Working from Home
Working from home used to be an ideal for many people. No need to clock in at the office, no long commutes to waste time on, and the possibility of getting some household chores done while taking a break from work – it all sounds wonderful. However, when the day actually arrives, it turns out that working from home is not as idyllic as imagined.
Over the past couple of years, due to the well-known circumstances involving masks, many individuals have had to embrace the work-from-home model. At the outset, during the first two days, everyone was quite excited, finally experiencing the ease of working from home. But after a few days, many people began to realize that working from home can be tiring and not as productive as working in an office.
In fact, this is mainly due to the numerous distractions of working from home, which frequently hinder work efficiency. Internet-savvy professionals with years of remote work experience have summarized five effective methods for productive remote work, enabling you to maintain high efficiency while working from home.
Set Up a Proper Workspace to Minimize Distractions
- The biggest difference between working from home and working in an office is the absence of a professional atmosphere, which makes it easy to be carried away by the rhythms of home life. This aspect is even more prominent in households with children. The solution is simple – find a dedicated workspace.
- Organizing a designated workspace helps distinguish work from personal life. This can help avoid disruptions caused by children, allowing you to focus on your work. Even when children are not at home, having a dedicated workspace prevents other family members from watching TV or using their phones, which could otherwise interfere with your work.
- Whether it's a corner of a room or a separate room, as long as it offers a relatively quiet atmosphere, it can serve as a suitable workspace. Essential items such as a desk, chair, and computer are necessary in the workspace, along with simple organizational tools for file storage. Maintaining a quiet environment is important, especially during phone calls with colleagues and clients. Additionally, it's crucial to keep the workspace tidy at all times to accommodate impromptu video meetings.
Maintain a Consistent Schedule Similar to Regular Office Hours
- While working from home eliminates the need to commute and clock in at the office, it's important to establish a regular routine. Even though you're not punching a time clock, maintaining a regular schedule is crucial. Treat clocking in as a mental note, much like when you were commuting to the office. Have a proper breakfast before starting work, just as if you were commuting to the office. When it's time to start work, step into your designated workspace and get into work mode.
- You can also establish a time to finish work at home, preventing you from unintentionally working overtime. While you might not have colleagues around to chat with, you can still take a 10-minute break every now and then. Get up, stretch your body, and ensure a balance between work and rest to maintain energy and improve productivity.
Embrace a Work Ritual to Ignite Your Work Mode
- Many people find that even when working from home, they struggle to get into a focused work mode. This is often due to the lack of a work ritual before starting.
- Normally, we get into work mode after going out, traveling, and clocking in at the office. However, when you're working from home, you might transition from the dining area to your study without mentally preparing to start work.
- To counteract this, treat your work-from-home routine as if you were heading to the office. Begin by waking up at the usual time and getting yourself ready. Put on appropriate work attire, even though it might not be as formal as when you're going to the office. This creates a professional image, even when working from home. If there's a video conference or a client unexpectedly requests a video call, you won't have to scramble to change clothes.
- Aside from dressing the part, part of the ritual is informing your family that you're about to start work and requesting not to be disturbed during working hours. This not only prevents inadvertent disruptions but also helps you transition into a focused work mode.
Plan Your Work to Avoid Getting Bogged Down by Trivial Matters
- When working from home, without the office environment and colleagues around, it's easy to get caught up in trivial matters. For example, you might start thinking about whether the laundry needs to be hung up or decide to take an extra break while watching a show. You might find yourself busy all day, yet still not completing essential tasks. This can be attributed to a lack of planning. To overcome this, create a list of tasks based on their importance and urgency. By prioritizing and sticking to a planned schedule, you can improve your work efficiency.
Leverage Online Tools for Effective Communication
- Remote work poses a major challenge in terms of communication and collaboration with supervisors, colleagues, and clients. While we're accustomed to face-to-face interactions, it's essential to harness the power of the internet to facilitate online communication.
- In the digital age, online meetings, collaborative documents, and cloud storage have made remote work more convenient. Utilize these tools to enable efficient teamwork.
For example, consider shifting your company's morning meetings and regular conferences to online video meetings. This allows for interactive communication, facilitating task assignment and providing mutual encouragement among team members, reducing the sense of isolation while working from home.
If you're not in a managerial position and your company rarely holds video conferences, take the initiative to maintain contact with colleagues and clients. Effective communication can enhance collaboration, helping you complete tasks more efficiently. By reporting work progress promptly, you allow supervisors to stay updated on your work.
In the upcoming years, remote work is poised to become a new trend. With careful adjustment of your mindset and the proper organization of your workspace and time, working from home can indeed be a relaxed and productive experience.