So, these days, working from home is becoming the mainstream for companies and employees. And because of the pandemic, more and more companies are transitioning from office based to temporary and if you are lucky, permanent work from home set-up.
For Easycom Japan Philippines Inc., our staff started off as temporary work-from-home since March 17, 2020, since the pandemic entered the Philippines and the rest of the world. And as of now, the management has decided to make it a permanent system.
It was said that working from home has somehow helped increase productivity of employees. But, let’s face it, if there are pros, there are also cons faced by employees which could somehow affect their work performance if not guided/managed properly. Truthfully, there’s lots of distractions in our homes!
Therefore, in here we have listed a few tips for working from home that will hopefully guide you to become a productive employee while working from your home.
Permanent and comfortable workspace
The first thing you need to think about and consider when you decide to work from home is the area where you will be stationed while you work. Just imagine working in your living room where your other family members are enjoying their free time, watching television or listening to music or playing video games. That would be a total disaster to your productivity. So, don’t ever work in the living room! Also, it’s not good to move around changing places, all the time!
Thus, find an area in your home that is away from the crowd (your family, most likely), doesn’t catch too much noise and with good natural lighting and ventilation. Use the right work/computer table with the correct height and size and a good and comfortable chair.
Invest in quality tools and equipment
So, you have established your own workspace and you have the right furniture. Next, use equipment and technology that are of great quality! You wouldn’t want any interruptions while you are working, would you?
For a smooth operation and daily work routine, put out some extra cost to get that heavy duty computer/laptop, headphones with noise cancellation features with great audio, mic and speakers (if your work requires a lot of calling or perhaps meetings), hardware and software you might need, depending on the type of work you do.
Stable Internet Service Connection
Yes! Make sure you have a stable internet connection because everything else will not matter, great workspace and expensive laptop or devices, if your internet service is bad! So, do some research and look for a reliable Internet Service Provider with excellent coverage in your area and subscribe to them.
Do not over-work!
Working from home could indeed promote work-life balance for an employee. However, there are times when because the work is too close, your work may invade your personal time with your family or just your personal life, overall. Just because you are at home, doesn’t mean that it’s okay that you spend your after working hours still doing work. Although the company will be really glad because you have made more output or have finished the task earlier, you should still remember to turn off your computer if it’s already beyond working hours and spend quality time with your loved ones.
Set your Alarm
If it’s really that hard for you to keep track of time because you are too focused at whatever it is you are working on, and you always extend without realizing that it’s already the end of your work schedule, set the alarm! This way, you have a constant reminder that you still have a life after work.
Not just after work, but also before your work schedule starts. Could you believe that even when working from home, you could still be late for the start of your shift, or a scheduled meeting, conferences etc.? Because you are too confident that work is just a few steps away, you tend to be overly relaxed, then accommodate distractions which result in you forgetting that it’s time for you to clock-in and start to work! Hence, your best solution is to set your alarms before and after work hours.
Create a To-Do List
To become more efficient and productive in your day to day work from home journey, manage your task by creating a to-do list that will serve as your guide for your daily activity. Best to do it every morning which concludes an organized daily routine for you.
Install Video and Communication tools/apps
Since you and your team are working remotely, all meetings, conferences and discussions happen online through an application. So, better be prepared to install professional communication applications or tools for this purpose. Here are some of the most famous video and communication tools nowadays:
GoToMeeting and many more…
Eat Healthy and Regular Exercise
Admit it, when you were still working in the office, you used to say that you wanted to exercise and go on a diet, but can’t because of work, is that right? Well, now is your chance to be healthy! Working from home gives you so much time to prepare that healthy food you’ve been craving for and work-out or just stretch your limbs regularly to promote that healthy lifestyle you’ve been wanting before. And better do it in the morning, with regular exercise and a healthy diet, you will feel energetic and active through-out the day.
Steer clear from Social Media
Stay away from Social Media during working hours! Log-out, turn off notifications for all social media platforms. We are all guilty for this. Every now and then, we take a minute or two to sneak up on the latest updates on social media, and that supposedly “a minute or two” becomes unlimited minutes. Social media could suck up your time and productivity!
So, always think like you are still in the office and follow your company’s guidelines about social media or other non-work related applications. Who knows, someone might be secretly/remotely watching your activities, so you better be vigilant!
Wear Appropriate Clothes
Even though you are at home, it is still important to wear appropriate clothes while you are working as if you are still in the office. But you don’t have to be exaggerated about this. You can wear comfortable clothes, but make sure that it is somewhat similar to appropriate office wear. This is to be sure that you are always ready to participate in any web conferences and meetings.
Even though you are at home, dressing the part helps you maintain a sense of responsibility and be in control as our mental state would immediately switch to work-mode. Maybe we did not realize it before, but preparing yourself, wearing appropriate dress codes to go to the office, definitely sets your mood for the day.
The best thing about working from home is that after a whole day’s work and temporarily ignoring your family to be able to focus on your tasks, as soon as your shift for the day ends, you can immediately enjoy the leisure time with your family. No sweats trying to catch a bus or a train, to time wasted for traveling from work to your home. The best time to get energized and catch-up with your personal or family activities.
These are just a few of the basic tips to be effective and productive while working from home, but I know there are still a lot more out there.
So enjoy the luxury of working while at the comfort of your home and continue to be efficient, who knows, the company you work for might make it a permanent arrangement for you! Wouldn’t that be awesome!