Things get a little messier when you switch your on-site work to remote work. Working from home is not always what we think it is (fun, rest, efficient). Maybe you already are working from home and haven’t managed to solve the puzzle of efficiency yet.
But when you have the right list of do’s and don’ts it might just get easier. Here are 7 of those crafted just for you.
1. Do Communicate With Your Team
When working from home, especially when you haven’t worked remotely before, you are bound to have some communication problems. It is necessary to be in touch with your collogues. To solve the tiniest doubt as soon as possible.
Best practice to do it would be to over-communicate. Doesn’t matter how small the issue is, go ahead, communicate. Use video calling apps like Skype for business, Google hangouts, Cisco WebEx.
A simple miscommunication would make things harder in the long run for your project. It is better to be safe than sorry. For better productivity make a feedback loop so that each one will get the chance to reassess the work done in a timely manner.
2. Do make a schedule
Being at home, it is very easy to slide into other activities (watching that very exciting commercial on TV) which will reduce your efficiency. Instead, make your ‘work from home schedule’ which will keep you on track.
Don’t stretch it, make it just like your official work hours and easy to follow. Don’t forget to share it with your team members or else they will make their own schedules (remember miscommunication?).
You can use Google calendar as well as Trello (which is an awesome software for collaborations). On the schedule, allocate time slots for discussion of goals (before you begin your workday) and feedback loop (at the end of the workday).
3. Do Have SMART Goals
Of course, you are a star performer of the company but when you work remotely without proper timelines and goals it is very easy to work for hours with no productive results.
Having a goal decides the direction of your work and hence you will have a stepwise plan. Also when you have a goal you will have key matrices to measure the progress of the goal. It is very important that you start your home-working hours with SMART goals in mind.
Some examples are- Complete 25% work of the ongoing project by the end of today’s work hours. Sounds smart, right?
Also decide your weekly, monthly goals and share it with your teams. Keep everyone in the loop, track your progress and keep on being the star performer!
4. Do Take Breaks
Don’t fall into the trap of working straight for eight hours. That sounds like an effective plan but it isn’t. Studies have shown that you need a break after working for 60-90 minutes.
Neurologists have shown that your left prefrontal cortex does all the focusing, thinking, logical reasoning work. Due to this, it needs some time to get refreshed. A ten-minute break will re-energize your brain and body. So add those to your schedule too.
Don’t forget about the naps. Ideal twelve-minute nap is supposed to increase your productivity by five times than that of without a nap. But be careful it might just get converted into two-hour sleep. It’s not that easy to resist a sugary sleep.
5. Don’t Work In The Whole House
Laptop on the kitchen counter, smartphone in one hand and a glass of milk (or coffee or tea) in other. Does this sound familiar? Working from home doesn’t mean spreading your work throughout the house. Mixing everything up might just backfire at you.
Find a quiet place with a desk and a chair. Treat that area as if that is your office. This will make your brain think your work is serious even when you are working from home and you will also feel the motivation which is critical working remotely.
Don’t forget to dress up professionally. It will give you confidence when you communicate with others.
6. Don’t Multitask
I am already going to apologize to burst your bubble. Multitasking doesn’t exist (drum roll please). If you decide to take a quick tour in neuroscience you will realise that what we call ‘multitasking’ is nothing but you (rapidly) switching from one task to other.
This continuous switching is tiring for your brain. So shut that TV off while working. Don’t listen to music while reading that report (You can listen to your favourite song during the break).
Now that you know it’s switch-tasking, not multitasking, don’t forget to tell your friends and family. ‘Be the one who takes care of their brain’.
7. Don’t Forget About Family And Friends
Work is important but it’s not the priority, your family, your happiness is. Being at home, there is a very thin line between spending quality time with family and working (thinking about the work) all the time.
When you leave your workspace, make sure to leave all the work behind. Cook your spouse’s favourite dish. Help your kids build the fort. Call all your friends and let them know you still care deeply about them. Circle out the date night with your partner. Take care of your health. Eat well.
The list is long but the point is work from home can be a blessing if you keep your priorities in check. You will never regret spending time with the family.
Hope this helps you to make your remote job easier. If you have never worked from home then you better get used it because according to the recent data work from home is going to be the new normal.
All the best for your new expedition. Don’t forget to tell us about your work from home experience.