Working from home can be a blessing or a curse. Some people love the freedom and the flexibility to work according to their own schedule from the comfort of their home. Others find it hard to stay motivated and crave the structure and social relationships of the office.
If you fall into the latter category, you may be struggling to work efficiently under the current circumstances. The coronavirus pandemic has forced many people to work from home, and it’s uncertain how long it will continue. When the line between home and the workplace becomes blurred, it is often difficult to get into the right frame of mind to work effectively. But it can be done. There are several challenges that you need to overcome when working from home.
When working remotely, it’s hard to tell where work ends and home begins. With a more flexible work schedule, it can be tempting to wake up at 11, sit down to work in your pyjamas and keep going until 8 o’clock at night. With all routine out the window, there are no rules. While certain personality types might thrive in this kind of environment, others work better under stricter, office-like conditions. If this sounds like you, the solution is to put yourself under the same set of guidelines you would adhere to in the office. This means setting yourself routine times at which to wake up, start work, and clock off at the end of the day. Even if you’re not leaving the house, you should get dressed. You don’t have to don the full suit and tie but wearing something other than pyjamas will put you in the right frame of mind.
Managing Your Schedule
With no supervision, you are responsible for managing your own workload. If you’re the type of person that needs strict guidelines and management to organise your tasks, then working remotely can leave you adrift and uncertain. Create to-do lists and a daily timetable to plan each day. Complete the biggest tasks first thing in the morning to save you working late into the night.
We’ve all seen the video of the South Korean expert being interrupted by his children during a BBC interview, and that’s probably as worse as distractions can get. If you work from home, you are subject to a lot more interruptions than you would be at the office. Whether it’s children or roommates running around, or the constant temptation to have another snack and watch Netflix, being disciplined is not easy. Make sure everyone you live with knows you have to work between certain times and must not distract you unless urgent. Setting boundaries is crucial. Turn your phone onto do-not-disturb mode and keep to your set work hours.
Communication and Support
If anything goes wrong in the office, you can call over I.T. support to fix your laptop in no time. But when problems arise at home you are left to fend for yourself. Maintaining communication is essential for effective home working, and there are plenty of tools available to help you stay in touch.
Working productively from home can be challenging, but with the right routine and tools in place, you will soon get used to it.