Work from home might be more commonplace today, but a lot of us are still unsure of whether it is the right decision for us. This is primarily due to the lack of knowledge around how to work from home and how to do it successfully. This article will provide you with guidance on how to work from home successfully. Work from home is essentially a trade-off between relaxation and seriousness. Both of these are antonyms to each other, but two powerful words to succeed in a work from home environment.
21 tips on how to work from home successfully:
- Prepare the work to-do list for your day
- Set up a defined Workspace at Home
- Develop exceptionally good communication skills
- Faster and Reliable Internet Connectivity
- Well-equipped on technical devices
- Short Breaks in between your work schedule
- Convey your work schedule to family and friends
- Utilize technology advancements to stay connected
- Stay fresh with proper attire
- Follow a healthy lifestyle
- Fluency with computers and laptops
- Avoid personal activities during the scheduled work hours
- Identify your most productive time slots
- Adequate sleep is essential for personal well being
- Buy a good headset with noise-cancellation, volume control, and mute facilities
- Be proactive in accepting assignments
- Start your day early
- Avoid social media during the work hours
- Share your work status daily
- Prepare your leave plans early
- Restrain from subjecting yourself to excessive work stress
Many of us understand the benefits of working from home, for example saving money and time from commuting, working at your comfort, flexibility in time, ability to balance household chores and kids. But seldom do we focus on the productivity aspects. There can be several ways of divulging from the regular work schedule since we are not placed in an external work environment. Hence we need to adopt and adhere to the work from home best practices to be successful and motivated.
Work from Home Best Practices
Let us study some of the ‘work from home’ tips, which would assist us in transforming our home into a workspace. A workspace that is well organized and planned can imbibe positive vibes and will also result in good work. We have compiled 22 tips suggested by experts from their various studies are mentioned below, defining the basic ways on how to work from home successfully.
1. Prepare the work to-do list for your day
Every day as you wake up before even starting for your breakfast, prepare the To-Do list for the day. It is one of the important work from home best practices, helping us to be organized and plan our day properly. You must key in the times required for each activity which would include your meals, working time, work out times, any medical appointments, time with kids and family and so on. Allocation of time is very essential and equally important is adhering to that time. It prevents backlog and unnecessary delays in each activity.
Note: Often we find that we spend more hours in breakfast or lunch at home which we would have avoided in office or would have preferred a working meal. Hence allotment of time even for meals is required for effective time management.
2. Set up a defined Workspace at Home
Set up a particular room or a particular area in your study as a defined workspace. The workspace must be equipped to comfortably place your laptop with the docking or charging station along with your mobile devices. It must have drawers and holders for files or important documents related to your work. You must keep all the stationaries at your desk to avoid any non-productive time loss. Bright lights, comfortable seating arrangement, adequate cooling, and heating facilities inside the room are also one of the essential working from home tips.
Did you know? One of the key ways on how to work from home successfully is centered around a well-organized workspace driving motivation and efficiency.
3. Develop exceptionally good communication skills
Developing excellent and efficient communication skills is the best way to work remotely. Clear communication abilities are considered to be one of the important work from home best practices since you would not be physically present with your peers, supervisors, and juniors. They would not be able to visualize your facial and body expressions and may draw wrong or negative conclusions in cases where the communication is poor or bad. This may lead to unnecessary issues which may sometimes turn out to be grave, leading to work distractions and low productivity.
Additionally, you need to convey the regular work status and also need to understand the work details from your supervisors. Your communication should impart the message you want to convey, precisely and concisely.
Tip: One of the best ways to ensure that your message is being conveyed properly, is to prepare for a playback session from your audience, summarize your conversation at the end of any session and secure time for questions, answers, and feedback.
4. Faster and Reliable Internet Connectivity
People with queries on how to work from successfully are often concerned with their internet connectivity. It is always advisable to perform thorough research on the fastest connectivity options provided by Internet Service Providers. Since you would not be utilizing office internet hence you would need to set up the net connectivity at par with the office. Else it may lead to unnecessary delays in browsing, checking emails, video conferencing, web conferencing and any other activities which need a strong internet connection.
Tip: It is a common practice among work from home individuals to invest in a backup internet connection, in case the primary one fails.
5. Well-equipped on technical devices
Among all the common questions which are asked by individuals on how to work from successfully, a key one is what are the minimum essential devices that need to be set up for proper functioning at home? First and foremost, you need to understand the necessities demanded by your type of work. Normally printer and scanner are required by almost every other job a person is engaged with. It is therefore recommended to be one of the important work from home best practices. A key point you must remember while working from home remotely is a fast laptop or desktop with proper storage space and configurations.
Tip: Ensure you back up all your files and folders from laptop or desktop into an external hard drive. Buy a hard disk with sufficient capacity, says about 1 TB to adequately store all the data.
6. Short Breaks in between your work schedule
The best way to work remotely and remain physically and mentally healthy is to go for short breaks within your work schedule every day. If you continuously sit at a certain place without any movements then it may lead to pains, cramps, chances of being obese, and even may lead to arthritis. Your brain also needs refreshments and break to think appropriately. Continuous exhaustion may lead to saturation, resulting in low productivity.
Tip: Medical fitness is a growing concern among people who work from home. It is recommended to take a short walk or a coffee and tea break in between work schedules. Rest your eyes by going for a power nap or massage them gently with your hands. Stretch your arms and legs to prevent fatigue.
7. Convey your work schedule to family and friends
Family and friends of individuals who work from home tend to misjudge or misunderstand the boundary between professional and personal times. Many are not acquainted with the concept of working from home, especially either the older or younger family members. It is therefore very important to convey your working and leisure times to your near and dear ones to avoid unnecessary distractions. You must never encourage them to call you unless it is an emergency. Set expectations politely but firmly to not invite you for lunch or parties during your work schedules.
8. Utilize technology advancements to stay connected
Working from home tips shared by experts suggest staying connected always with the team. You must be available instantly within your working hours to build trust and confidence among your stakeholders and team. Technology nowadays is much advanced in keeping your well connected with the entire world. UnRemot is one of the best products dedicated to facilitating remote working best practices. Other tools like video conferencing, emails, chats or phone calls etc. are many options that help us to communicate effectively and efficiently to the external environment.
Tip: Your laptop or desktop must have webcam facilities displaying your image clearly during video conferencing calls. The other best way to be aligned with the rest of the team members is to make use of UnRemot: Visit https://unremot.com/ for more details
9. Stay fresh with proper attire
While questioning how to work from home successfully, people tend to be confused about wearing a house dress or maintaining proper professional attire. It is better to adopt a habit similar to the one being followed while at the office. Shower daily and wear attire that is not too comfortable like your Pyjamas, that could tend to make you lazy. A near-professional dress is highly recommended to feel your presence like being at office among colleagues. This generates seriousness and dedication to work perfectly and to work more.
10. Follow a healthy lifestyle
Staying at home provokes individuals to indulge in more food intake as opposed that in normal office hours. This may lead to over-eating and obesity which may hamper productivity and efficiency. Maintain healthy habits even if you are working from home. Do not overeat, eat at regular intervals and avoid junk and fatty foods. Exercise regularly and include fruits and vegetables in your diet. A healthy body invokes a brain to work faster, smarter and quicker.
Tip: Walk, jog or perform free-hand exercises and yoga early in the morning to stay fresh and active throughout the day.
11. Fluency with computers and laptops
While answering questions on how to work from home successfully, experts focus on being tech savvy or more importantly computer savvy. You must ensure your computer speed is proper, all software versions are updated, anti-virus is up to date and is compatible with your mobile devices. Failing to meet the key criteria may lead to unnecessary technical issues and problems. You will lose time in completing your daily work schedule and may struggle to meet deadlines. In turn, your stakeholders, team and project work will be hampered.
Tip: Software specialists generally recommend checking your laptop and computer every alternate day for viruses and software updates. Health checks should be done every week to ensure the computer or laptop is working as per expectations.
12. Avoid personal activities during the scheduled work hours
Work from home sometimes invites favours requested by neighbours, friends and family members. You need to skillfully avoid these distractions and personal commitments. The best way is to politely refuse them by citing examples of an important meeting or appointment. Slowly and steadily people would get adjusted to your schedule and avoid disturbing you in your work hours.
Tip: Even home repairs and other personal tasks, Eg: plumbers, cable service guys, or any other support person must not be entertained within the scheduled work hours. Either you request them to come after office hours or during the weekends just like you would have done working at the office.
13. Identify your most productive time slots
A person can seldom be at a same productive level throughout the day. You need to identify the time when you are most productive and when you are comparatively less productive. Divide your workload in such a way so that the ones which need greater concentration and thinking are done in the most productive time slots. The workload which demands less brain work can be divided into the remaining time slots depending on the urgency and priority. The division of time slots based on productivity level has a direct impact on your planning efficiency.
Did you know? Discovering your self competency level has a positive impact on your efficiency.
14. Adequate sleep is essential for personal well being
Sleep plays an important factor in the personal well-being of a person. A remote worker may fail to follow the proper sleeping schedule on account of the flexibility and luxury provided at home. They may have the notion that one can sleep whenever desired as there is no one to monitor their sleeping or working hours. Though there is a need for flexibility in working and non-working hours, irregularity may disrupt the personal well-being of a person. It is recommended to follow a schedule similar to that of working at an office. Normal sleep at night should be followed and maybe power naps in the day.
Note: A person deprived of sleep tends to be irritated and mentally disturbed, which in turn has a negative impact on productivity and efficiency.
15. Buy a good headset with noise-cancellation, volume control, and mute facilities
Normally when people enquire about how to work from home successfully, they are more concerned about work and personal life balance, distractions, and interpersonal communication. But they forget a very minor but important point and that is a good headset. Since a remote worker has to always communicate via phone calls and video calls, the headset they use must have all the required features. Noise cancellation is an essential aspect which if not present may lead to call disruptions and disturbances. Your message may not be properly communicated and you may also not be able to grasp others’ messages. It may result in miscommunication and misunderstanding in many situations.
All headsets must have mute button features to avoid any unnecessary breathing sound or other neighbouring sounds and it must be used when you are not speaking. Volume control is also an important aspect so that you can adjust the sound level, avoiding unnecessary damage to your ears.
16. Be proactive in accepting assignments
Work from home specialists can demonstrate their skill and efficiency only by completing their assignments as per the mentioned deadlines. They are more trusted if they are proactive in requesting for assignments and committing on dates of delivery. This brings them under the notice of their supervisors and important stakeholders. They may also earn good referrals which may result in further good remuneration.
Tip: An energetic and enthusiastic person who is proactive and eager to work on more assignments and delivering them on or before schedule eventually is noticed for better projects.
17. Start your day early
People who commute to the office are many a time bothered by train or bus schedules and traffic jams if travelling by own vehicle. The instinct forces them to wake up early and be ready for office. But when you work from home, you are not bothered by the early morning rush and may leisure out more in the bed. You must try to get rid of the habit of wasting your time in bed. Instead, you must follow an early morning wake up the regime, however tough it might be. This will help you avoid the morning lethargy and encourage you to start on your daily work early. You can finish your work faster, and spend time with family and friends. You could also then retire for the day with an early supper and good nights sleep.
18. Avoid social media during the work hours
Addiction to social media can cause serious disruption to work productivity and efficiency. Since there is eventually no one to monitor you at home, you may tend to constantly check your social media accounts. The habit is dangerous for your timely work completion and effectiveness. Concentrate on your work and solely on your work during the planned hours. Restrict yourself completely from peeping into your social media accounts even if it is for a minute. Do not install any social media applications on your working computer or laptop. Hide all the applications from view installed in your mobile devices so that you are not tempted to open them.
19. Share your work status daily
An essential tip on how to work from successfully is to prepare a daily work calendar or status report. The report must contain the daily work progress in detail and the next set of tasks to be accomplished. You must not forget to input the end dates of each task and if there are any deviations anticipated citing appropriate reasons. This will help your team, supervisors, and stakeholders to be aware of your progress and your plans. It also generates confidence and trust in a person.
Tip: It is advisable to build positivity among the stakeholders when you are working from home so that you receive adequate assistance and support in case of any work crisis or emergency.
20. Prepare your leave early
Your stakeholders need to be aware of your leaves early. So whenever you are planning to leave ensure you have sufficient time in hand for communicating to the outside world. Additionally, you need to ensure that your assignments are not affected due to the leaves. This will grant assurance to your stakeholders of non-disruption of work even when you are absent from work.
Tip: Always provide an emergency contact number even when you are on leave. This portrays a sense of responsibility on your part for your work assignments or project. A responsible person gains sufficient trust and confidence from his or her stakeholders.
21. Restrain from subjecting yourself to excessive work stress
Due to the flexibility in working hours and extended available time, many remote professionals tend to opt for multi-tasking and excessive workload. That results in stress/tensions and anxiety that affects both their mental and physical health. Productivity eventually will decline and will harm work life. Our stakeholders after a certain point of time will lose confidence and trust thus negatively impacting our professional career.
Tip: Do not force yourself beyond your threshold acceptance level of work. Wear and tear of the brain lead to health hazards and damaged work relationships. It is advisable to avoid it as much as possible for the betterment of your professional as well as personal life.
Work from home has its many advantages and is now an option for many working people in almost all countries of the world, but individuals need to follow certain work ethics to be able to successfully work from home and build a professional career.