It goes without saying that a lot of people are working from home now due to the coronavirus. If you’re new to the idea of popping up your workstation at your house, we have rounded up the best work from home tips. On top of trying to find your niche, you may struggle with trying to keep yourself organized while communicating with your coworkers as you work from home.
UNATION is a remote company with the majority of our employees working from the comfort of their home, so let’s just say we know a thing or two about best practices and tools to use while working from home. Here a few best work from home tips and resources we would like to share to help keep you productive during this time.
Your day shouldn’t be too much different from working in the office. If you typically have to be at work by 8AM every day, you should strive to keep that same routine and sign on at the same time.
If you have family at home during this time, you may want to alter your start time to make sure everyone is settled before starting your workday. This will prevent people from interrupting your flow once you’re locked in for the day.
Just as you would do at work, make sure you take breaks—they’re even more important while at home. It’s easy to get so caught up in your work and look up to see half of the day is gone.
You can decide to take short breaks in increments or a one-hour break in the middle of the day. But whatever you decide to do, don’t sit at your desk the whole time. You may become weary, uninspired, or burnt out. Remember, breaks are meant to give you some time to recharge and grab a bite to eat.
Most importantly, when your workday concludes, be sure to shut the computer off and enjoy the rest of your day. It’s easy to allow yourself to be accessible 24/7 when working remotely. Create a stop time and work to complete your tasks by then.
Find your niche once you have decided on a schedule. If you already have an office set up at home, perfect. If not, you can get creative and find a temporary spot for you to call work.
Don’t just sit on your bed or couch to get your work done–nothing can disrupt your workflow faster than being too comfy. Instead, find a spot near some natural light with a table and chair where you sit upright.
Also, if you aren’t home alone during the time, try and keep your workspace away from distractions. It may not be the best idea to set up your station in the kids’ playroom or beside your spouse. Little distractions can have a huge impact on your productiveness.
If you prefer to make your impromptu workstation a little cozy, add a candle to your desk or some pictures. If you’re someone who enjoys white noise, play some tunes in the background. Feel free to make your space personal to your personality, but be sure you are creating an environment that allows you to get assignments done.
This tip is a favorite among UNATION’s employees. Creating a list of things to do will help keep you organized while away from your desk at work. As you fill out your to-do list, make sure you keep it near your workstation so that you can reference it often and not get sidetracked.
Some UNATION employees like to jot down their to-do list on a whiteboard near their desk, while others prefer to keep their to-do list in a notepad that they can keep with them. You may even find it helpful to create your to-do list at the end of each day to give yourself a head start for the following day.
Above all else, make sure you keep your tasks and desk organized. Having your desk filled with unnecessary items and junk can prevent you from having a clear mind. It could also lead to you accidentally knocking things over and creating an even bigger mess.
On top of keeping your desk organized, make sure you update your calendar with meetings. There’s a chance you will still be required to attend meetings via the phone or video chat. You don’t want to be late signing on to meetings. And if you have to, create an alert to remind you to take a break or get up and move.
It may also be helpful to learn your peak hours—a block of time when you are most productive. If you know you aren’t a morning person, it may not be ideal to schedule meetings with your coworkers at the beginning of the day.
If you’re new to working from home, chances are you’re probably unfamiliar with tools and resources that are helpful in keeping in contact with your coworkers. In addition to sharing some helpful tips while working remotely, here are some programs that are useful.
Widely popular among employees who work from home, Zoom is a great program to use for video conferences. You can set up a free account and set up meetings to discuss pertinent issues that are better handled over a chat rather than an email. You can download the software on your computer and better yet, there’s an app that you can use while on your phone, too.
If you have other people in your home, you may opt to use headphones while on your calls to prevent eavesdropping or to simply block out background noise.
Sometimes emails can become overwhelming and may not be the best for quick chats. Slack is a great way to quickly message your coworkers whether it’s a private message or group chat. Just like Zoom, Slack has a mobile app that can be downloaded on your phone to continue chatting even while you’re away from your desk.
Believe it or not, Google is more than just a search engine. Google offers a variety of tools that allows you to keep all of your work saved in one place. You can also easily share documents with coworkers for collaborative projects. In order to get started using the features, you’ll need to set up a Gmail account.
Working from home can seem daunting and even overwhelming but creating a schedule and sticking with it will help you stay on track and remain productive. You should also find some quiet space in your house to use as your temporary office. This will help with limiting distractions during your peak hours.
Once you have your workspace set up, try playing around with different resources like Zoom and Google to help keep up the communication with your coworkers as you practice social-distancing.