Working from home has become big news. Those lucky enough to avoid a layoff during this pandemic are likely to be adapting to a working environment that they’re not familiar with at all.
Remote work can be surprisingly difficult. And yet, it can offer surprising opportunities to create a better work-life balance. When you are not used to working from home, it can be hard to psychologically adjust. To make the transition, stick to a disciplined approach to managing your day and create a few rituals.
Adjusting to working from home can be more challenging than most people think. Even if you stay focused, organized, and motivated, there are distractions and other challenges that are capable of reducing your productivity. Or, you might work too hard and burn out or destroy your relationships with family members.
How to Adjust to Working from Home
When some employees think about working from home, they imagine sleeping in late, moving around in pajamas, and long leisurely breaks. But they need to realize is that even though working from home gives a great amount of comfort and flexibility, it is still a professional job and it has to be treated as such.
Most employees are working from home for the first time due to coronavirus. Others are more used to remote work. Whatever your circumstances, working from home will probably play a huge role in your life or that of your family.
So, how do you adjust to working remotely? Below are some ways you can do that.
Have a workplace
Your workspace is as important as the work you do. It is ideal to use a dedicated space or room mainly for work. If you can’t afford to do that, you can use a curtain to block off a place of work. You need a dedicated space for your work from home computer and any other essential equipment.
Doing this might be different, depending on your home setting and the people you live with. The key is to find a space at home that you’ll use purely for work.
Separate work from life
This will probably be the hardest hurdle to clear, especially if you’re a new work-from-home employee who always has family in the home.
Have a dedicated conversation with your family members, this will help them understand that just because you are home, does not mean you are available. They need to give you some privacy.
Have healthy routines
Working remotely can come with new challenges to your mental and physical health. You need to, therefore, establish good routines to make sure that you don’t go into unhealthy behavior.
Without the need to commute, you might be tempted to begin early and end late. Doing this will make you more tired than you should be. Therefore, ensure that you stick to regular hours for beginning and ending work. Don’t forget to get enough sleep and eat at regular times.
Have a plan
Most people know exactly what they need to do the minute they sit at their desks. Surprisingly, it takes some people time to adjust and figure out what needs to get done. When you have a plan, it will ensure that you know what your responsibilities and the work you need to get done the minute you get into your workspace.
Since home businesses will need you to put on many hats, be strategic when setting up your daily plan. Productivity has to do more with time management and with a strategic focus.
Stick to a schedule
While taking large amounts of work is a huge advantage of working from home, temporary remote work arrangements may be less amenable to huge swings in adapting to different time zones. It will be best for you to have a routine that aligns with your tasks.
You can proactively fill your commute space with healthier habits such as exercise, rest, family time, reading, cooking, and so on. If you are not careful, you can squander that time and have blurred lines between sleeping and working.
However, be flexible with your schedule. The good thing with remote work is that you can experiment with unconventional working days. Not everyone shares the same peak hours of focus and energy. For instance, if you feel that you work best in the evening, stick with that to maximize your quality of life and productivity.
Often, friends, family, and neighbors will not understand that the work you do at home is as important as that done in an office. Due to this, they might ask you to run errands, invite you over for a meal, or call you to chat. Speak to them about your schedule and ask them to respect it just as they would if you were working in an office space.
Anticipate and get rid of distraction
When working from home, there are a lot of challenges you can anticipate and avoid. You can avoid some distractions by having a separate office at home and setting limits. But other distractions such as the TV, pets, and kids can interrupt work.
Take a look at your life and figure out potential distractions and find ways to avoid them. For instance, look into options such as playgroups to keep your children busy during your working hours.
Take breaks and have fun
The more enjoy your work and take advantage of its benefits, the faster you will adjust to working remotely. At times, working from home can be tiring, and it is not until you speak to someone who has to commute and deal with difficult co-workers that you’ll realize how lucky you are.
There are a lot of benefits to working remotely that you should take advantage of, such as working on the deck or an interesting place, taking a nap during the day, or working part-time.
Ensure that people can always reach you through phone, text, instant message, or through e-mail. When you’re not sure, over-communicate until told otherwise. Remember that your absence can be bad if your employer or boss is in the dark. Speak up about your activities and achievements while working from home.
Adjusting to working remotely is vital to the success of any organization. But it can be a challenge to adjust if you’ve been working in a traditional office setting for a while.
You need to get rid of external distractions that might reduce your productivity and create a schedule. As long as you get your work done, you can enjoy the freedom and benefits of working from home.
Related: How Can Parents Work From Home