It’s not always easy to be productive when working from home! Check out our tips on how to get there.
In these particular times, telework has become democratized, very quickly and quite brutally for some of us . In this article, we give you our tips to be efficient when working from home!
Prepare yourself as usual
The most complicated thing about working from home is not letting yourself be influenced by your environment. That’s why it’s important to maintain a rhythm and not spend your days working in your pajamas. Usually, getting ready, taking public transit, or taking your car or bike to work prepares your brain for work. We develop habits and unconsciously, our brain starts the usual sequence of things when we start these rituals. That’s why, when you get up without waking up or simply don’t follow your usual morning ritual, it will be harder for you to understand that it’s a work day (almost) like any other!
Our tips :
- Get up: Wake up or not, it doesn’t matter, but don’t sleep in on a working day;
- Take the time: Take advantage of being at home and therefore of the time you usually spend in transportation to take some time for yourself. You don’t get to work by jumping out of bed, you prepare a good coffee or tea with breakfast, you go for a run, you watch the sunrise… in short you wake up gently ;
- A shower and an adapted dress: As usual, or almost, wash yourself, get dressed. You can of course opt for an outfit more comfortable than when you go to the office, but it is important to prepare yourself.
Make a planning & a to do list
The day then begins with an update on the tasks in progress, to be accomplished during the week and then during the day. Divide the month’s work by week, then the week’s work by day. From the most urgent and important to the least urgent. Plan an administrative moment, at the very beginning of your day for example: e-mails, social networks, news from your sector… Be realistic and not too demanding with yourself! But avoid procrastinating all the same. A list and a schedule are the best way to accomplish all the necessary tasks while not putting too much pressure on yourself. Once everything is set, all you have to do is move forward. This will prevent you from going over the things to do in your head all the time, which is not good for concentration and can create unnecessary stress!
Set up a workspace
Just as it is important to prepare yourself as you would for a traditional day, it is essential to set up a work space. So of course, you may not have a dedicated room or the space to set up a real corner, but working every day in the same place and finding your things there will help you go into “home office” mode much more easily.
Working at home has its advantages but it also brings its share of constraints. Well equipped, you will have no trouble concentrating.
Here is our check-list of equipment to have absolutely when you are teleworking:
- A headset: Whether it is to make your calls, to attend meetings by videoconference, to listen to music or to isolate yourself from the noises of the house, it is essential! Especially if you have children who live in the same room as the one you work in ;
- An agenda: To write your schedule for the week, your to do list. Doing it on paper helps you to memorize the items you will write down;
- Video conferencing software: For meetings with your team or superiors, consider installing video conferencing software. Consult with your team and agree on which software to use.
Remember to take breaks
When you work from home, you often think that it is difficult to get to work, to motivate yourself… It is rather the opposite that is complicated to manage. Learning to cut, not feeling like you’re spending your evenings at the office, taking the time to settle down a bit. It is therefore essential to take breaks. If you’re afraid to abuse, plan them. A short break of a few minutes per hour will make you more efficient and productive. This time allows you to take care of yourself, but also to let your brain sort through the information and think about what you are doing. A simple coffee without a screen, a walk in the garden or even a stroll around your block can work miracles, especially if you are stuck on a task or a customer problem that needs to be solved during the day. So you step back, take a breath, breathe and go back in a few minutes.
Brief your family
If you live alone, you’ll have peace of mind for your working days. It’s a different matter if you have children, a husband, a wife, a dog, a grandmother… who live with you! So we explain to the children that we are not available for them as if it was the weekend. Tell them you have to work, show them your schedule and make one for them. That way, everyone will know that from such and such an hour to such and such a time, you are “not there”.
The proximity of a company workspace allows for formal and informal exchanges with your superiors, your colleagues and even your customers and/or suppliers. These exchanges are often productive and idea factories. Don’t forget to make yourself visible. Plan a time each day to exchange with your peers, by email or phone. Each week, plan a meeting with your customers or superiors. These moments will help you to be effective because you will feel less disconnected and they will also serve to reassure your superiors and customers about the progress of your work, without them needing to ask you where you stand!
Teleworking: You’re all set!
You now have all the tools you need to be effective in teleworking. Set up a routine, YOUR routine, the one that works for you and work from home will never be inefficient again. With the right tools and rituals, you may even discover a way of working that you will never want to leave!