People across the world are embracing flexible working. 58% of workers are provided with the opportunity to work from home at least one day a week. 35% are offered the option to work from home five days a week. This is true for a wide variety of industries in virtually every area of the company. Both blue-collar and white-collar professionals are now able to manage their duties from the comfort of a private space. Another study suggests that when provided with the possibility of working from home, 87% of workers take this opportunity.
This isn’t surprising. After all, studies suggest working from home does deliver a better work-life balance overall. Similarly, people who work from home spend ten minutes less a day being unproductive and will work one more day a week. As a result, they are 47% more productive in their roles. However, to achieve the right impact working from home, it’s essential to master the basics.
In this article, we’ll address some of the key points you should explore to maximize your working from home potential.
Working from home
Setting Up Your Home Office
First, you need to set your home office up the right way. It’s easy to create a space where you can remain effective in your role and productive, free from distractions. If you have space, you can use an actual office in your home. However, the majority of people will reallocate a spare room or a second bedroom. You can also be more adventurous and explore other possibilities like a garden room for your home office.
If you have a low amount of space, consider getting more creative. For instance, you could use a room separator to dedicate part of your living room or kitchen to your office space. The right choice will depend on your home.
Privacy, peace, and solitude are vital components of the right home office setup. If you have a large home, you may not find it too difficult to find a quiet space for your work. However, if your home is crowded, you could consider soundproofing an area. It’s easy to do this. For instance, if you have hardwood floors, you can put down a few rugs to muffle noise from downstairs.
Do be aware that setting up your home office is about more than simply the physical space. You need to consider your tech setup, too. It is essential that you have a fast internet connection. Slow speeds will diminish your levels of productivity. You should also make sure that your connections are secure. Remember, you have a duty to ensure that any transactions or sensitive data remain safe, even while you are operating from your home.
Understanding Essential Development
To work from home effectively, you focus on your essential development. For instance, you need to look after your own physical and mental health. If you don’t stay healthy, then you will always struggle to remain productive. This is a real concern as one study suggests 80% of remote workers have experienced issues with stress and anxiety over the past couple of years.
A common misconception about home working is that employees are less likely to focus on their tasks. In reality, this is not the case because if you are working from home, then it becomes a lot more difficult to leave your job behind at the end of the working day. That’s why you do need to make sure that you are fully switching off and leaving the office behind. In other words, don’t continue to check emails after five o’clock. This is a surefire way to burn out regardless of how much you enjoy your role.
Time management is also a critical aspect of your development when you are working from home. If you fail to manage your time effectively, then you are always going to struggle to stay on top of your tasks. The best way to make the most of your time is to remove some typical WFH distractions like TV, music, or your family. It’s important to let anyone in the house know that when you are in your home office, you are for all purposes, at work.
Ensuring Proper Communication
Communication is key for effectiveness while working from home. Regardless of your role, you will always have employees or colleagues that you must remain in contact with. Technology provides the best answer here and will ensure that everyone in your business remains on the same page. For instance, you could use Microsoft Teams or a similar tool.
Teams is far more than simply a program that allows you to make calls to other members of your business team. You can share files, hold meetings, provide updates, sync calendars and much more. It’s used by more than 1 million businesses with 91 of the Fortune 100 depending on this software. This is just one example of the type of software that will help you remain connected to other key parts of your business while operating from home.
You will also need the right tech for your home office to ensure proper communication. While virtually every laptop and computer now has a built-in camera, it is often worth investing in separate headphones. Headphones with noise cancellation tech will make it easier to effectively communicate and ensure key details aren’t missed on either end of the call.
Other software including a standard CMS for business will make it easier for team members to work together on shared tasks. Or, you could arrange for a developer to design a custom system which will provide specific benefits in your business model.
Don’t forget that communication should also be part of your daily schedule. Take some time to text or call your team members and set expectations in terms of communication levels from all parties in your business.
Establishing A Good Workspace
Let’s think about how to create a good workspace which will help guarantee you are effective in your role. First, do consider your comfort and make this a priority. While your office space shouldn’t feel like a spa retreat, it should help you avoid issues like RSI. Repetitive strain injury is the most common injury for office workers today. If you are working from home, you need to invest in ergonomic furniture which provides the right support while you are typing. Think about your posture too. Maintaining the right work posture is easier if you match the height of your desk and your office chair correctly.
Of course, you should also avoid issues with clutter and mess where possible in your home office space. Similar to a standard office space, clutter will slow progress because you will struggle to find the information you need and waste time searching. Both your digital and hard copies of important data should be managed using an efficient filing system which makes it easy to find the information you require at all times.
Other factors worth exploring here include the general environment. For instance, you may want to add some greenery to your home office space. Research suggests that plants in an office environment improve well-being while also helping individuals focus more effectively.
Building Good Habits
If you want to achieve your goals and objectives when you are working from home, then you must always focus on building good habits. One of the points to consider here is your daily routine. While it is true that some people are more focused in the morning and others in the evening, failing to maintain a schedule while working from home is the easiest way to miss deadlines. Even if you are operating from the comfort of your own home, you should continue to work on a standard 9-to-5 schedule, similar to how you would operate from a traditional office space.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid breaks. On the contrary, a good habit would be to take ten minutes every hour or so to recharge. This will help guarantee you remain focused and cover more ground while you are working. It’s also worth stretching your legs and going outside for your lunch break where possible. While there are certainly disadvantages of a traditional office environment, one of the clearest benefits is the level of socialization. Working from home, you might need to make more of an effort to speak to people throughout the day.
You can also make technology part of your good habits. Tools like social planner will allow you to manage both short and long-term goals as well as deadlines. You can also explore productivity trackers to check whether you are maintaining your focus throughout the working day.
Consider all these possibilities before committing to a work from home business model, and you can guarantee that endeavors are successful. You will eliminate the headaches and tackle some of the key challenges head-on. Remember, these factors are important to be aware of whether you are running your own company or operating as part of a larger team.