How to Make Working from Home, Work for You [Part 1]
Working from home isn’t a new concept. In fact, prior to Covid-19 it had become so popular that some even referred to it as “the future of work”. While many South Africans have grown accustomed to remote work and have settled in nicely, others are new to this notion and are struggling to adapt.
In order to be highly productive in the home environment, employees new to this would need to change some habits and learn new ones.
At Domains.co.za, we are known for our flexible working conditions and functional working environment. Our experienced remote employees share their best tips for making working from home “work” for them.
Tip 1: The Basics Must be in Place
It is critical to have a dedicated workspace and to setup the best possible working environment that complements your individual style of working. A sturdy desk, comfortable chair, good lighting and the relevant tools required for your line of work: i.e. drawers are all essential.
Apart from the obvious things like a computer, phone (VOIP) and data, you’ll also need a headset. Create a mini ’office’ similar to the one you had at work and ask for assistance from your immediate superior if you need it.
Tip 2: Stick to a Work Routine
Working from home offers a sense of flexibility that can be favourable for everyone involved. Should you be more productive at night and your job function does not require a strict 8:00 – 5:00, then go for it! If you are an early morning person, crack on!
However, that being said, a structured routine is still absolutely essential. Aim to start and end your working day at the same times every day. This isn’t only helpful to your body’s circadian rhythm (which regulates your sleep/wake cycle) but it also assists your managers and colleagues with your availability.
IMPORTANT: Get dressed properly. Working in pajamas is hilarious on that one crazy day, but it can be very counter-intuitive to your mental health over the long run.
Tip 3: Balance your Work and Personal Life
Every home situation is different, so do try and find a balance that works for your individual circumstances and which fits in with your partner’s/spouse’s/kids’ routines. Set strict rules so that your work life does not encroach on your personal life and vice versa. When you are focusing on the one, do not let the other interrupt. While working, avoid distractions such as the TV, personal telephone calls, messages and social media by simply switching these devices off or silencing them.
Tip 4: Ensure you Have Down Time
Working from home could easily become an “on-demand” situation. To remain the happy, healthy employee you’ve always been, try to keep it as normal as possible. In a normal working day situation, you would take breaks, so do the same when working at home.
If you are ill, go to the doctor and take a sick day if required. Normally, you would also take a holiday now and again, so if you feel knackered, take a day’s leave. You don’t literally have to go away to obtain the benefits of down time.
Tip 5: Go Outside
Working at the office forces you to “leave the house” five days a week. During the course of a day at work, normal social conduct would perhaps include a trip to the canteen, break room, courtyard or coffee shop. However, when working from home these normal triggers aren’t necessarily there. You could easily find that a week has gone by since you last left your home!
Get out! Run errands. Go for a walk outside. Simply catch some sun rays and breathe in fresh air during a break in your garden, or on your balcony.
Tip 6: Digitally Socialise with Colleagues
Again, try to continue with normal office behaviour... Should you have a “bestie” at work that you usually drank coffee with, then try and keep it up. Check-in with members of your team for quick chit-chats etc.
In Part 2 we share six more tips to help you be more productive while working from home. Coming soon...
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