Today, millions of people are working from home. In fact, you might be one of the many who suddenly had to trade in their familiar office for a couch, dining room table, or makeshift home office. Perhaps you are still trying to get used to this new work environment. Whether this arrangement is temporary or permanent, there are several steps you can take to ensure your success. Working from home might not be for everyone. That said, with the right approach, you may very well end up enjoying your new arrangement.
Commuting to an office every day makes it much easier to separate your professional life from your personal life. You can still maintain this separation working from home, but it takes a bit of effort, as well as consideration from family members or other housemates.
Be sure to set up a dedicated workspace where you will not be disturbed during the workday. If you do not have a room designed specifically for working, consider a bedroom or an area where you can close the door and be alone while you work.
Try to set your space up as similarly to your office setting as you can, and be sure that you have access to all of the supplies you need. Maintaining a sense of familiarity is going to help you get used to the new environment.
To improve your morale, make sure that you have adequate lighting, and introducing a few houseplants or a humidifier couldn’t hurt. Do your best to create a comfortable yet productive work environment for yourself.
If you’re working online and you’re exchanging or storing sensitive information, it’s a good idea to take your online security seriously. Before you start working from your home office, take a look at your anti-virus software and firewall settings. Additionally, see if your anti-virus software contains spam, malware, and adware features. If anything is lacking, you’ll want to upgrade your protection as soon as possible.
You might also consider downloading a virtual private network (VPN) to protect yourself from hackers, and double-checking your internet service’s speed to make improvements if needed. At the end of each week, it also pays to empty your cache files and check the status of all your PC’s settings.
One of the most challenging aspects of working from a home office is adhering to your determined schedule. Oftentimes, this is not your fault. It’s not uncommon for family members and friends to misunderstand the seriousness of working from home. They might assume that just because you’re at home, you’re available to drop what you are doing and attend to their needs.
You might receive frequent texts and phone calls, or have your children attempt to come into your workspace to spend time with you. Other times, family members will request an errand from you and become sullen when you try to explain that you’re working.
You may also find yourself distracted by the fact that you do not have your supervisor standing over your shoulder or the knowledge that your TV is in the other room calling your name. It’s important to adhere to your work schedule. Remove distractions from the forefront of your mind, put your phone on silent, and remind yourself that you will have free time after your shift.
It can be hard to stray from your daily schedule; however, you need to allow yourself breaks just as you would if you were still working in an office. When the time comes to take 15-minute breaks or 1-hour lunch breaks, take them. While you might not be able to go out to lunch, it might help to step outside and eat on your back patio or enjoy a cup of coffee in front of an open window.
If you’re craving human interaction, social media is the answer. You can collaborate with your co-workers and set up an employee breakroom group on Facebook or engage in Skype calls for a few minutes before you need to get back to work.
Bottomline: Working From Home Can Be Productive
The world is changing quickly and technology has presented the opportunity to work from anywhere. In many ways, working from home is very worthwhile once you have the hang of the new schedule and environment. For one, you no longer have to deal with the long commutes back and forth between your home and your office. You do not have to dress in business casual attire, and you can even quietly develop your own work strategy.
At Automated Dreams, we have been working remotely for over three years. Therefore, we understand completely the challenges this setup can present. However, we also know that remote work can be highly rewarding. Let us help you make your work-from-home experience productive and enjoyable!