Make Working from Home Permanent
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 31% of workers started working from home between March and April due to the pandemic. Many decided to make that change permanent. If you are a professional who has lately been attending Zoom meetings in lounge pants and office tops, you are the face of the new workforce. You now manage your schedule with some actual flexibility, such as you sleep if you can, deliver your work on time, and take a coffee break as many times as you need.
Employees and workers are starting to see the benefits of such an arrangement. Bosses do not see a reason to micro-manage if the work is completed with the expected quality. As long as workers get paid, they proved to be able to adapt to the circumstances. Working long hours is less stressful from home than when you have to hit traffic at 8 am.
Unfortunately, interruptions and distractions are the most significant risks to excellence in telecommuting. Keeping focus can be hard when you are free from the “no phone policy.” On the same token, you do not get to clock out mentally as quickly as you probably did when you closed your work laptop or locked the front door to go home
From an employer’s perspective, telecommuting jobs are cost-effective. They also enhance productivity - a bonus. From a worker’s end, the new setting provides independence and flexibility. Combined, the advantages of work-from-home jobs turned a temporary situation permanent in several industries. With that in mind, you need the 3 tips below to make the most of your transition:
1. Have a clear dedicated work space
To minimize distractions, pick the ideal spot at home where you can sit for hours at a time with your laptop. It does not need to be perfectly neat, but it has to be functional: no getting up to grab post-its, water, or a phone charger. Have a place for everything you need: your favorite mug, extra note pads, wall chargers, and cords. Make it pleasant with a framed picture or motivational quote where you can see it. Make sure the light bulb is blue; yellow is not flattering on Zoom and creates more heat. Remove clutter, so you do not feel overwhelmed. If you do not have space for a more oversized desk, work at that small table corner. Just make sure you spend less and less time organizing before you can sit and resume.
2. Background noise is not the enemy
Loud and repetitive noise is not only intrusive but stressful. That is why it is crucial to study your environment to predict the noise: is there a day when the three outside is trimmed by the building maintenance team? Does your window face a busy street? If you cannot reduce loud, interrupting noises by having your desk away from those, manage your working hours around the noise: work late at night and early in the morning, for example, and do your house chores, online shopping, and TV watching during regular business hours. A little background noise can be helpful. I have a small balcony from where I see a tree where birds chirp all morning. I love sitting there before it gets too hot. I bring tea and my laptop. Of course, I also hear my neighbors moving their cars out of the garage, but that is fine. Many people love working out of a coffee shop or library because there is just enough background noise in the background to keep them awake and stimulated without being too distracting.
3. Keep Your Goals in Sight
Have a visual reminder of your goals. I love using task trackers that give me graphics with results of my work: how many deals closed, how much money was made per week, how many clients were contacted. For every industry, there is a way of visualizing your productivity in graphics. Besides, working from home allows you to have a paper calendar on your wall. Crossing off tasks on an actual paper calendar can be a pleasure. It is also easier to visualize your day as soon as you wake up. I even mark how many teacups I want to drink per day as a reminder: two, green. I also note my workouts (every other day while watching any light reality show on Hulu).
On your calendar, write down a day off and commit to it: no chores, no work, just TV, reading, cooking something special, having a glass of wine, soaking in the bathtub. Working is only allowed if it is on a passion project or a hobby. With one day with a clear self-care goal, you will feel energized and productive for the rest of the week. Following these simple tips for setting up a work from the home environment can help you move forward. It is nice getting comfortable with remote work for the post-pandemic times.