Back to the Basics: 8 Must Haves for Working From Home
Working from home was never a reality for many of us prior to Covid. However it has become quite common in the new age of technology, some people still either prefer working in an office setting or their job doesn't allow them to work from home. On the other hand, a lot of us have found ourselves forced to work from home.
Since most people have no prior experience in working remotely, there are some basic steps that should be followed to make your job transition more enjoyable.
Make a Work Schedule:
While most of us may have the flexibility of setting our schedule for working from home, it is better to stick to a schedule we're used to, or our employers recommend. To not increase already existing stress, your schedule does not have to be binding. Rearrange it according to what suits you best, as long as you keep getting a considerable amount of work done.
Develop a Home Office:
Considering the circumstances, it is not likely that the majority of us already have an existing home office to work from. But, a make-shift space can be made. You need to have a quiet and peaceful space to work from. All you need is a table, a chair, a laptop with a working internet connection, office supplies and you're good to go!
Have Reliable Electronics and Internet Connection:
Since you will be the connection between you and your company, and will likely need to communicate with them often, having a reliable phone, computer and internet connection is essential for you. Your working space should have an outlet and a backup electricity supply in case you run out of battery or charging. Make sure you also have a backup internet supply in case your internet is down, such as data on your mobile phone.
No one will see you while you work, but dressing appropriately will put you in the right frame of mind and will increase your productivity levels. This does not mean dressing up into formal clothing like you would for a regular office, but changing out of pyjamas into at least day clothes can be a start. While you don't technically need to do this, it can help demarcate your time from your work time and make it easy to follow a schedule and stay up to date.
While, not having to see your boss or co-workers every day sounds like a good idea, keeping them out of the loop though may not be. If you are working remotely, communication with your employer and colleagues is essential. Stay in touch with them via email, instant messaging, or programs that allow you to work simultaneously with your colleagues on shared documents. Don’t hesitate to contact your team via phone or email if you have concerns along the way.
Working from home may seem easy, but it can be difficult to keep yourself focused if you're constantly faced with distractions such as the doorbell ringing or your family talking in the background. Keep your workspace relatively distraction-free. Consider getting noise-cancellation headphones, or use other methods of sound-proofing. If you live with a family or roommates, let them know that you are not to be disturbed at this time.
Avoid Extra-Curricular Activities during Work Hours:
If there are some household tasks or chores you are required to be tending to while you're at home, schedule them according to your working timetable so that you don't need to use your 'office hours' for household tasks. You need to be disciplined and able to manage time efficiently. Avoid taking breaks for cleaning or cooking and schedule time for them later, so they don't pose a distraction while you work from home.
Keep Your Mind Fresh:
Working from home can over some time become quite lonely and claustrophobic, especially when you're stuck in a routine and can't leave your house often. Some ways to keep yourself from falling into the monotony is to keep your mind fresh. Try to set up your working space near a window so you can have a view of the outside while you work. If you’re not lucky enough for that, keeping an indoor plant near your work table is fairly low-maintenance and can have a positive effect. Keep yourself well hydrated and have healthy snacks in the middle to keep your energy levels up.
These are just a handful of small essentials to fulfill to make working from home a wholesome and positive experience for yourself. Choosing the best environment for yourself and optimizing it according to your needs is the secret to having a successful home office.