Remote work is challenging for several reasons. Not everyone likes working from home. Many swear by the sparks that fly and the spontaneity that comes from working with people face to face as opposed to being separated by digital-glass screens. People miss the social engagement and back and forth that are necessary for productive teamwork.
Business Insider’s healthcare editor, Zach Tracer, has managed a team of five for over a year. He says, “It’s not easy, so don’t be too hard on yourself.”
However, following tips will help in making Work From Home more comfortable :
1. Keep your routine the same
Follow your morning routine, as you would if you were going to the office. Start early, get dressed and look presentable (this goes a long way if you have video conferences later in the workday). If you have the habit of catching up on the news on your way to work, make sure you dedicate some time to it before you begin working. This sequence of activities serves as a positive work trigger for your brain since it always ends with beginning productive project work, much like a Pavlovian response.
2. Select the right workspace
Make sure you build the right kind of home office. It should mimic your desk set up at the office while also being comfortable as much as possible. Your makeshift office should not be your bed or your dining table, where your brain is accustomed to relax or eat and hang out with family. It should be a separate space where you can mentally and physically disconnect from your home and truly step away when you finish. Make sure your desk is clean. There is inherent wisdom in the old adage “A cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind.”
3. Plan more for the day
Start by making a plan of what all you wish to do today. Commit to doing more, so that you end up doing your best. With so many distractions and obstacles to work, planning for more helps you be productive and accomplish a substantial amount of work.
4. Build clear boundaries
Let your family or roommates know that you’re working or that you’ll be telecommunicating a little ahead of time so that they can give you the time you need, and you’ll not have to deal with distractions and disturbances. Consider putting up a sign that will let others know whether you’re working or on break. Some people who have young children put up signs that will make it clear to children to occupy themselves otherwise. However, some people tend to work better with pets around, looking at them as silent cheerleaders keeping you company while you work.
5. Work in productivity bursts
Analyze the way you work. Keep track of how much you’ve accomplished and when. This will help you organically build a remote work schedule that works for you since your focus and the desire to work ebbs and flows. Research has proven that when you do the most tedious work in these sprints of productivity, you work your hardest.
Author and productivity expert Travis Bradberry says, “Frequent-break-takers outshine the competition by getting more done with more focus during their working time. There’s a neurological reason for that – the human brain naturally works in bursts of high activity that last about an hour, and then it switches to low activity for a while. When that happens, it’s in your best interest to take a break. “If you are cooped up with kids, try to find productive hours around their schedules. Isn’t the best, most productive time the time your little one naps?
6. Stay away from social media
In today’s hyper-aware world, the current overdose of information surrounding COVID-19 is amplified. It is best to take a break from the news cycle and ensure emotional well-being. Constant news updates only cause distractions and hamper your concentration. You can sign out of all social media accounts so that it’s harder for you to steal a quick look that can disrupt your mental space.
7. Take ‘stepping away’ breaks
When you take breaks, don’t look at cat videos on YouTube, step away from your bed, take a stroll in your backyard or your balcony, or just look out the window for a while. The idea is to take a clean mental break. Also, put aside some time for exercise. There are definite cognitive benefits to exercise, as studies have shown.
8. Talk to your team
Talk to your teammates, informally. Ask them how they’re holding up and whether they need your help with work. Similarly, make sure you make yourself available and visible to people through collaboration and communication apps, and that people know what your status is and when you’re on break.
9. End at the same time every day
One of the major drawbacks of working from home is having to be unable to unplug from work. Set a definite start and end time to not let your work bleed into your time.
These habits will make working from home more comfortable. But, not everything mentioned in this list may work for everyone. Everyone is wired differently. The key is to figure out what works for you the best.