It is strange how something can become a part of our society in less than a year – for most of us, working from home was just a concept until mid-2020. However, today in mid-2021, it has become a part of our lives. Companies and employees have started understanding the value of flexibility and the impact that putting your trust in the employees can create.
Many major companies have recognized the positive benefits of telecommuting and have granted permission to employees for continuing working from home (WFH) for as long as they want. Working from home has suggested that we can do anything and make any amount of money from the comfort of our homes, as long as we maintain the right discipline.
Many studies say that this WFH or remote working routine is the future of professional employment and we agree on grounds that this scheme really did work. As such, in this article, I have come up with the best tips that you need to work from home in the most efficient manner.
Acknowledge your needs
The person you are the most answerable to is yourself. Do not compromise your health, sleep, or requirements. If you have started working from home, you need to ask your employer to provide you with appropriate equipment. In the event that you are a business owner, you might want to invest in the equipment yourself.
Some of the necessary things for almost all jobs are:
- Peripherals including mouse and keyboard
- Web camera
- USB device
- Printer and scanner
- Management and collaboration software
This is just a rough estimate of the things you would need but ultimately it depends on you and the nature of your job.
Set up a home office
When I started working from home last year, I was ecstatic and loving the idea of working from my bedroom and I did work sitting in my bed for a month or so. But then, reality came over and I got clarity. Work from home requires you to set up a home office. This is because there should be a boundary between your personal and professional life. A home office lets you separate your personal life so you do not get engrossed in your work almost all of the time. Furthermore, the mindset you need to work from home comes when you are attentive and really in the mood which the warmth of bed never lets you have.
A home office does not mean that you need to spend a lot of money; all it does mean is that you need to separate your two lives. Find a quiet room in your home and make peace with it. If you do not have a spare room, you can convert a multifunctional space like a garage or laundry room, into your home office. Make sure that it is not in anyone’s way and that it does have a door so you can block out unnecessary noise and activities.
Put a desk and chair in the room, preferably an ergonomic chair so you do not end up hurting your back. You can also bring a coffee maker so you do not snooze out. Noise-canceling headphones can also be a great addition.
Subscribe to a reliable ISP
All your work from home depends on the stability and speed of your internet. File sharing, team management, collaboration, video conferencing, etc. rely on you having a sorted, superfast internet connection. If you live in a large household, you might want to upgrade your internet plan so you never miss out on anything official.
You can also get a second internet connection solely for professional reasons. Ask your current provider about some deals and packages that can suit your requirements. You can search around and see if some other providers are offering better services; for example, I switched from my provider after I found that Spectrum deals offer download speeds starting from 100 Mbps, free modem, free security suite, and unlimited data allowance. It really worked for me so you should look around as well.
Schedule your day
Do not be someone who does not put any effort into himself or herself. Understand that you are the only person who can really make a difference in your life and so take charge. Make a schedule for your day to ensure that you do not just waste it sitting around.
Some healthy tips to map your day around are:
- Start your day by exercising. This can be anything from yoga, meditating, cardio, or simply walking.
- Eat a nutritious breakfast
- Look the part, as well. Studies have shown that dressing up for work, even when telecommuting, really sets the mood and increases productivity.
- Take breaks during work the same way you did in the office. Go out, maybe just to walk your dog or to get a coffee but going out can really nourish your soul at this point.
- Minimize sugar intake and eat lots of fruits and vegetables
- Make time for your loved ones
Work on your communication
Communication becomes an even more important part of your professional life when you are working from home. This is because a simple miscommunication can hail hell and nobody wants that. Talk to your colleagues, subordinates, and supervisors about team strategy, and deadlines.
Since you would be communicating via video conferencing most of the time, here is a rundown of etiquettes that you must take care of.
- Always turn your camera on. Unless the meeting is where you need to be a listener only, you need to have your camera turned on.
- Keep your microphone muted until it is your turn to speak. Insignificant sounds in your background can really disturb the entire group and so stay muted for as long as you do not have to speak.
- Make sure that the light in your room is appropriate and that your background is clean.
- Dress up professionally.
Use WFH Software
There is a lot of room for you to better your WFH routine and for that, you can partly rely on technology. Use software that can help you organize yourself and your work.
Below are some of the best software that you can take help from during WFH:
For project management:
For file sharing:
- Google Drive
- Microsoft One Drive
For time management:
For task management: