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Remote work is a dream for many office-bound workers out there. If you’re one of them, you’ll quickly find out that it’s not as easy as it looks. It’s much more than a typical desk job; without discipline, the lines between your work life and home can become blurred.
Working from home is another skill to master. Once you build a system that works for you, it can be a rewarding experience. Here are some tips to help you succeed in your new home office life.
Set Your Work Space
Having a workspace is more than setting up your laptop, rearranging furniture, and getting a coffee machine. Designate an unused area to call your own. Keep it clean and clutter-free, remove distractions, and find a place for everything you need throughout the day.
Be Your Own Boss, Literally
The role of a boss is to manage, lead, and inspire employees to bring great results and manifest the company’s vision. When you work remotely, it’s up to you to keep yourself in line. While the idea of not having a boss is appealing, be prepared to fill their shoes. This can mean anything from setting and meeting your goals, tracking your progress, or simply staying focused.
If your task is to learn more about dedicated servers, make sure that’s what you do, instead of getting distracted and surfing the web for the latest news. Keep yourself in line, and you may find you’re more productive than at the office.
Follow Your Dress Code
It can be tempting to treat every day as a dress down day, but working in your pajamas is proven to affect your productivity. The act of dressing up signals your brain that it’s time to work and not watch Netflix.
The idea is to create a divide between what clothes you wear when you work versus what you wear to unwind at home. It should also be suitable for video calls in case your boss decides to check up on you.
Know When to Clock In (And Clock Out)
A regular work setting has it all: a schedule, a breakroom, and coworkers inviting you to go to lunch with them. Without it, the lack of structure can interfere with your workflow. It’s difficult to be late to work when you don’t have to commute (unless you sleep late), but the greater concern is knowing when to log off.
According to many remote workers, it’s easier to overwork than slack off at home. People tend to work more from home because it’s harder to “leave” work. Protect your time by being strict about your in-office hours. If you run out of time, your work will most likely be waiting for you the next day.
Put Up a “Do Not Disturb” Sign
Your loved ones may be excited to have you at home more, but they may not associate your time at home as “work”. Boundaries must be set immediately to avoid interruptions during meetings and work hours. This is a common issue, especially with workers who have children at home.
If they’re old enough to understand, talk to your children, and give them visual cues to signal that you cannot be interrupted (except emergencies). If possible, make arrangements for someone to watch them or give you a hand when needed.
Get Out More
When you spend both your working hours and downtime at home, it’s easy to feel like a hermit. Prioritize time to leave the house, or at least take video calls and socialize whenever you have free time. Planning your social interactions ahead of time will help prevent burnout. It happens to the best of us, introverted or not.
The most important part of your new home office journey is to be patient with yourself. It’s possible that you don’t nail it right away, and that’s okay. Make adjustments as you go along until you find a work dynamic that fits your style.