Even though at BrightMarbles, we already have an option to work from home a few days a month, most of us work most of the days from the office.
The majority of days, you wake up, wash, dress decently, maybe have breakfast, and head to the office. Then you talk to your colleagues, go to lunch together. In other words, you socialize with people you work with.
Recently I was talking to my colleague, where he said that he always dreamed of working from home, but after this situation, not anymore.
So, here are a few tips on how to stay productive and sane while working from home in these circumstances.
1. Working environment.
When a company buys chairs and desks for their employees, it’s the process that takes some time and research. They sample the products, and then they buy the best products they can with the budget they have.
Then, let’s use my example, I don’t work from home, so I never needed a chair or a desk, or a room to work in while we’re at it. So I didn’t have any of those. I tried working at a dinner table, which was uncomfortable and, therefore, distracting. Then I moved to the living room couch, but there’s a TV as a distraction. In the end, I bought a chair from Ikea, took a table from a lawn chair set, and set it up in my bedroom. No distraction, tolerable comfort level.
The advice here is, find a dedicated place with the least amount of distraction and make it your workplace with a chair and desk.
2. Prepare for the work.
As you have the routine of dressing and washing up for the office, do the same when working from home. It will give you a sense that you’re working, not loafing around the house in your pajamas. And you won’t be caught unprepared for a meeting. And you’ll still have a grip on how your jeans fit.
3. Have working hours.
When I started working from home, I used to work the whole day, because I always felt unproductive, due to being frequently distracted. This is not the best scenario.
Start your work on time, and finish it on time. Leave the room you’ve been working in, and carry on with your regular free-time activities. Rest from work.
4. Take your coffee and your water bottle to your desk.
If you get up every time you want a sip of water, you’ll be distracted easily. And anyway, you wouldn’t do that in the office either.
5. Set boundaries for others around you.
If you’re working and the door in the room where you work are closed, ask your partner, kids, or a cat to respect that, and to avoid interrupting you. In some cases, this will be harder than others, for instance, if you have small children, but as it’s necessary for yourself to feel at work, it’s also necessary for them to understand you’re at work.
6. Communication with a team.
You should check up on your teammates, from time to time, to preserve team spirit. How often will depend on your role. If you’re a team lead, you should check with all team members as often as possible. Use a camera when attending calls, and use headphones with noise cancellation for the best and the most professional communication, because, you’ll probably use the same setup when communicating with clients.
That would be all. I’m sure all of us deal with work from home somewhat differently because we’re working from different setups, and we’re different people. If you don’t feel comfortable checking in with your colleagues and if you had to do so, it would negatively affect your productivity, then don’t do it. If you’re super productive and good at ignoring distractions, you don’t need to worry about Netflix playing in the background.
The fact is that we all want to do our best, and if you have a piece of advice, that works for you, feel free to share it with us.