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Right now, many employees in the United States and around the world are beginning to work from home for the first time in order to practice social distancing. While this concept may be new and intimidating, there’s no need to worry. It is entirely possible to be just as effective – if not more effective – while working remotely. You just need to heed the advice of these WFH tips.
1. Maintain a normal wakeup routine
Just because you’re working from home, it doesn’t mean you should set your alarm to five minutes before you need to begin working, roll out of bed, and open up your laptop. It is important to keep your regular morning routine to ensure you are all set and ready to go when your day begins. Take a shower, have your bowl of cereal, catch up on the morning news on Twitter – do everything you would normally do to get ready for work. This will help your mind adjust to the fact that today is going to be like any other weekday.
2. Dress for work
This on may sound a little bit silly, but when it comes to working from home, it’s mind over matter. By dressing in work clothes, you are putting your mind in the right state to be productive. You don’t necessarily have to put on your tie or go full pantsuit, but dress yourself more professional than you would for a normal day at home. Working in pajamas or gym clothes is not going to inspire professionalism in the rest of your work.
3. Set up a work station
Do you have a home office area where you can isolate yourself from the temptations in the rest of your home? That’s great – set up a nice working space in there with your laptop, phone, and any other essentials you need. However, most people do not have a home office.
Are you living in a 700 square-foot apartment with two roommates who are also working from home? You need to find a place at a desk or table, away from common areas and out of reach of other temptations like your TV.
By setting up a workstation in your home, you are mimicking your experience in the office. It’s a place you can focus, and if you need to take a break a place you can step away from for a few minutes. If you try to work from home from your couch or bed, you’re trying to work in a place designated for other activities. This never gives you a chance to truly focus and never gives you a chance to take a break. This may be very difficult given you living situation, but setting up a proper working station may be the most important tip on this list.
4. Keep a break-time schedule
The idea of scheduling your lunch hour or coffee break may seem trivial, but if you are just starting to work from home for the first time, it will help you keep times of focus and times to relax your mind. Scheduling in your breaks will define your work from home routine, enabling success if you need to continue working from home for weeks, or even months. Once you have a routine, you don’t need to keep scheduling your breaks from working because you will have developed the habits of knowing how long you should be working and when to look forward to lunch, but you may still want to. It can be tough to concentrate with your fridge right around the corner.
5. Keep open lines of communication
Quick response times are important on emails and chats any time you are working, but especially when you are working remotely. By responding in a timely manner, you are showing your peers that you are taking working from home seriously, and they should, too. This type of encouragement help everyone who is working from home remain focused on their tasks at hand.
6. Take advantage of your time
The greatest benefit of working from home is the time you will save compared to a normal day at work. No commute time. No unnecessary meetings that could be solved with an email. No being pulled away from the project you’re working on without warning. All of these things save time and allow you to focus on the most important tasks of your role. Take advantage of this extra time.
The best way you can use this extra time you will find is to focus it on developing you. Researching and upskilling now will give you a leg up on everyone when it is time to return to the office. It will also help you structure your day. By scheduling in 1 hour of training time from 3-4 p.m., you will be able to maintain efficient work practices while enhancing your own skillset.
Training doesn’t need to stop with you, though. Team virtual training sessions will help keep everyone on task, continue communication, and allow everyone to hit the ground running upon return to the office.
Cognixia has virtually trained over 100,000 people around the globe, offering courses for both individuals and businesses. During this upcoming period of social distancing, take advantage of the time you will have to ensure you are able to maintain your skills and develop new ones. To find out more about Cognixia’s virtual course offerings, view our course catalog here, and get in touch today at firstname.lastname@example.org.