We have to change with the time, and things have changed over the past few weeks, the way we work the way we connect, etc. Most of us are experiencing this new way of work-life called work from home or remote working. This article focuses more on making your remote working experience better than the crisis we all are facing at the moment.
It’s been a week or more for many of us, so I feel the next question makes sense. If you had to pick just one perk of working remotely, what would it be? Take your time; here is what I like about working from home, higher productivity. When you are working remotely, you are more focused. And that’s not even the best part. Remote working brings with it many benefits you get to save commute time, skip the traffic, the distractions, the chatter.
Finding balance is tricky on a typical day, even with all the positives that come with it, and given the current crisis, it’s become even more complicated. So what can you do to keep yourself from overindulging yourself in work or your chores – balance.
The following tips will help you get more out of your telecommuting stint:
Use your transit time
When we have a routine, we tend to follow it. Reaching to work involves spending time waking up, other morning routines, getting ready, and reaching work. Remote working eliminates most of these tasks, to a certain extent. Use this time for other things like a hobby, self-care, exercise, or reading. It is essential to begin your day at the same time you always start as the workplace – not when you usually start your trip. Some people start their day early while others get a bit lazy when they are working remotely.
On a regular workday, you would get dressed and head out.
Although you don’t need to wear a two-piece suit or a work suit, it’s necessary to get out of your cozy pajamas. Dressing makes you feel professional and puts you in a working mood. It is essential to wear clothes that you would wear when you step outside your house.
We dress the way we look, it has a significant effect on your mindset, and it impacts the efficiency at work.
Move away from your bed
Home – our comfort zone, a place where we relax and recharge. Now it can be tempting to work from your bed, resist the urge. Discipline and mindset are the two factors to succeed at telecommuting. So when you have a dedicated space for work, it serves as a proxy for your office desk. Besides, hitting the bed at the end of the day will still feel like heaven. Even when you take a lunch break or a coffee break, shift to a different area. Changing your spot can be refreshing.
Set a designated workspace
A dedicated workspace helps you separate yourself from your life at home. It is also easier for your family to know when you are working. Sometimes the line between work from home and household work gets thin. Designating a part of your house as your workspace will help you keep the two of them from clashing.
Communication is important irrespective of where you are working from. Choosing the mode of communication to what to write, everything seems complicated, especially if you are working remotely. Switch between slack, hangouts, video calls to emails. Some conversations are better on video than others on emails. In any case, communicate.
Have a to-list
If you ever ask a freelancer what their secret to success is, many of them will say dedication and discipline. Having a task list helps you divide your time accordingly. Many times it gets difficult to switch between your work life and your personal life. Working from home can make you feel guilty, sometimes you think you might be slacking away. But that is not the case, and ticking tasks of your to-do list will give you a sense of accomplishment.
Prioritize your day to stay on top of your task. Planning your day keeps you focused on the task at hand. Without a plan, you can miss out on crucial tasks and lose track of time. Prioritizing keeps you on track while making sure your productivity isn’t hampered. And it comes handy during an emergency or a sudden task.
Working with a bunch of people gives you many opportunities to break your routine and refresh. When you work remotely, it is difficult to move away from work. At times you can feel trapped in your own house. The only time you leave your home is when you have errands to run or have to shop. Take coffee or tea breaks, load the laundry. It can be refreshing to close the screen for a few minutes.
Be easy on yourself
Don’t be hard on yourself. At times you might overwork yourself to the extent of burnout. Adjusting to the changes, and forming new routines can be challenging. Plan your day around your work schedule, depending on whether you have flexible timings or a defined time slot. Don’t forget to cut yourself some slack; it is important to be kind to yourself.
Connect with your team
Do not underestimate the power of communication. And when you are working remotely, it is very easy to feel disconnected from your team. Video calls and group chats can make the day better. It lets them know that they can reach out to you if they need to. It makes the job feel seamless, and the exchange of ideas is never a bad thing.
Connect with your buddies
Staying indoors can sometimes get too much, even for an introvert. It is common to feel isolated, reach out to friends, family, and colleagues. Never underestimate the power of socializing. We are a social animal, which means we have an immense need to be around others. And it is not a waste of time, it may seem like it, but it is not. Keeping in touch with your work buddies, family, and friends can elevate your mood too.
Remote working cuts through all the noise and distractions. Use this opportunity to look closely at your strategy. Understand your customers and employees better, improve on your current plan. Restructure your plan to make it more accurate for your audience. Take a second look at them.
Study your Data
Informed decisions are always better; take this time to re-evaluate your strategy. We need to collect data and reflect on them now more than ever. Things are changing, and they might change even more. Employee experience platforms have templates to keep in touch with your employees and customers alike, tools like SoGoSurvey, Pigeonhole, LifeWorks make the job easier. Take a second look at your data and make changes to your plan. Be it buyer persona, marketing plan, or product change; data can provide insights on everything. Use the quiet time to study the data and use it to reach the right audience. Getting your message out without knowing who the message is for is useless. Knowing your audience is significant for every business.
Back it up
Backup everything, from your device to documents you are working on. We all hit a snag at times. Remember that even after planning and taking precautions, things might not go as we expected. As a measure, make sure that you have backups for everything. If you are working on an excel, upload it on the drive. Get a video call, make sure your phone is charged and accessible in case the laptop fails—even a ready to connect internet hotspot if at all the ISP crashes.
End your workday
Dedicated space, a priority task list, and even dressing up, all of it will be useless unless you set a specified time for your work. Let’s face it though we are working from home; it does not change our daily life routines. If anything, it might get a little overwhelming at times. Some people even feel like their two worlds are colliding with each other. It might happen if you don’t have a specified work time. It also helps your family and colleagues to know when you will be available.
Do justice with yourself, your work, and, most importantly, your family. It’s not easy for your family when you bring work home. Sure, you get to stay in and work from any part of your house. But it also means that you are invading in their space. Take a page out of Sheldon’s book (the big bang theory). Cook together—Thai, Indian, spaghetti. Plan your evenings for a fulfilled game night, movie night, indoor camping, etc. Make time for them; let them know that they are important.
Plan your chores
Don’t let your household errands pile on. Work is necessary, but so is your wellbeing. I know it can be pretty exhausting to balance your daily chores and office tasks. Divide your day and set aside some different time tasks. Distribute your tasks into small chunks and spread them across the day. Every time you take a break, try to tick off the task from your list, load the washing machine, soak the dishes, or put things back in their place. This will ensure that you have some time left for yourself.
Traveling back from work offers a kind of a break, the time you leave from work and reach home. It is a good idea to have a breather between your work and personal life. Take time to gather your thoughts and clear your mind.
Loosen up a bit, take time to take care of yourself. Self-love is key to making it through the day. Prepare a hot bath for yourself, watch a movie, or start a series, read a book, connect with your friends. Spending time with your family may be a game of monopoly. Small things like setting up a skincare routine or exercise plan.
Learn something new
Take virtual lessons to add more skills to your profile. We all wish we had some time for our hobbies. Some of us want to read more, write more, or sketch more. A few years back, I ventured back into an old hobby, and now I make sure to spend an hour every week. And I am getting better at it. It is not just a stress buster but also boosts your mood. The time you save in traveling and near the water cooler, use it.
Change is never easy, and when we are facing tough times, we all need to help each other out. I hope these tips will help make your remote working experience better and more manageable.