If you are used to working in an office or other centralized workspace, you may run into some initial difficulties when transitioning to working from home and it can take a little bit of getting used to. However, the adjustment period does not need to be a lengthy one, and there are a number of practical things you can do, in order to settle into a new way of working and get past some of the common teething problems.
Continue reading for some specific tips on managing this transition or check out this complete guide: How to Work from Home: A 2020 Guide to Remote Work.
Transitioning to working from home is vital, because there are clear differences between working in an office and working independently, while physically isolated from your work colleagues. Nevertheless, there are a number of things you can do to make this transitional period more manageable and to achieve a level of consistency.
Once you learn to make the adjustment, it becomes much easier in the future to switch between office-based working and telecommuting, as required. In this article, we offer four tips to assist with this.
1. Stay in the Work Mindset
Part of transitioning to working from home involves changing the way you view your home. For many people, there is a clear divide between work life and home life, with this being clearly flagged in your mind by travel to and from the workplace, and defined working hours. However, with remote work, it is easy for this to change, as the divide is no longer so clear and the flexibility can allow working hours to creep into what would normally be personal time.
Try to think about how you would behave in a physical workplace and then replicate the behavior as much as you can while you work from home. For example, you could follow your usual morning routine, you could establish a location with your house where you will actually do your work, and you can establish clear working hours.
2. Get Used to Video Calls
If you have not previously utilized or relied upon video calls very often, it is best to try to get used to them as soon as you can. After all, there are numerous business benefits of video conferencing, including the ability to convey information clearly, in a similar way to how it would be achieved in face-to-face meetings.
However, beyond this, video calls are a great way to recreate some of the social interaction that you would typically have over the course of a working day in an office. Maintaining the right level of social interaction while working from home can be vital for your mental health, which can suffer if you do not take precautions.
3. Prioritize Time Management
Another common problem when adjusting to working from home concerns managing your own time effectively. When you are not supervised, in close contact with stakeholders, and when there are not the usual breaks in the day to provide structure, it can be surprisingly easy to lose track of time, lose focus, or procrastinate.
One of the best ways to try to manage time while working from home is to not only organize the work you plan to do over the course of the day, but plan out when you will do each task. Tools like Google Calendar can assist here, allowing you to schedule individual tasks, and sticking to this and will help you to keep up your productivity.
You may need to have a certain degree of flexibility, as things do not always go to plan, but structure is important.
4. Remember to Take Breaks
When you are getting used to how to work from home, it can be easy to neglect the breaks you would usually take during the working day. Yet, these breaks exist for a reason – they give you time to rest, de-stress, collect your thoughts and prevent yourself from becoming completely overwhelmed.
Remember, in addition to the proper breaks you take over the course of the day, including for your lunch, you should also take smaller breaks to get up, move around and help to protect your eyes from problems associated with staring at a screen all day. Moreover, finishing work on time, whenever possible, can also help you to recuperate.
The process of transitioning to working from home can seem daunting at first, especially if you are not used to working in isolation. However, with the right strategy and some basic self-discipline, the adjustment does not need to be especially problematic and you should soon get used to the fundamental differences in approach.
Be sure to check out what’s essential when working from home by reading Essential Tools for Remote Work or continue to learn more with our comprehensive work from home guide here How to Work from Home: A 2020 Guide to Remote Work.