A work-from-home option can be life-changing to employees because they will have the flexibility to skip the stressful trip and late hours at the office, stay home to watch over children or care for family members, and better manage their home life.
If you’re one of the growing numbers of workers planning to work exclusively from home, it’s important to establish a plan and discuss any potential obstacles and solutions with your manager. Here are tips to help you stay productive while working from home.
- Find your ideal working spot to limit distractions, an area that’s designated exclusively for work, doesn’t have to be a formal desk but it should be away from anything that might distract you, like kids or TV. Create and stick to a schedule like you would when working from the office. Only other domestic responsibilities during breaks or designated periods
- Structure and priorities plans, short-term and long term goals for important projects or your daily responsibilities. Prepare your to-do list first thing in the morning, allocating specific hours, and the deadline for each task. Hold yourself accountable for meeting each deadline.
- Create a schedule that includes breaks. By starting and stopping around the same time each day, you’ll keep your job from exceeding into what was supposed to be your break time. Organized breaks into your workday will help increase productivity and boost energy levels throughout the workday. Taking breaks provides the opportunity to re-evaluate your daily goals and make any adjustments if necessary.
- Maintain regular communication and schedule online meetings or conference calls when possible. Ask your manager for a specific time to check-in, ask questions, and share any project updates or daily reports. The more you communicate with remote colleagues, the more connected the team will feel. Also, a centralized calendar sharing your home office hours with members of your team helps ensure projects flow smoothly.
- Stay ahead of your workload by understanding what your manager expects of you and meet those objectives on time. Once it's confirmed to work from home, be certain to over-communicate with your manager during those initial weeks. Share what you’ve already accomplished and communicated to-dos for the coming days. Don’t forget to list priorities for the following day so everything remains top of mind once you resume working the next morning.
Working from home requires no small amount of discipline. In terms of both quality and deliverable, there should be no difference between the work you produce at the office or while you’re at home. Create a routine and process that’s fair to both you and your employer, and follow it as closely as you would when in the office.