Five Tips For Working From Home

Whether you’ve been working from home for years, or this is your first time telecommuting, you probably recognize that there are unusual challenges that arise when working remote. However, there are also exceptional opportunities that can be taken advantage of during this time. The following tips will help you stay on track and excel at your role while working from home.

1. Make sure you are familiar with your organization’s policies
As you are getting started telecommuting, locate your employee handbook and review your organization’s policies and procedures related to working remote. These could include topics like technology use, handling confidential information, software guidelines and other related concepts. It is also a good idea to use this time to refresh yourself on your company’s preferred communication tools and digital processes. Keeping these areas top of mind will enable you to be successful in accomplishing your daily tasks while working from home.

2. Confirm that you have everything you need
Given that remote work is so heavily reliant on technology, it is extremely important that you make sure that you have all the items necessary to complete your work efficiently. Communicate with your supervisor or IT department about which tools you are allowed to take home and consider what items to leave behind. You’ll also want to confirm which software systems your company is going to utilize to communicate and accomplish tasks while working remote. Additionally, you may want to confirm that everything works once you get your remote working location set up. Double-check that your internet connection is strong and that you have the security access you need to complete your daily tasks. Having all the items you need will help you establish an effective environment while working remote.

3. Create a designated workspace
If you typically work from an office, you are likely acclimated to having separation between your work and personal spaces. Working from home creates a challenge when it comes to distinguishing between the two. If possible, experts suggest creating a dedicated area for work that is separate from where you spend your free time. Not only will this help you get away from work demands when needed, but it will also encourage you to stay organized by having everything in one place. Create a functional environment so that you can do your best work for your organization.

4. Communicate with coworkers
Working remote hampers the ability to walk over to a coworker’s desk or pop your head in your supervisor’s office to ask a quick question. That’s why it’s important to keep the lines of communication open between you and your team. You may want to establish a plan of how and when you are going to communicate so that you don’t miss out on the benefits of collaboration. With various forms of chat platforms, video calling and other communication tools available, there are plenty of ways to make sure you stay productive and connected while working from home.

5. Hold yourself to your routines
Before you begin your workday, get yourself ready as though you would if you were going into the office. Consider waking up at the same time and sticking to your morning routines to put yourself in a professional mindset. Try your best to take your lunch break around the same time as you normally would in the office and get away from your workspace. To keep yourself productive and avoid burnout, you’ll also want to have clearly defined working hours, just as you would if you were going into a physical work location. Holding yourself to a schedule will help you separate your work and home life, making you more effective in those respected spaces. As the world changes and organizations begin to implement working from home policies, a lot of the responsibility to create an effective and sustainable working environment falls on the individual employee. Keep yourself accountable, and you’ll be surprised what you can accomplish when you work remote.