As good an option working from home is, it can often become frustrating if you don’t have the right habits or tools. It is natural to feel isolated and demotivated working alone. It is a proven fact that one performs best when accompanied by a friendly working environment where one can interact with colleagues. It is of course not the ideal scenario for most but benefits many in several ways.
With the recent changes in lifestyles and advances in technology, organizations have realized the benefits of remote work for both, their costs and the ease for their employees. As an employee, you get to save so much time, energy, and money from the commute. You can spend your lunch and tea breaks with your family. If you are a homemaker along with an employee, you can be around the kids and look after the house a bit as well. As soon as your working hours are over, you are right back in your homemaking time for your family.
Everything has a downside too. One may find it difficult to stay motivated and productive during working hours. One might feel sluggish, knowing that the office is right there in the next room and if you do not set the right routine, you might end up wasting a lot of time stretching, putting your head down, and dreading the day ahead. Or, you may completely forget about taking necessary breaks and end up working too much and being tired.
There are a few tips that are going to help you stay productive and motivated while working from home. It’s not that bad after all!
Look at the Bright Side
“The grass is always greener on the other side of the wall.”
It is all about perspective and how you view things. Work from home is now a new model which is used by people across the world. It has told us so much in the recent past. Of course, like everything, it has its downfalls as well but has been of great benefit to some. People can avail job opportunities across the world without being restricted to geographical areas. It is a cost-saving model that works for both; business owners and employees.
You get to stay close to family, save energy and resources that you can eventually invest in your home. It is easier to juggle personal and professional responsibilities side by side. Yes, a lot depends on your employer but things have drastically improved in the past year in terms of other’s consideration.
Have a Morning Routine
Start with a workout. Working out has proven to be of great benefit to the brain, thus increasing productivity and alertness. Moreover, staying fit is as important. A healthy body has a healthy brain. Working out in your backyard or garden is a great way to freshen yourself up. Have a good breakfast and make your cup of coffee yourself as a warm-up for the day ahead.The earlier you start your day, the easier it would be for you to cope up with any delays or unexpected events happening during the day. And, you will be able to finish up early; leaving you more time for yourself. Get over all the procrastinating and consider having a routine and a place to invest your brain and heart a blessing.
Start with a workout. Working out has proven to be of great benefit to the brain, thus increasing productivity and alertness. Moreover, staying fit is as important. A healthy body has a healthy brain. Working out in your backyard or garden is a great way to freshen yourself up. Have a good breakfast and make your cup of coffee yourself as a warm-up for the day ahead.
Set up Your Workspace
Set up a dedicated workspace for yourself. Having a proper workspace is crucial to having the right mindset to work. Invest in getting yourself a functional and comfortable desk and chair that supports your posture. Make sure that your chair supports the back and the height is adjusted to avoid any dysfunction in the neck, back, and hands. Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is one of the major threats if there is a compromise on the body posture. One should keep getting up from their desk every half hour to stretch and do some hand exercises. Lookup for the best posture to avoid any such complications and use them in setting up your workspace.
Place the required peripherals at the right location that works for you and keep your desk as less cluttered as possible. Comfort and functionality of your work area are the keys here. A good aesthetic can surely help make spending a significant amount of time at your desk easier. It is a good idea to set your workspace in an area where there is less distraction and noise. To keep yourself more proactive, add an extra monitor, especially if you are related to the field of software development, designing, 3D modeling, rendering, video & audio editing, etc.
Nice View & Proper Lighting
Having a work area with a nice view is a luxury that not everyone has, especially if one is living in an urban city. If you are not lucky enough to have a breathtaking view of nature from your window right next to your workspace, then what you can do is add a few plants. A nice view next to where you are working can be relaxing and can enable you to work longer with peace of mind. Maybe add some colors to your view as well and redecorate as you like. Plants are also a great addition near your desk.
Make sure you have good lighting to avoid straining your eyes when working. Looking at computer screens all day can be tough on the eyes. The same is the case when you are reading any paper material or just focused on something for long periods. Adequate lighting can help keep your productivity levels high and your health secure.
Highspeed Internet & the Right Peripherals
When working remotely, it is extremely important to have a good internet connection as the majority of your communication and work-related tools will be online. Having a highspeed primary internet connection and a backup internet is very important so that you are not completely disconnected from your team & clients if your primary internet connection goes down.
High quality peripherals like a good camera and mic are extremely important while working remotely. You might need to connect with colleagues or clients from time to time, depending on the nature of your work. Make sure that your mic and camera are both high quality and reliable. You don’t want your voice breaking and your video distorting now and then. Nobody likes hearing “I can’t hear you well” or “your room is too dark” even if you are in a silent, well-lit room.
Establish Ground Rules for Family
While working from home is the best thing for some people, for others, it might be a nightmare, especially, if one has a large family and no dedicated workspace. To be effective when working remotely, some ground rules should be set in place for the family to not distract you from your work. This means keeping your work area off-limits during work hours and especially during calls. You can of course catch up for some quick family time during lunch or tea breaks but just make sure you monitor your time and not let it hinder your work.
Use Online Tools for Collaborative Working
It is a great idea to make use of online tools to maintain collaborative working. Tools like Asana, Notion, Coda, Confluence, Dropbox Paper, and numerous others help teams keep track of the ongoing activities, share documents, make real-time changes and work effectively.
Staying in touch with co-workers is essential for high performance when working from home. Luckily, we are blessed with all sorts of apps to do just that. Meeting tools have played a great role in making work from home an easier task. Stay in touch with your co-workers via calls, emails & messages to be connected to what’s going on and minimize delays. Slack, MS Teams, Discord, Zoom, and many other similar apps are very effective tools for collaborating when working remotely.
Plan Your Day
Smart planning is key for you and your team’s productivity. A to-do list always helps to keep track of ongoing activities and tasks to be done. Knowing what tasks are to be done in which order by whom and how much time will they take should all be taken into account when planning your day. Documenting your plans helps give clarity to you and your team. As highlighted earlier, using online tools like Asana, Todoist, Trello etc. can be very useful in writing down your daily tasks and sharing them with team members.
Sometimes, you can be your motivator as you know yourself best. To break out of the monotony, listen to some music. Listening to music releases endorphins in the brain that can make you feel good and give a heightened sense of excitement. You may even dance to your favorite song like no one’s watching. Use apps like Spotify, Apple Music and Soundcloud to stream music online while building a great playlist. Listen to instrumental music while working to keep you active.
Keep tasty snacks in reach is one way to keep your mood elevated. Having tasty treats can be just the right thing to have when you are stuck on some task and your brain isn’t helping. A break to the kitchen can do wonders for your mood and energy levels. Just be conscious to not eat too much of the good stuff and set the big cheat meals aside for the weekends.
Take Breaks & Avoid Over-working
Taking short breaks is essential when working from home as it helps regain energy and focus. It is easy to get overworked when working from home and one must be mindful of taking time out every once in a while. Just be sure to not be on a break for too long as self-supervision is a key trait to being effective when working remotely.
When you work, play, eat & sleep at home, sometimes it can get hard to separate personal & professional life. This is especially true for highly diligent employees who lag behnid in establishing a balance and their lives start revolving around work. Even if you are fond of your job, working in this manner for too long can leave you burnt out as your work and personal lives become one. Make sure to attribute time to both prospects of your life wisely so that when you wrap up your day, you are able to spend a cheerful evening with family and when you log in for work the next day, you are refreshed and motivated.
Finish Your Day
When you have had a productive day where you did not put the snooze button off all the time, you would feel good when winding up. Having a significant task done in the day is an achievement. Fulfill your goals and once your office hours are over, just give yourself some time till the next day starts. Take a walk, spend time with family, have a good dinner, and maybe sit back and enjoy a movie! After all, you have had a productive day where you delivered your best!
These tips are a great way to boost your motivation. A happy self = a happy employer. Take WFH as an opportunity to learn and appreciate the simpler things in life.