Has your company recently adopted work from home policies? Do you work remote full-time? Are you a freelancer who works on projects from home? From fully remote roles, to roles with some work-from home-flexibility, to freelancing, we understand that while the idea of working from home might seem like the perfect reality, there are a number of things you have to consider to ensure you’re set up for success. We’re breaking down our top tips and best practices for working from home.
Set your hours
Schedule your day just as you would going into the office. Of course, with remote work, you are able to be a bit more flexible in your schedule, but don’t take advantage of not having to go into an office by sleeping in and working past when other colleagues may be able to be reached. Communicate with your manager so they know when you’re online and when you might be away from your desk. If your team is new to working remotely, we recommend using a shared calendar to track when you’ll be away for lunch, breaks etc. On the flip side, when working from home it’s easy to lose track of time, so be sure to know when to turn off from work when you are done for the day.
What tools do you need?
Working remote last minute? Ensure you have all the tools you need (ie: laptop, high-speed internet, applications, phone-line etc.) to get your job done. Your manager or IT team at work should be able to get you set up with anything you’re missing, but it’s important to plan ahead so you don’t find yourself at home trying to get your webcam to work 2 minutes before a video conference. If you’re a freelancer you may have a lot of this set up already, but be sure you know what is required of your specific assignment.
Plan it out
While juggling work and any other distractions that may come up while working from home, it is important to have a schedule to go back to. Prioritize your top 5 things to do for the day, plus a few additional things that may take less time or are not as pressing that you can do at the end of the day. Having a to do list with projects to cross off will keep you productive all day long and continue to move along projects you have to keep productivity throughout the week. A project management tool that you and your team can use to keep track of projects and deadlines is especially helpful when working remote.
As tempting as lounging in pajamas all day sounds, getting dressed for the day will help you mentally get into work mode, and will allow you to fully be present with your work. You do not need to dress up in full business attire, but by waking up, and getting ready for the day, brushing your teeth, doing your hair, etc., it will help you compartmentalize the difference between staying in on a weekend and staying in because you work from home. It will also help you for any video conferences or meetings you may have throughout the day!
Pick a place
Just like when you go to work you have an assigned desk (or area) set up for you, you should do the same for your work from home practices. Stay away from your bed and bedroom so that you are able to quickly check into work mode. Our suggestions include your dining room table, a desk set up in your living room, or a spare bedroom that could double as a home office. Make sure that the space is clean and has things that will inspire you, not distract you.
Turn off distractions
We are always getting different alerts, notifications, beeps, buzzes, and chats on our phones and laptops, so it is extremely easy to get distracted. Of course, it is important to communicate with your team throughout the day, just make sure it isn’t through Instagram DMs or sharing funny memes. If turning your phone on do not disturb is helpful, that might be the perfect solution for you. Another great solution could be to try time blocking, allowing you certain amounts of time to complete each task, with break times in between. If you’re using your home as your office, there are even more potential distractions like roommates, pets or that show you’re binge-watching on Netflix. Treat your home-office like your real office and give the task at hand your full attention.
What are your favorite tips for maintaining productivity and focus while working from home? We would love to know your best practices and tricks whether you have optional work from home or are fully remote!
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We hope these work at home strategies will set you up for success outside of the office environment.
If you are searching for a job, our creative staffing agency can connect you with companies that are seeking top talent through 24 Seven. Our areas of expertise include digital marketing, creative services, content and copywriting, e-commerce, beauty, fashion, retail, and events.