Everything is perfect in the remote work, ranging from the possibility to sleep late to flexible and comfortable environment. The only bad thing is that you have to work. How to organize a home office and plan your day to work at home rather than just waste time?
Many of us have the opportunity to practice our profession without leaving home. Many would like to give up daily trips to the office.
In fact, working from home does not just imply using a laptop in the living room. We need to overcome a lot of difficulties. In many cases, remote work turns into a test of our ability to manage ourselves.
The main problem that you will face when you begin to work from home is you. We need to force ourselves to tune into productive behavior. The idea of labor discipline evaporates when there is no supervisor watching you. There are, of course, people who do not care whether their work is supervised or not. This is a fantastic ability, but the majority of us need help.
It is impossible to avoid work all the time when sitting at home. If you are an employee, your boss will notice your flaws and will make you return to the office or will just fire you. And if you are the boss, you will suffer for various reasons, ranging from shame for your behavior to the collapse of your company. Working from home, you need to work. To do this, you need to set boundaries.
The easiest way to tune yourself into work is to love your job. This advice is obvious.
If you walk around the house with so many distractions, delicious snacks and cozy sofas, where you can take a nap, and then think that the most interesting thing is your work, then you are likely to achieve the desired result. So try to love your occupation. Keep in mind that you cannot convince yourself that you love your terrible job. Instead, look for something that brings joy.
Not everyone can afford it. At least not completely. Boring, mundane, and unpleasant duties can be found even in the most interesting occupation. When faced with such aspects, motivation decreases, and therefore it is required to shape the structure of activity.
Be sure to create a timetable
You can allow yourself not to follow it only in exceptional cases.
A sample timetable may be as follows:
- Sit down at the desk at 9:00.
- Deal with administrative affairs: look through e-mails and make plans till 9:30.
- Work until 11:00.
- Practice some sports until 13:00.
- Have lunch from 13:00 to 13:30.
- Work till 18:00.
Work can partly substitute for the time allotted for sports. Your schedule may vary, but it is most important to have it and to stick to it.
It is dangerous to allow yourself to sleep too long because it ruins the entire timetable. It is also important to get up and get dressed. Do not get stuck to the sofa. Do not turn on the TV. Do not start the video. Of course, you can make exceptions, but usually you have to follow the plan. Leave not more than 30-60 minutes for breakfast and dinner.
It is necessary to foresee some time for rest and breaks in the schedule. For example, plan an afternoon walk. You have to understand the difference between scheduled breaks and the decision to play PlayStation for 15 minutes. Having rest is necessary and good for your health, whereas funny games are a dangerous path, unless you have a steel willpower to easily resist the temptation not to work.
The timetable helps to get a cheerful start; many people can work productively early in the day. But there is a second difficulty: if you do not prevent yourself from working, others may interfere.
Those people whose work is not related to time-oriented communications are in a more advantageous position. It is best to allot some time for administrative work at the beginning of the working day. This is probably one of the strongest sources of concentration. If your job allows, check your mail and messages at a strictly regulated time.
Turn off notifications and alerts on your computer; messages can wait until their time comes.
Furthermore, switching between processes may also destroy productivity. So if you need someone or someone urgently needs you, it is better to call. Of course, phone calls are not the best method of communication, but at least you’ll know that the contact has taken place.
Sometimes your work depends on the messages and letters, slowly dripping in your inbox. Most of them are completely useless, or may wait until their time. But it is difficult to organize. But when you succeed, the benefits will be far greater than you can imagine.
Letters and messages, of course, are only one of the distractions. Explain to people without any concession what reasons are good enough to distract you, and which of them are not worth bothering about.
Add chatterboxes to the black list and unsubscribe from the services that bombard you with messages.
Turn off the phone ring. This will help to eliminate external distractions, but still there will remain the ones that you are looking for. To cope with them, use applications, such as SelfControl.
This is a free application for Mac, which blocks access to a list of sites for a certain period of time. It’s just a godsend. You can close:
- social networks Twitter, Facebook, App.net, Google and all that vanity fair with applications;
- mailing and news;
- online shopping.
Use the application at least two hours a day. When your hands reach out for launching Twitter, connection with the service will not be established. And you will remember what you need to focus on. SelfControl helps to concentrate on the work, if you lack strict compliance with norms of behavior.
In a team, it is easier to adjust your behavior in accordance with the public opinion. Expectations and condemnation force people to adhere to social norms. More than ever, it is important at work, especially if your salary depends on the actions of other employees.
At home it’s different because in the short term you can do what you want. But this leads to a disaster. It is important to cultivate professionalism or even professional pride. It is not necessary to wear a tie, but you need to tune the rhythm of work and strive to fulfill the task.
Do you remember that you need to change clothes in the morning? Pajamas are easy to use, of course, but when you’re working they interfere with your self-esteem. Get dressed to feel comfortable, but this should be the clothes for day activities. Get up, take a shower, get dressed, have breakfast, and believe that you have come to the workplace. This is true, in fact.
The next item is conscientious attitude to business. Your home is your office, so you cannot treat the following things carelessly:
- Backup copies. You need a reliable system of backups. It is necessary to automate the process of working from home and provide making remote backup copies. “My dog has eaten my homework” is the excuse that is no longer working. Backup copies are very cheap and certainly cost less than trying to restore your data after a state of emergency.
- Security. Protect your home Wi-Fi with a password (or check if you have already done this), analyze your passwords and do not use them again. Lock the door of your room and do not let the children enter it. Install a fire alarm. Close the door to the apartment. Think about it.
- Ergonomics. The furniture that will prevent injuries from constant strains can never be considered too expensive. Compare a few hundred or even thousands of dollars and constant pain for the rest of your life; compare spending the money now with a fixed payment for the treatment later. Create a comfortable working environment immediately. Even if you work at home one day a week, this is a sufficient reason for the purchase of ergonomic furniture.
- Control your territory. When you are in the office, it is unlikely that someone will come to talk over a cup of tea; at home it should be exactly the same. Only you are responsible for whether your work will lead to success.
The division of work and household chores
All of the above mentioned sounds harsh, and it must be so. You need to concentrate on what you do. But it often happens that people who work full-time from home devote too much time to their occupation. It is also wrong.
It is important to distinguish between work and household chores on the psychological and physical levels. Work must be located in a special place.
Do not sit with a laptop on the couch. If possible, do not put your computer in a shared room. You will be distracted by family members and home affairs; this will annoy your relatives and disturb you.
It is better to have a separate room (part of a room, a niche, a corner, a staircase, a garage…) and work there. Arrange the place as you like, and let everyone know that this is not part of the house – this is your office. When you get there, you are in your work mode. This will also bring positive results.
Your home office should have no other function than the workplace: there should be no rollaway bed, no dining table or washing machine there. Extra things interfere with productivity.
Working from home often leads to loneliness. If you do not communicate with the people who risk becoming a little crazy. Here are some tips:
Do not get rid of noises and sounds. Open a window viewing the park to hear that it is full of life. Kids, dogs, strolling people. Even the radio working in the background helps to cope with the feeling of isolation.
If possible, get the social environment which you will attend from time to time. Social networks do not matter here: they are too much distracted from work. But it is possible, for example, to create a chat with the friends you trust. And even if it is quiet most of the time there, you can always ask a question to the people you know.
And do not forget the daily walks. Regardless of the weather, they have a therapeutic effect.
The last tip draws a line under what has been said above. Success and efficiency are important, of course. But if you give them too much importance, you will lose all the advantages of working from home, and they must be used.
You can enjoy the fantastic benefits of modern life – working from home. It is a dream! Enjoy this dream!
Daily walks are just the beginning. There is nothing wrong in working just before lunch on the day the new game appears or going to the movies from time to time. Otherwise, why would you need work from home?
What else is available at home and impossible in the office?
We strongly advise you to buy the planning board and hang it on the wall. There is hardly any profession that would not find the way to set some ideas on the board. If it is a magnetic board, it will be convenient to attach notes there.
Find a recreation area. It is not always possible to think in silence in the conference room, whereas at home you can always sit at the dining or coffee table. Do not sit there aimlessly; use the outside space when you need to think about something abstract and go beyond the boundaries and limits.
Do exercises. Perhaps you have a gym nearby (or maybe right there in the office), but working from home gives you a great opportunity to keep fit without spending extra money and time. A home office can be equipped with a stationary bike, where you can exercise and work with MacBook Air.
You can do it
Working from home is not for everyone, but this mode is available to many more people than it seems. The key is to keep a certain level of self-control (which is difficult to assess in a traditional work environment), but at the same time enjoy the benefits and rebuild the surrounding area, taking into account your needs and strengths.
The most important thing is to find a rhythm that helps to keep balance between productivity and relaxation. You will also be pleased to realize that the road to work takes just 30 seconds.
Working for yourself, you can work from home. Stay realistic, plan your week, and change the improper items because you know yourself better.
Remember that you should like all of this.