In today’s circumstances, telecommuting is the new norm for many people. At times, this can mean having a calm space all to yourself for better concentration and efficiency. Other times, it’s a bit more complicated. With the kids running around, the temptation to do other things, and the challenge of finding your groove, working from home is, well, something you have to work on! To help you out, we’ve put together a few tips to help you work from home as happily and productively as possible.
Create a Well-Defined Workspace
One of the most important first steps is to refrain from working on your bed or sofa. This is crucial for defining a clear separation between work mode and home mode. Instead, opt for a desk or table in a room with plenty of natural light to boost your energy and avoid an afternoon crash. If you have space in front of a set of windows, that’s perfect! Avoid setting up your workspace in such a way that you end up facing a wall. This can really put a strain on mental stamina and creativity. Whenever possible, make sure to set up your professional space in a quiet room without foot traffic (especially if you have kids!). This will make it far easier to concentrate, not to mention being preferable when you’re on video calls.
Personalize Your Zone
Few things are more detrimental to productivity than a bland and impersonal workspace. The same goes for one that is either too empty or too cluttered. Let your creativity run free and personalize your zone! Whether it’s framed photos, potted plants, or colourful office supplies, try to infuse the area with a bit of character so that it feels more “you”. At the same time, be sure to keep it tidy and professional. Another detail to always bear in mind: ergonomics. Make yourself comfortable, opt for an ergonomically friendly office chair, keep your screen at the right height, and use a footrest!
Don’t Tempt Yourself
It’s easy to get distracted when working from home. It could be the television, notifications on your phone, the distant cry of your favourite book as it begs to be read in the sun…Basically, there is no shortage of temptations around the house. It’s therefore more important than ever to put our desires on pause, remembering that we’ll be able to enjoy them far better during breaks or once the workday is done. Oh, and speaking of breaks…
In order to be more efficient, you have to take breaks! Keep in mind that we’re not talking about long breaks sitting in front of the TV. Instead, it’s essential to take breaks that truly allow the mind some room to breathe, stretch its legs, and return to work with a more sharpened sense of focus. Allow yourself a little time to talk to your loved ones, see what’s happening on social media, eat a snack, get some fresh air, read an article, get some exercise, or listen to one of our recommended podcasts!
Create To-Do Lists
Before you let the work pile up and end up feeling overwhelmed, you’ll have to get organized. It’s fundamental for working from home! Every day, make a list of tasks on paper or using management software tools such as Asana or ToDoist. Keep your lists relatively short and manageable so that you don’t feel overworked or frustrated if you aren’t able to fully tackle them. You can also use the 1-3-5 method to give yourself a more approachable structure to work with. This technique divides the day’s tasks into three categories: one main important task, three secondary tasks of medium importance, and five low priority tasks. Give it a try!
Stay Connected With Colleagues
Whether you’re self-employed or have coworkers, keeping in touch with others is highly important. There are plenty of ways to do so, from audio and video calls to workplace chat applications like Microsoft Teams. It’s key to avoid isolating yourself and instead maintaining a good working dynamic with strong communication. It can work wonders for your motivation and focus. If you miss having lunches with your coworkers, you can organize them virtually, or even have a remote after-work drink. Naturally, it’s not quite the same as keeping up morale in person, but it feels good to keep in contact nonetheless!
Don’t Abandon Your Routines
This is advice that can’t be repeated enough: Even if you’re staying at home, taking care of yourself and maintaining strong daily routines is of the utmost importance. Don’t worry, you’ll get to see your pyjamas again at night! Set your alarm, eat breakfast, take time to get ready and put together an outfit just as if you were headed to the office. These are all essential for energizing yourself and getting into a professional state of mind. To look presentable and work-ready, choose comfortable clothes with a touch of class. You can get plenty of inspiration from our recent blog on fashion routines, not to mention our outfits at Laura and Melanie Lyne!
What are your tips and tricks for working efficiently from home? Share them with us in the comments!
Adapted from French by David Harris