Work from home is awesome. There is no worry about rushing up in the morning. Just wake up, get started with your daily routine, and when it is time for office just open your laptop, and log in. No more rushing for cabs, worrying about bad weather or what to wear.
Right now half of America is working from home and the trend has spread to other parts of the world. In every country, people are working from home because of the extensive lockdown due to pandemic.
Work from home is not a new concept that emerged only because of the COVID-19. It has been here for years and available in almost all companies but on a very limited basis.
Previously companies used to provide work from home as an option in a very restrictive manner. You could avail work from home under instances that demanded your presence at home, for example, paternity leaves for men, or in case you had someone dependent on you at home.
Allowing people to work from home means fully embracing the remote working culture. It is a huge step in how we are going to work in the future just like Digital Nomads.
The benefits of working remotely from home are known to everyone. But there are chances that you might feel a little struggle in the beginning in case you have never done it before in your life ever.
This includes two extremes:
- People who aren’t able to work to their highest potential
- People who aren't able to clock out
When we go to work, we usually have a set time to work, and that means we usually don’t bring it to our homes. It is important to ensure that productivity is not hampered even one bit, it is also important to keep in mind that we are not facing any burnout as it will reduce the quality of work and affect our personal lives. Though it is important to work from home with our best potential (without much change in our usual productivity)
Following are some common problems arising due to work from home:
- There is no start or end time and people end up spending the entire day in front of their computer, and this can start causing burnout.
- Personal life gets hampered.
- Homes are not designed for working for 8+ hours and this can decrease productivity.
- Not meeting people directly creates a social disconnect between them.Team spirit gets hammered down as people just have a few online meetings and no tea break or lunch together as it used to be.
We advocate a healthy work culture and strictly advice everyone- Never let your work take over your entire day. If it is becoming a common thing, there is something wrong. Stop what you are doing and figure it out first.
Work From Home Tips For More Productivity and Less Burnout
Just like physically attending the office has its flaws, so does the work from home culture. Working remotely usually brings more opportunities to people of working across the globe with much more freedom. But we should meticulously plan the routine to make it more productive and less hectic.
1. Designate a Separate Work Space
Start by setting up space in your house for work. A place where you can comfortably sit, the environment is good and isolated from random household noises.
Our homes are not designed to work just like an office space so it might be hard initially but it is a good starting point to make your day more productive with more focus. As your daily work things get improved and organized, you won’t get stressed in the early days of not finding the perfect place to work.
2. Setup Your Workstation
Depending upon the work, you might need to buy some additional gadgets or upgrade your existing home work station. Companies these days do offer to set up everything like providing a laptop, extra monitors, other changes, and upgrades to your laptop.
Make sure to get everything set up just like it used to be in the office so that you can just turn on the system anytime and start working. Start by having a really good internet connection and computer.
3. Set Specific Working Hours (and follow them!)
Just because you can start working anytime and keep working because you don’t have anywhere else to go shouldn’t be the reason to overwork.
This is the major reason for burnout. People don’t realize it early but it will just eat your entire time from day one. By working overtime instead of working more efficiently people think they have an entire day to complete the task which is ideally not the case.
Always set your in and out time for office and once completed focus on the other aspects of your life. Communicate your working hours in advance to your co-workers, team, and boss to avoid any confusion.
4. Structure Your Day
When working from home, it is easy to lose focus. Always start with structuring your day depending upon when you are most active and make sure to finish the important tasks on the same day.
This will help you clear your mind and follow a pre-planned schedule. So, no more feeling rushed or burnout as the day progresses.
Keeping all your meetings, events, and personal chores organized can give you a good start for the entire day and will make your day more productive.
5. Pretend Like You're Going Office
Even when you are at home pretend like you are going to the office. This will help you get in the work mode and create a mindset that you have certain official tasks to finish.
Mindset makes the biggest changes in day-to-day tasks. Being prepared for office will help you start the day on a brighter note and set up the pace for the entire day.
6. Exercise and Stretch Regularly
It helps in boosting endorphins, which increases happiness and enjoyment which further helps in enhancing productivity.
Working at home means no more walking which is not very healthy for our body. If you are going to work from home every day, why not set a routine for exercise or even light stretching so your body and brain remain healthy and work more efficiently.
7. Opt For Healthy Meals and Snacks
This should be an obvious one but as the daily routines start loosening up you might end eating just chips, coffee, and other junk food while working because no one is watching you.
If you want to be more productive, eat homemade healthy meals and snacks to give you the energy to keep working and maintain a better mood for the day.
8. Take Regular Breaks
In between your working hours take small breaks to just walk a little, drink water and play with your pets, etc. Don’t end up watching some YouTube videos during break time.
Breaks should allow your brain and eyes to relax a little while looking away from the screen.
9. Reward System
It is completely up to you but try to create a fun reward system for your work. Like if you finish up a certain work then you can treat yourself by eating your favorite healthy snack.
Giving yourself a little reward can boost your mood and working style as well as help you relax when you finish up some important task.
10. Use Time Management Apps
Start using some time tracking apps like Harvest, RescueTime, or Toggl which help you keep a track of how much time you spend on each task the entire day.
You can have detailed analytics of when you are most productive, which type of tasks are taking more time, and whether they can be automated or not, are there important tasks which are getting ignored, etc. With all these information routines can be improved for better productivity.
11. Listen to Music
Music is a great mood booster plus it helps you improve your focus. There are tons of playlists on Spotify for work and background music.
Background music is meant to be played in the background while you are doing something else. For example, in video games, music helps improve focus. The same type of music can be listened to while you are working from home.
12. Regularly Schedule Team Video Chat
Online meetings are an essential part of working remotely. But apart from the official meetings, try video chatting with your co-workers and teammates more often.
It helps in a better social connection between people and makes work enjoyable as you chat and share what is happening. It gives a morale boost to other people as well.
13. Look for Training Opportunities
When you are not in the office with your co-workers it is easy to miss out on many learning opportunities you get while working together. Team learning plays a huge part in career development as well as in making you better at what you do.
When you have started working from home, constantly look for training opportunities from your colleagues or online courses so you keep learning and be more productive at the same time.
14. Communicate More
Working from home makes you feel isolated from everyone and that might create biases in mind for different work and that feeling can hamper your daily work schedules.
To overcome this, try to communicate more about all the tasks, projects, and schedules to make sure everyone knows what’s going on in the team. Being positive about work is a very good sign to work much better.
15. Reduce Distractions
At home when no one is watching you might end up using social media and YouTube in the new tab of your browser and wasting a lot of time on your mobile phone.
Try to cut all the distractions and make it just like it used to be in the office where you see everyone's working and that pushes you to focus on your work, not away from it. Use some browser extension or software like Desktime to see how much time you are spending on productive software vs non-productive software on a daily basis.
16. WFH Outfit
Clothes can set the mood and boost your confidence. Depending upon the work you do and online face to face meetings you are required to do every day, dress up in clothes that give you a professional mood. It can help you be more productive for the entirety of the day.
Enclothed Cognition, 2012 study conducted on the influence that clothes have on the wearer's psychological processes resulted in associating our attire with being productive. This means, if you wear those work attire daily it gives you a boost of confidence in your work routine.
Even if you aren’t leaving the house, still don’t work wearing your PJs.
17. Use the To-do List
The main purpose of using to-do lists is that you plan your entire day’s work in some checkboxes. As the day progresses you can keep checking the task and you can laser focus on tasks that are left without forgetting anything.
To-dos also help in making sure you finish the priority task first. Some of the most popular ones are Todoist, Ticktick or your existing note-taking app might have it inbuilt like Notion or Evernote.
18. Use Ergonomic Furniture
Get some good furniture like an adjustable desk, good posture chair for your spine, easily accessible drawers for accessories, etc.
Working from home while lying on the bed seems like a dream come true but that’s not a very good way to work. You will become less productive with lost focus.
19. Make Time for Yourself Before and After Work
Since you have no commute so don’t just roll up from bed to start working. Use the morning time for yourself to read books, exercise, prepare a healthy breakfast, or learn new skills.
The same goes for after-work - use the extra time with your family or meditate or focus on other areas of your life. This will ensure your work doesn’t take over your life hence any burnout from work occurs.
20. Cherish Your Loved Ones
Due to lockdown and increasing remote working culture, you have more time available for your family as the hours you end up wasting on traffic jams or long commutes are completely saved.
Take a moment to feel loved and cherish the people around you. It is a great way to appreciate what your employer is offering and will surely help your work with more dedication and increased productivity.
Businesses have no option left for maintaining business continuity. The only option is embracing the uncertain condition created due to pandemic and allowing employees to work remotely from their homes.
Work from home is a really good long term move and the current situation is going to boost the global remote working culture. Companies will hire people across the globe and people can work from their own homes at their own comfort.
As work life and personal life start to blend, we need to make sure we keep the fine balance from the beginning to avoid any burnout created by work and maintain productivity.