As more and more companies adopt work-from-home or hybrid models, now is the time to get comfortable and explore what an extended period of working-from-home might look like for you. While there are a ton of benefits (no more commute!), the transition can be difficult and often feel unproductive for those of us who are accustomed to working on the ground or in an office. Aside from feeling burned out, creating boundaries and avoiding distractions can be a challenge. To help, here are 5 tips to keep you feeling productive, comfortable and accountable while working from home.
1. Create a dedicated space for work.
Whether it’s your kitchen table, your guest room, your balcony, or even a small desk in your living room, having a separate workspace helps you get your brain in the right mode for work. It also creates a boundary to avoid work and home life blending together. When you “leave” your workspace at the end of the day, it becomes easier to turn off work and focus on being present at home.
It’s also important to make your workspace a comfortable place to sit (or stand!) for longer periods of time. Sitting near a window or an area with plenty of natural light helps you stay alert and connected to the outside world, and ensuring you have a comfortable chair is key to making sure you have good posture and avoid getting back pain from slouching.
2. Develop a routine.
While you’re no longer going into the office everyday, establishing a routine can be really helpful in staying productive throughout the day. Get ready for work as you normally would, put on work clothes, shoes and other typical work attire, work in time for breaks throughout the day, block off time to exercise and eat, and remember to "leave” work and take some time for yourself in the evenings.
3. Set up ground rules with others in your household.
When it comes to working from home, setting boundaries with family members or roommates can be difficult. Others may assume you’re available to talk at any point because you’re physically present, but you may not be mentally available. Establish chunks of time throughout your day where your fully focused on work, and communicate your availability to others in your household. Establish ground rules around responsibilities so others know when you’re available to do tasks like walking your dog or making lunch.
4. Establish a common form of communication with your team.
The benefit from working in an office is it’s easy to get people into a room and communicate updates to your team. To keep this collaboration going while working from home, consider a common communication tool like Slack or Microsoft Teams to establish a forum for people to share updates, ask questions or even share updates on their whereabouts.
Consider getting face-to-face on your team meetings with video calls. It can get boring when you don’t have a coworker sitting next to you to chat with about your day. Video calls help to get that face-to-face interaction, and also keep you accountable for getting ready in the morning! In addition to Slack and Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google Meet are great video calling options.
5. Get outside!
It’s easy to get cabin fever when working from home. Set aside some time to go outside and get some fresh air. Take a walk while on a call, or sit outside for lunch. You might be surprised to find how energized you feel when you get back.
Interested in work-from-home positions? Check out virtual job opportunities with TTEC here.
Not sure where to begin your job search? Call Skills for Rhode Island's Future at 401-680-5960 or visit the job board.