With the Coronavirus outbreak, many people this week have been working from home for the first time in their lives – and for them, this could have been much more difficult than actually being at the office.

This is why at The Daily Crisp we decided to share with you some tips on how to work well from home.

Here are 8 tips to help you work from home productively.

 

1. Keep the Daily Morning Routine

Some people might be tempted by the idea of working from home to have the freedom of spending the whole day in their comfy PJs.

The act of washing up and getting dressed to work from home has a positive impact on your state of mind and it will keep you psychologically aware and prepared to start working and accomplish the daily tasks efficiently.

Depending on your personality and job nature, you can choose to dress up fully into business attire, or simply wear a t-shirt and jeans.

Showering and getting out of clothes we associate with sleep, and wearing respectable clothes for work instead, increases our motivation levels – just as when we’re done with work and change into something comfortable the brain understands that the day is over and can rest.

So, even when working from home make sure to wake up at the same time you would wake up to go to the office and maintain your daily morning routine intact – as this is what gives us the drive to finish off tasks.

 

2. Designate a Workspace or Home Office

Keeping work-life and home-life separate while working from home certainly can be quite challenging. 

Maintaining a work-oriented mindset after working hours causes a significant decline in productivity and the same goes for home-life as well.

If commuting to work every day is what helps you separate between the work mindset and the life mindset then try to create a physical boundary in your home to separate the workspace from the living one.

Assign a separate room recreating your work environment and having a home office.

If your apartment is small, you can simply create a working “area” – the most important thing is that it has to feel separate from the rest of the house.

Entering the work-space will help your brain turn on “check-in” to a more work-oriented mindset at the beginning of the day. The same goes for when the day is done, leaving the works-pace will turn off “check out” from the work-oriented mindset and become more prone to face different aspects of the day.

 

3. Maintain Regular and Fixed Working Hours

Set a schedule, and stick to it as much as possible. 

Having clear guidelines for when to start working and when to get off from work, helps you maintain a work-life balance while working from home. 

One of the benefits of remote work is flexibility, so you can get to decide when to start and when to stop as long as you are keeping the same amount of working hours and your work doesn’t depend on others and vice-versa.

There are many automatic time-tracking apps which help you check in on whether you’re sticking to your schedule; some of them can also help you notice what times of day you’re most productive so that you can keep those times for the most important tasks.

 

4. Set Ground Rules With the People in Your Space

Setting ground rules with your family members or flatmates while working from home is essential for your productivity and workflow.

Just because you’re physically available at home it doesn’t necessarily mean you or other people around you should assume you’re available to get chores done, feed your pet or even answer the door.

So, just as you would do if you were to go to the office and come back home, postpone all the life-related errands to be done after working hours.

 

5. Make a Plan and Communicate

For those who never worked remotely before, switching to work from home can be challenging as it can certainly cause misunderstandings and delays at first.

Planning the week ahead and sharing the plan with your manager and involved coworkers ensures an ultimately smooth home working experience.

Keeping anyone you usually work hand in hand with an awareness of your plan throughout the day is key to successfully and smoothly accomplishing all your tasks. Knowing your coworker’s plan in order to coordinate is also a requirement to avoid miscoordination. 

When you are faced with issues or encounter unusual challenges, do not hesitate to reach out to the people you usually reach out to for help in the office.

Text-based communication helps everyone keep up with what’s going on at every step. So, make sure to follow up on all phone calls and voice notes with a recap written text.

Sometimes, depending on your work nature, you might find it useful to check in with your boss and coworkers through group calls and/or video chats

Phone calls cut down on miscommunications and social isolation resulting from working remotely.

 

6. Take Real Full Breaks

Don’t skip breaks or short- change your lunch hour.

To make sure you take breaks and lunch hours off,  you can use one of these two apps TimeOut for Mac or Smart Break for Windows that can help by locking you out of your computer for 60 minutes in order to make sure you take your breaks fully.

You can also do the same process manually through simply setting an alarm to remind you that the hour has already elapsed.

 

7. End Your Day With a Routine

Ending the work-day with a routine, just as mentioned in the first paragraph, signals to the brain the end of working hours.

The closure of a workday can simply consist of preparing a to-do list for the day after, signing off from a business messaging app, or simply shutting down your computer can definitely do the trick.

 

8. Leave Home (If You’re Not Self-Isolating)

So long as complete self-isolation is not a requirement – and while we might not miss commuting to work every day – leaving the house at least once a day (especially after work) is important for the brain to switch from the working mindset. 

You don’t necessarily have to go to crowded places, eat or have a drink out to get away from the isolation of working at home all day. You can simply take a walk or jog in the neighborhood or simply weed out your garden.