Working from home - Tips & Tricks to Survive

Suddenly Working from Home

Tips & Tricks

Suddenly Working from Home? – Tips & Tricks

I was so excited to work from home (WFH) many years ago when I changed from in-office to remote working. I thought it would be great to have the freedom to create my own unique work schedule. The reality, however, was totally different. To help you avoid the same mistakes I made, I compiled some of my best tips for success while working from home.

Remote Work is Not New but the Speed at Which You Need it May be

I know. This is not the first article about how to organize your work from home schedule. VPN, time registration, call forwarding – your head is probably whirling from all the technology you should install. In addition, you need to balance the new circumstances at home: possibly looking after kids, managing housework, and fighting against your own distractions while at the same time achieving your normal job performance.

That´s why you should take a minute to calm down. Yes, I mean it. NOW!

The remote work situation is not that bad or difficult at all. Many of your peers are in the same boat and need to stay at home. That´s why everyone understands if you’re swamped – even your boss and your customers. Moreover, most organizations are scaling down the expectations of their employees for a few days or weeks until everyone gets used to the new situation. Take the time to get your remote workplace organized and to arrive there mentally. With the right planning you will be as productive as when you were in the office – all without additional stress.

My Personal Top 5 Work from Home Tips

#1 Clothes make the worker

The right attitude for working remotely starts with your choice of clothes. If you only put on your baggy sweat pants or don´t get dressed at all, your body thinks it is Sunday. It turns on the Netflix mode instead of the business mode. That is the reason why you need to outwit your gut feeling and get dressed as you would for a day in the office. This is also essential for the rest of your morning routine - have a coffee, take a shower, and do your hair. Everything as usual.

Beyond that, your outfit sends the signal to your family that now is the time for work, not leisure. If a parent is dressed in work attire it helps the kids understand that now is not the time for roughhousing. Placing a sign on the door can also help avoid disruptions.

#3 Establish you own workspace at home

The most important thing to efficiently work from home is having your own workspace. If you already have your own home office, you are all set up. However, those of you who don’t have a home office need to look for a quiet place within your home to work. A neat, light-flooded, and most importantly steady place is essential for your concentration. If you don´t have a writing desk, you could choose the kitchen table with a reasonably good chair. The couch and the bed are not good places to work from as you mentally connect them with a timeout. Therefore, they won’t help you to concentrate with your full mind and soul.

It´s clear as daylight: any kind of disruption should be avoided. That includes keeping your private cell phone in another room while you work, not readily at hand.

#4 Don't go stir-crazy

Many people, especially workaholics, work even more in remote situations. However, a few breaks are necessary to keep up your productivity, especially if you have to participate in a lot of calls.

I personally have a blocker for lunch. From 12:00pm – 12:30pm, I always show as “busy“ on my calendar.

Additionally, from time to time I allow myself a 15-minute break to enjoy the sun on the balcony or to go for a short walk – alone or with the dog. Making a point to leave the house once in a while is the best way to avoid going stir-crazy. Use the opportunity as a timeout for your brain!

#5 Don´t do household chores during the workday

At home, I always have projects I´d like to get done – from changing light bulbs to tidying up my wardrobe. “I’ll just do this quickly“ could go through your mind.

However, household chores are neither a good task for a break nor a good alternative to your job. If you start to blur the boundaries between both, you will lose valuable time.

My working from home tip: If a to-do crosses your mind, write it down and handle it after your workday is complete.

Conclusion: Successfully Working From Home Requires You to Set and Stick to Some Rules

You don´t need to stick to my tips 100%. Nonetheless, you need to set up and follow your own rules to successfully work from home and avoid going stir-crazy.

From my perspective, the most important first step is to try to continue in the same way as you worked before in the office. This will help you to more quickly return to normal working conditions. In addition, don´t forget that for every challenge, there exists a solution. Via video conference, you can even clink glasses with your coworkers to start your weekend.

Stay Connected while Working From Home

Working from home can be a big challenge for those who aren´t used to it. Nevertheless, with today´s technology and by following a few rules you can quickly get on the road to successfully working remotely.

Learn from our personal experiences

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Author

Erik Moll

Go-To-Market Manager Central Europe

Digital Transformation & Future Workplace

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