with compartmenting work and personal life.
Maintain regular hours and take breaks
Set a schedule, and stick to it. Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day will help you maintaining a work-life balance. Use applications such as Monday.com or RescueTime to help schedule.
Know your company’s policy on break times and take them. Give yourself adequate time during the day to walk away from the computer screen. Also make sure you take an actual lunch break.
Do not take 6 meals a day and stay healthy
When working from home or in a confined environment, it is important to stay healthy. Do not eat more than usual, try to stick to 3 healthy meals a day, do not eat at your desk and make sure you take the time to cook instead of stuffing yourself with snacks and food deliveries.
Try to avoid online distractions during your working hours
Stay away from social networks and silly Google searches during the day to help staying focussed. Keep those for your evening activities.
Set ground rules with people you live with
When working from home, it is sometimes difficult for the people you live with to understand that you are actually working whilst at home. In many countries and/or industries, remote working is not such a thing, and for those who never experienced it, it often requires some education for the people under your roof.
They might assume you can cook, hang the laundry or walk the dog just because you are there and while it’s (of course) great to share domestic tasks in the household, they shouldn’t assume you will always do it. Maybe set rounds or times where you can take on domestic tasks.
Set ground rules with other people in your home or who share your space for when you work. If you are working and have children at home, give them clear rules about what they can and cannot do during that time.
Increase interactions with your colleagues, friends and families
Working remotely requires you to overcommunicate. Tell everyone who needs to know about your schedule and availability often. When you finish a project or important task, say so. Repeat yourself and confirm things in writing to make sure everyone got the message you are trying to communicate.
Attend online company meetings and be heard. Make sure you say Hello or state your name when joining the meeting so people notice you are there, speak up, interact, give your opinion and activate your webcam whenever you can as seeing people’s face creates proximity.
Do not isolate yourself, also have regular calls with your friends and families.
Note: You can use your language skills in a variety of sectors. Many companies operating in those industries offer working from home opportunities.
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