With the fast-moving environment, digitalization and globalization more and more companies are allowing their employees to work from home. This work trend is not brand new but the first step towards a more flexible work environment and approach. Especially with the situation we are living at the moment due to the general lockdown in some countries, home office has become an unavoidable solution to keep companies up and running.

I myself have been working from home the past year so I am well prepared for this new situation we are experiencing but of course this can be a daunting thought for many.

Staying motivated and efficient can still be possible even if working remotely. Here are a few tips you can follow to overcome this period or even find your ideal work balance for the future.

1) Find and prepare your perfect work spot

Make sure to have a stable work spot in your house you can use daily, ideally quiet and with natural day light if possible. A table and a good chair are essential to a healthy work posture. But as we all know, not everyone is lucky enough to have a spare room in their house to work from. If you are using your dinner table, I recommend having it free from any items you won’t need and clearing it from your work equipment at the end of the day.

2) Pack it away

It is important to keep a separation from work and your private life. Just like in the office tidy up your home desk at the end of each day. If you work from your living room, try to put away your laptop or work equipment at the end of the day so you don’t get reminded of work every minute during your free time. This way you keep a clear separation not only visually but also a break to your mind.

3) Keep your time schedule

I find it easier to keep my usual work times at home just like I had in the office. This way you won’t lose your daily routine, have a sort of fix time to finish every day and don’t get into a lethargic state and start “showing” up late for work. I also recommend just as usual to get dressed every day. This won’t only be useful for an unexpected video conference you might get, which I am sure you will have more often now, but it is also a good exercise to avoid getting into a bad habit of laziness.

4) Don’t get too distracted

It is easy to get distracted if you work from home. Suddenly you see thousands of things you always wanted to do. Quickly putting on a washing machine might be a good idea for a break, but you shouldn’t start painting your kitchen. Try to have a checklist at the beginning of your day so you have a clear “goal” each working day, which keeps you focused.

5) Digital socializing

Staying at home just for work or even not being able to go out and socialize can quickly isolate you and become your comfort zone. To keep the good team spirit up in our company we use digital technology which luckily are available nowadays. Weekly meetings or even a quick video call are happening regularly. For this we use Zoom which is a great tool, easy to schedule or even to jump on a quick catch up call. I would recommend using the webcam when you engage in virtual meetings. Seeing people you are talking to makes it a bit more real and keeps the session more interactive.

6) Keep it moving

It has happened to me that I get stuck to my home desk for 8 hours straight. If you keep this routine, you will probably go mad in time. Not only because you aren’t socializing as much but also because you will get into the habit of skipping important drinking, food or movement breaks. It is important to have plenty of water at your desk but also to every now and then get up stretch and have a short break away from your desk. Be aware of your body posture and try to change it every now and then. One option could be to have the printer or another of your work equipment a bit further away so you have to get up to get it. I also interchange between a chair and a gym ball to sit on. If you are lucky to be able to go outside have a quick fresh air break.

All in all it might take some time to get used to working from home and some might love it whereas others will not really see benefits in it. I have heard from several people that they do miss the social part but on the other hand are also more concentrated when working from home. If this is just temporary or your new daily routine try to see the positive side. You get to stay at home and spend more time with your pets and loved ones, might be more flexible regarding working hours and don’t have to waste time in transport or get stuck in traffic. You can avoid that one annoying work colleague, have a quieter work environment, especially if you used to work in an open space and you will never miss a parcel delivery again. Working remotely also give us the opportunity to engage and work with people from all around the world which is truly exciting if you think about how business was done just a few decades ago.

Embrace the change and find your new work balance and in time you might grow to love it!

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