Work-from-home warriors have probably already figured out the tips and tricks that lead to a productive, stress-free remote work day. But if you’re relatively new to a WFH situation, or you’re going to be working remotely for the foreseeable future, these helpful hacks will pave the way for an efficient and enjoyable work environment.
Connect Seamlessly. When you work from home, priority one should be the ability to connect seamlessly with coworkers and managers. The people you interact with should be barely able to tell whether you’re in the office or working remotely. Make sure you’re connected via the same web-based programs being used in the office, such as Gmail, Teams, Slack, Zoom, etc., and have your office line redirected to your home phone or cell. You don’t want your WFH situation to be the reason for glitches in workflow or slow-downs in response times.
Schedule Facetime. One thing you’ll miss when working from home are interactions, big and small, with the team in the office, which can lead to a sense of disconnect and missing out on key information…or just the little soundbites that build camaraderie. So, in addition to scheduling regular meetings through video conference, also be sure to just pick up the phone and have a conversation with a colleague as opposed to constantly relying on email and chat.
Maintain Your To-Do List. Working from home as opposed to heading into a structured office environment can often make for a somewhat nebulous approach to each day, leading to detrimental lapses in productivity. To prevent this from happening, end each day by writing out the top five priorities for the next day. This creates a to-do list that’s not overwhelming and helps you start the next day focused on what’s most important. This will also help you ensure you’re accomplishing key tasks each day, as opposed to wasting your hours with busy-work that could be delegated or set aside for another time.
Take a Lunch Break and End the Day on Time. Many people who work from home feel guilty about taking an actual lunch break or creating a definitive stop time to the work day. These boundaries, however, are actually critical to productivity. Just like they do in the office, these scheduling structures allow you to disconnect from work and switch gears to focus on friends, family and activities. The daily shifts in mindset will help improve the quality of your work, your creative thinking and your focus. So don’t forego them just because you’re working from home.