Best Practice Working From Home
Get Started Early
When working in an office, your morning commute can help you wake up and feel ready to work by the time you get to your desk. At home, however, the transition from your pillow to your computer can be much more jarring.
Best practice working from home believe it or not, is to dive into your to-do list as soon as you wake up. Simply getting a project started first thing in the morning can be the key to making progress on it gradually throughout the day. Otherwise, you’ll prolong breakfast and let the morning sluggishness wear away your motivation.
Pretend You Are Going Into the Office
The mental association you make between work and an office can make you more productive, and there’s no reason that feeling should be lost when working from home.
Do all the things you’d do to prepare for an office role: Set your alarm, make (or go get) coffee, and wear nice clothes.
Structure Your Day
Best practice when working from home, you’re your own personal manager. Without things like an in-person meeting schedule to break up your day, you quickly lose focus or burn out.
To stay on schedule, segment what you’ll do and when over the course of the day. If you have an online calendar, create personal events and reminders that tell you when to shift gears and start on new tasks.
Always get dressed for work. Getting dressed and going to your desk instead of sitting on a couch with a laptop, gives you the sense of a workplace.
Best practice is to replicate your office experience as closely as you can at home. Structure your day exactly as you would a workday, starting, taking lunch/breaks, and signing off around the same time you normally would. Set up your workspace in a similar fashion, eat the same kinds of snacks, and check your email after hours the same way you would on office days.
Choose a Dedicated Workspace
Just because you’re not working at an office doesn’t mean you can’t, well, have an office. Rather than cooping yourself up in your room or on the couch, spaces that are associated with leisure time, dedicate a specific room or surface in your home to work.
Switch Off All Social Media
Social media is designed to make it easy for you to open and browse quickly. At work, though, this convenience can be the detriment of your productivity.
Spending time figuring out what you’ll do today can take away from actually doing those things. And, you’ll have planned your task list so recently that you can be tempted to change your schedule on the fly.
It’s important to let your agenda change if you need it to, but it’s equally as important to commit to an agenda that outlines every assignment before you begin. Try solidifying your schedule the day before, making it feel more official when you wake up the next day to get started on it.
Use Technology to Stay Connected
Working from home might help you focus on your work in the short term, but it can also make you feel cut off the larger operation happening in the office. Instant messaging and videoconferencing tools can make it easy to check in with coworkers and remind you how your work is contributing to the big picture.
Take Clear Breaks
Don’t let the guilt of working in the building you sleep in prevent you from taking five to relax. Rather than just opening YouTube and watching some comfort clips, however, use your breaks to get away from your desk. Walk in your garden or spend time with others who might also be in the house.
Interact With Others
Remember: You’re working from home, not the moon. Interacting with other people during the day is allowed, even if they’re not your coworkers. In fact, it’s a good idea to see another face during the day when most of your workday is solitary.
Choose a Definite Finish Time Each Day
You might be under the impression that working from home establishes more work-life balance but be careful with that assumption. Working from home you can get so caught up in your activity, in a relaxing environment, that you lose complete track of time.
In lieu of coworkers, whose packing up and leaving the office reminds you to do the same, set an alarm at the end of the day to indicate your normal workday is coming to an end. You don’t have to stop at exactly that time, but knowing the workday is technically over can help you start the process of saving your work and calling it quits for the evening.
Take care of your health
Best practice is to do something physical every day, preferably something that also improves your posture, because you’re likely sitting a lot more than you were before.
Take a real lunch break. Set work aside for a little while to eat food away from your computer. A break is good for your eyes and for your sanity. You should also set aside your phone.
Eat healthy foods and drink lots of water.