Have you figured out your work-from-home routine yet? If you are still struggling to get into a routine and want to improve your work from home habits, here’s what has helped me and may be able to help you.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. After trying many different tactics, I have landed on what works for me. Take these recommendations and make them your own!
Before I get into the best practices, let’s first look at the benefits of working remotely:
- Reduced distractions (maybe!)
- A commute that cannot be better than stepping into your designated home office area
- Ability to work from anywhere
So, while there are some great benefits, there are also some major challenges you face when working from home. It’s so easy to get derailed from your daily goals. Working from home alone is one thing, but when your whole family is in the house, it’s another story. And if you have young kids, well, you know what I am talking about! Some of the other challenges I face include:
- Staying motivated
- Not being in the same room when meeting with people
- Reduced opportunities for impromptu questions and clarification by popping by their desk
- Working mostly by yourself: Sitting home alone day-after-day may make you feel like you are not a part of a team
The good news is that there are many solutions to these challenges that we face when working from home. Here are my top 10 tips and suggestions that you can use to help strengthen your daily routine.
- Make a checklist of your weekly goals and keep yourself on track and accountable
- Get dressed in the clothes that make you most productive
- Declutter your workspace
- Figure out what time of day you are more productive with heavy work vs. light work and schedule accordingly
- Make yourself visible
- Be responsive
- Communication, communication, communication!
- Schedule in breaks! Get up and go for a walk even if it’s around your kitchen island. It helps!
- Make time for lunch
- Create boundaries between your work environment and home life
Make yourself visible. If you are part of a team, The best thing to do is keep your team or boss aware of what you are working on. Your teammates and your boss are focused on their to-do lists, and it’s in your best interest to keep them up-to-date on what you are working on.
Be responsive. If someone asks a question, don’t let it sit there unanswered! Let them know you are working on it and will get back to them as soon as you can.
Communication is key! I cannot stress enough how vital communication is when working remotely. Write down your thoughts in detail, share the document, and then have a meeting with your team. Only sending out documents or having virtual meetings alone without written follow-ups will not get you the results you are looking to achieve.
And don’t forget how important it is to make time for lunch and breaks. What happens when you skip them? You end up working more hours with fewer breaks, all from the same spot every day — this makes for an excellent formula for burning out.
I also found that working remotely week after week blurs the lines between home and work life. Wake up, check your email, eat breakfast while messaging or responding to emails, keep working throughout the day. Next thing you know, it’s past dinner time, and you are still working. I am guilty of this! Make sure to balance both your work and home life so that you’ll maintain productivity and avoid burnout.
So, if you are struggling to get into a routine, try some of these tips and see what works for you. And remember, you are not alone! Many people around the world are learning how to work from home. It’s an adjustment that will take time. With the right effort, not only will you stay focused and productive, but it can also lead to positive growth professionally and personally. Good luck and take a walk!