Whether you are forced to work from home because of coronavirus, or you choose to work remotely to avoid the daily commute, if you’re used to working in an office, then it can be a big shock. It can be difficult to adjust to working alone and being in an environment where there are lots of potential distractions.
Here are some ways in which you can the transition from days at the office to working from home.
Sort out your IT equipment
When you work from home, it’s essential that your IT equipment works, as this is your connection to the office. Lose it and you can end up with downtime, which can mean missed deadlines or having to make up the time. Make sure you have a good set up with a reliable internet connection.
You may want to upgrade to business broadband to get more stable service. You should also make sure you have antivirus protection on all of your devices, in case you accidentally visit a dodgy site or end up downloading something you shouldn’t.
Create a quiet space
It’s important to find a place that’s quiet and distraction free so that you can get on with your work. If you can hear the kids, TV or other noise going on, you’re more likely to make mistakes and take ages doing your work. You can create a home office in all sorts of areas of your home, from a repurposed walk-in closet to a corner of your bedroom.
Some equipment you’ll need include:
Close the door
The problem that new home workers often find is that the lines between home and work start to blur. When this happens, it can feel like you’re always at work, which can affect your family and personal life. When you create your workspace, make sure there’s a clear distinction between work and home. Have separate phones and laptops if possible and close the door to your office when it’s not in use, so you don’t think about work whenever you walk by.
Set a schedule and stick to it
Working from home gives you a certain amount of flexibility, but you should try to stick to a routine or schedule whenever possible so you can hit your deadlines. Create a schedule for the day, week and even months ahead, so that you know what needs doing and how long you have to do it.
Try to stay in a similar routine to the office as much as possible. If you fail to do this, then you could easily end up sleeping in, then working late into the night trying to catch up. Get up and get dressed before you start work, take your breaks as usual and be sure to finish at a reasonable time.
Try to socialize every day
When you work with a bunch of people in an office, you always have someone to talk to, and you’ll often have events such as lunches and birthday events. However, when you work from home, it’s easy to become socially isolated, and it can be harder to have an active social life.
Consider joining some apps to make friends, or finding groups that share a common interest, as this will ensure that you don’t feel too lonely when working from home. Many areas have freelancer groups, which can be useful if you are self-employed.
Visit the office when you can
People who work from home can be at a disadvantage as they don’t actively take part in networking and socializing that’s often key to getting a promotion, so stay involved with the office if you still want to be considered for different opportunities.
Working from home is the dream for many, and although it can have its challenges, there are advantages to working this way. However, it’s important to get yourself set up properly, work to a schedule and communicate effectively with the people at your work. This should ensure that your performance remains steady and that you get the most out of remote working.