How To Work from Home: Essentials You Need to Know

by Jess Cooper

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As a remote worker, you have plenty of flexibility to do your job and take part in other activities. However, if you don't watch out for common traps, then the luxury will soon turn into a nightmare. Most believe working from home decreases productivity and breaks team spirit. They attribute it to many distractions you can't resist. But, the main reason for underperforming is a poor foundation. To work effectively even from home, you have to get your basics right. That's why you should take a look at some of the essentials you need to know about remote work.

Set Up Expectations with Your Family 

In an office, you're surrounded by coworkers. At home, you have your family as a company. Often, they may not realize you're actually working which can be distracting at times. That's why it's essential to establish some ground rules with your partner or kids. They should respect your designated workspace during working hours. In case you're sharing an office with someone, setting up expectations is also imperative. You should discuss quiet and meeting times, as well as shared office supplies.

Keep In Touch with Others

As you start working from home, you'll miss the social dynamics you had in the office. The casual chit-chat with colleagues by the water cooler or the talks in the common room during breaks. Your home office lacks this essential social element. Luckily for you, you can still introduce interaction in your workday. Fight loneliness and boredom by keeping in touch with your colleagues and friends. Send messages, jump on a video or audio call to keep the relationships alive. Changing offices doesn't mean you can't communicate with them. Use breaks to drink virtual coffee and bond.

Dress Up for Work 

Most people use remote work as an opportunity to wear sweatpants, messy buns, and no make-up every day. While this level of freedom is allowed, it can harm your productivity and professionalism. What you wear and how you look sends a message to your brain. If you try working in your PJs, the only thing you'll feel like doing is sleeping. But, when you dress up for work, you can be sure you'll get the job done. Also, dressing formally makes you look presentable in case you need to attend any video conferences.

Start with an End in Mind 

Most people assume remote work helps balance their private and professional lives. It's completely the opposite. Without coworkers around you and a strict work schedule, it's easy to get caught up in the workload and lose track of time. That's when your professional life bleeds into your personal one. The key to balancing both is setting a clear boundary. For example, start your workday with an end in mind. Set an alarm at a specific part of the day to remind you it's time to call it quits. The simple act of logging out and shutting down the devices will prepare you to leave work stuff behind.

Follow a Morning and Evening Routine 

Binge-watching all night is a great pastime. But, how do you feel in the morning? Sleep-deprived and easily irritable, that's for sure. How can you expect to deliver at work in that state? This is why you need to follow a routine that will help you to lead a healthy lifestyle. For instance, start or end your days practicing yoga or mindfulness. Light stretching and deep breaths can clear your mind and set the tone for the day ahead. If practiced in the evening, they can relieve stress and help you relax for better sleep.

Prepare Meals in Advance 

As tempting as cooking a healthy meal sounds, it's also a time trap for remote workers. You can get carried away and spend more time than necessary on meal preparation. Why not prep your meals the night before instead? Since cooking is a relaxing activity, you can do it after a hectic day in the home office. This way, you won't be taking time away from your daily work tasks, and you'll still get to enjoy a nutritious homemade meal.

Block Social Media 

For most of us, social media are our guilty pleasure. As soon as we open our eyes, we're checking our feeds. We do the same before we go to sleep. Although they help us connect with others, they also distract us from doing our work. Especially during remote work when there's no one watching. Checking your phone every second reduces your productivity and engagement at work. To keep performing well, you should block social media while you're in the office. If you can't resist and you have to look up updates, then make a deal with yourself. Promise you'll work for a definite time, and then, if you manage to complete the task, you can log in to social media as a reward.

Final Thoughts 

Thanks to the flexibility, remote work is popular among today's workforce. If not organized properly, then you'll miss out on a great opportunity. With these essentials, you're setting yourself up for success in remote work.

About the Author 

Jess Cooper

Jess Cooper is a part-time journalist and blogger based in Sydney, Australia. She is a very organized person, with a good eye for details. She enjoys writing about different topics related to lifestyle and event planning. She likes giving advice on event planning and organization, as well as photo booth hire in Sydney.

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