Gone are the days where one would only dream about working from the comfort of your home because now, it’s pretty much a reality for most of us. Whether willingly or due to mandatory restrictions, most people are finding themselves transitioning to a “home-office”.
It’s easier said than done though, work from home jobs require a form of discipline not known and experienced by many. So here are a few effective tips that will help you increase productivity and actually enjoy working from home
1) Get Dressed every morning
We are all guilty of rolling out of bed and rubbing our eyes to the morning zoom call. That might seem like a good idea but is actually counterproductive. Getting dressed is most often one of the first things we do whether it’s for school or work. It’s hard-wired into our brains as a switch that initiates ‘work mode’ according to personal stylist Jude Stevens of Styling by Lumiere.
It’s equally important, however, at the end of the day to switch back into casual clothes just like you would on a “normal”, pre-pandemic day.
2) Dedicate a workspace/station:
Working from home we all are tempted to just stay in bed and work but in the longer run, it will start to weigh in on you. Work from home burnout is actually very real and happening to more people than anticipated.
If you don’t have the luxury to dedicate an entire room as your office, dedicating a small corner will do the trick. Try and make the space as comfortable as possible so the moment you step in, you know its work-mode from now on, and then step out to create that separation.
Another thing you can do is to “pack up” at the end of your work hours just like you normally would. If it’s a personal computer you are working on, close any work-related tabs, document, etc. to signal your mind to switch
3) Dedicate a set number of work hours:
When working from home, it’s very easy to extend your work beyond your work hours. Instead, dedicate a number of hours and stick to them. This will not only keep you accountable and more productive but will also help you stay on track with your team.
This is crucial if you live with other people. Set boundaries and limit distractions during your work hours. Communicate with your partner, family, roommate, etc. that you are not open to mid-work conversations or distractions. If you continue to sabotage your work hours, you are sure bound to burn out
4) Notch up your communication:
If you have never worked remotely before, the easiest way to lose the sense of it all is through weak communication. When working on team projects or collaborative tasks, it’s important that you keep your communication crystal clear, and it’s probably best to over-communicate!
We all know how much we dread calls, and zoom meetings have us all rolling our eyes but hear me out. Sometimes resorting solely to written communication can result in a lot of missed deadlines and blame-shifting amongst team members. Wherever possible, try setting up a video call to follow up or to sort questions and concerns.
4) Make a schedule to help you stay organized
Working from home means you are basically your own boss. Even though not having nosey managers seems like a blessing, it is way easier to fall off track if you are not organized with your tasks.
Make a list of things you need to do, use apps like notion, trello to keep track of what needs to be done urgently, and learn to prioritize your tasks. Things like checklists are a great way to boost your motivation. Tick off tasks that you are done with to unleash a sense of productivity and accomplishment at the end of the day which will make you want to do it again tomorrow.
Work from home burnout is very real and can get to the best of us. According to Forbes, more than 69% of employees are facing burnout and we are still in the very middle of the pandemic with no end in sight. And if you think burnout just means being exhausted and frustrated think again; it is known to cause an array of physical illnesses like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.
So it’s very important to keep a sense of normalcy in your life even if you are working from home. Maintain a routine, take things one day at a time, and remember we are all in this together!
Gaper has been working with remote teams that have people from all over the world. Vetting the top 1% of developers from 20 countries across the globe and helping teams ace remote work.