As the virus spreads across the country with a cure nowhere in sight for at least a few months, a work from home set-up has worked for a lot of businesses. The economy is badly hit with all the closures and people staying at home. Some are able to thrive at this time especially for the essential industries that need to continue operations.
For the rest, they are either forced to halt operations or to look into telecommuting to continue their operations. If you are part of the workforce who can still work from the comforts of your home, consider yourself part of a select few. Not everyone can continue working for a living, much more still earn for their family.
Gallup even shares that about 62% of employed Americans have worked from home. This is double the numbers from the middle of March. It might sound easy but when you work from home, there are a lot of factors you need to consider to make it work. Here are some of them you need to look into to help you succeed in this new working arrangement.
Designate an area in your house where you can work
One of the very first considerations you have to carefully study is where you will work while at home. There is a good chance that you have arranged your house in the past without regard to a potential work area. Mortgage preparations might not have included an office space at home. You might have a small table somewhere in the house but not enough to help you work effectively from home.
You need to have a dedicated space, a corner, or if possible, a room where you can work while at home. It will be very difficult to keep on changing locations every single day. This will also help you get some sense of routine and a mental note that you are in work mode when at a particular spot in your house. You need this to be productive
One thing that is often overlooked when people begin to work from home is the need to separate their place of work from the rest of the house. That being said, having a door you can physically close can help you concentrate on work. It also helps if you talk to your family about your new work schedule. This lets them know that you will be pre-occupied with work at specific times in the day.
Choose the best time to work
Now that you try to work from home and have figured out where your home office will be, next is the timing. When you were still reporting for office, this was a set time. It could be coming in at 8:00 AM and leaving at 5:00 PM to get home. Now that you are home, there will be plenty of changes starting with the time you start working.
It is not surprising that you find yourself adjusting to a new schedule. You no longer have to wake up early to start working. In the past, you had to account for travel time to get to the office. Now, work is just a few steps away from your bed. One of the easiest things to do is maintain regular hours of work even if you are at home.
You can choose to wake up at the same time and use the extra time to exercise. It would be a good start to your day. Identify the time when you are most productive and work around those hours. Resist the temptation to obsessively check your phone and tinker with social media. Unless that is what you are working on, it is best to put it down and focus on work.
Create a routine to help you settle in
It is a joy to finally work from home for a number of reasons. You get to do away with the long and tiring commute. It is no longer a big deal of what you choose to wear going to work. Also, you do not have to line up to get your coffee fix in the morning. All these are thrown out the door when you start working from home. But you have to remember that all that was part of your daily routine.
From the moment you wake up, everything is a routine. If you take that away, it can be challenging to start your day. As Psychology Today points out, people are creatures of habit. Without a set of routine, you could find yourself in bed all day. This is why it is important to create a new routine to develop new habits.
It would be nice to still take a bath in the morning and have breakfast before you start working. It helps you mentally start your day. Take breaks at regular times to help you give a work routine. Find an activity like making your favorite juice drink or cleaning a portion of your house after you log off from work. These routines will help you develop a habit you can do on a daily basis.
Invest in quality equipment
The health crisis is still unresolved with no vaccine in sight. This is one of the reasons why you need to work from home. It is much safer to work inside your home than to go outside and risk contracting the virus. The way things are going, this work set-up might be for a while. This is the reason why you need to seriously look into quality pieces of equipment for your work.
One example is a table for work. You can get away with the dining table for a few days. But you will soon feel overwhelmed with everyone moving around you. They can be getting drinks from the fridge all throughout the day. Your kids might start making and eating sandwiches with you while you work. It will help if you have a table of your own. You can put in a place where you can work in peace.
Now most companies will provide you with the computer that you need. But if you want to start taking on other types of work, you would need to invest in other equipment. It can be a separate computer you can use or even a printer you need for printed artworks. The better your equipment is, the easier it will be to accomplish your tasks.
Make sure you keep work time and personal time separate
Once you start working from home, time management will become very crucial. In the past, you were in the office and it was easy to focus on work. Now, you have a lot of distractions around you. You have your children running around and chores around the house as well. They will have separate needs as well since they are home the whole day.
As mentioned earlier, time management will be important as you work from your house. You need to set a specific time for work and a separate one for the family. There will be times where they overlap but it should be an exception than the rule.
It will be tough when you start to work from home because of all the adjustments you need to make. You need to find a routine to help you settle down. It will also help to accept the fact that a lot of things will change. This includes the way businesses operate and especially, how employees work.