The recent months have paved the way for more opportunities to work in the comfort of their own homes. This means companies provided the flexibility of their workforce to function even without having to report to a physical office. If you are new to the setup, you might still be lost about how to work from home online productively.
Working from home is undeniably an appealing option for all kinds of labor that allows it. Not only does it let you cut costs from commute, gas, or food, but it also gives you more time for your personal leisure. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 3.2% of the American workforce of people have been working from home occasionally, even way before 2020, when most of the labor force transitioned to this setup. Now, there are 42% of the population working from home full-time.
The difference between working from home to working remotely
Working from home and working remotely are commonly mistaken for the same meaning. However, these two have a stark contrast from each other. Working from home means you either get asked to work from home due to temporary circumstances like typhoons, hurricanes, or other personal reasons.
On the other hand, working remotely is when you are hired to work anywhere but the office. This requires the essential resources to perform your duties fully.
While these two are usually interchanged, both demand the discipline to nail this setup once you start working at home.
How to work from home online
Whether it is your first time to work remotely or work from home temporarily, you will need some tips on how to adjust successfully. Here are some ways you can make your work from home setup be as productive when you are at the office.
1. Abide by your work rules.
Your company always has particular regulations to abide by while working from home. Know exactly what tools are needed in performing your daily tasks. Working from home means there are more project management tools, social media apps, and video conference apps to use.
You need to ensure you have the account credentials, and you follow the company provided rules or even schedule.
2. Find your safe space at home.
Setting up where your workspace at home is crucial. Without having the right space, you can sabotage your work productivity.
In choosing your workspace, you need to find a spot where no one can distract you from work. You need a designated area where other people in your home would know you are busy working to avoid being disturbed. It can be an enclosed room with minimal noise and a window with natural lighting that’ll hit your face nicely during work meetings.
As much as you can, don’t work in your bedroom, where there is the temptation of slacking off. You need a space that will put a boundary on your work life from your personal life.
3. Check your resources.
In working from home, you are inclined to get a good internet connection provider and trusty computer equipment. Some companies provide their employees these, while some don’t. Either way, you need to get a well-functioning computer for your job responsibilities and high-speed Internet for your work.
This is to avoid any delay in completing your tasks, most especially during urgent times. You don’t also want to have a lagging connection during a video conference with your boss, do you?
4. Establish a work routine.
Working from home doesn’t give you the free pass of doing things just when you want to. In contrast, it requires you even more to have the discipline to perform tasks. Thus, you need a routine to follow over time.
This is where you need to plan your routine based on your personal preferences. If you are a morning person, you might want to stick with an AM schedule. It is crucial to do your work based on what works for you. Otherwise, you will have trouble completing tasks.
In this routine, add scheduled breaks to ease yourself from continuous tasks. If needed, set alarms for these to avoid overworking. When you forget to take a break, you might get work burnout, which will result in less energy to function to the fullest.
5. Dress the job.
Dressing the part helps you conduct a work-friendly workspace. Although some people may find it too much, it doesn’t matter as long as it pushes you to perform more. Sometimes, people miss the concept of dressing for work, which is absent in working from home.
Instead of lounging on your pajamas all day, put on a nice crisp shirt and fix your hair to give yourself a little boost. Not only will you feel empowered, but also more energized to take on your day with a more professional look at home.
6. Mind your working hours.
The tendency of working from home is you blur the line between your job and your personal time. You tend to overwork beyond normal, especially when there is no time tracker at your work. This causes you to be in burnout.
As much as you can, monitor your working hours by yourself if there is no tracker. Maintain a healthy balance on your working hours to avoid workaholic tendencies. Stick to your schedule and maximize your time by using effective time management.
You may reap some powerful time management strategies in this course for remote workers, Remote Workers’ Guide to Time Management. If that isn’t enough, you can try to use a free time tracking app. It not only tracks time automatically, but also helps you to understand how you work and how to take your productivity to the next level.
7. Leave home every once in a while.
Since being at home is your new normal, you might long for an office’s social ambiance. In this case, you can always go out whenever you want to. Working from home gives you the total liberty to work from anywhere you’d like to.
Leaving your home workspace will help ease the tension from being stuck at the four corners of your house. Not only will you be able to get fresh air and natural light that are good for your health, but you also get to meet people that will overcome your longingness for social interaction.
8. Communicate as much as you can.
The key to establishing a good work relationship with employers and coworkers while working from home is open communication. As much as you can, communicate with your boss and coworkers to update or socialize with them. Ask questions when confused with job-related matters.
Constant communication is most incredibly important when you are not physically together with coworkers.
9. Ask for what you need.
If you are working under a company, you might get sponsored for the lack of resources. It doesn’t hurt to ask your employers if they provide such equipment you don’t have. Whether it be for a printer, fax machine, monitor, or more, you can ask them upfront unless you are informed beforehand that you need to provide your own.
Some companies that usually hire remote workers provide equipment and Internet allowances. Ask them about it; there’s nothing wrong with clarifying these matters. This could even help your employer consider your situation, which makes it possible to acquire such resources.
In your journey to working from home either for good or temporarily, keep these tips at hand to overcome your newbie challenges. If you want more extensive lessons on nailing how to work from home online, you can pick up some essential lifesavers from these classes: