A typical company saves about $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year, according to Global Workplace Analytics. And, with nearly the entire country’s workforce working from home right now, the remote working economy is booming like never before.
However, learning to work from home isn’t easy for everybody, especially those who crave the interaction that comes from seeing your coworkers every day or even meeting with clients. Add on the challenges that come with working from a home office or dealing with intrusive children and it’s easy to see why some employees are having difficulties transitioning into this new way of work.
Here at Earn Cheese, we’ve switched to a remote work model for the time being. And, here are our ten top tips for making working from home easier.
1. Stick to a Normal Schedule
One of the top tips for learning how to work from home is to try and stick to a normal schedule as much as possible. As you adjust to not only remote working but also everything else that’s changed due to COVID-19, give yourself some time to get used to the “new normal.” Then, try to stick to your old working schedule. This means that you should be up around the same time each morning and ready to engage in the daily task, such as checking your emails or responding to messages from your colleagues.
2. Get Up & Get Dressed
If you’re finding it hard to stay motivated as you work from home then you might want to make one simple change: get dressed. One of the perks of working from home is that you can work in your pajamas if you want to. And, sure, working in sweatpants under the covers might be fun for the first day or two. But, eventually, you’ll find that your productivity goes way down and your overall job performance suffers. Get up, get dressed and act the part of your position.
3. Go to the “Office”
It’s extremely important to set up an area of your home that is dedicated to being solely used as your new “office.” Having a space that is separate from your living space can help your brain mentally flip the switch when it’s time to “go” to work. If it helps, leave the house like normal, walk out to your front lawn, and then come back into to make it feel as if you’re “arriving” to the office. Then, ensure this space is free of distractions. Invest in a high-quality desk and ergonomic chair and decorate it in a way that inspires you to get work done.
4. Schedule Frequent Breaks
When you’re working remotely it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you’re on a very long, extended break. Working from home sometimes doesn’t feel like “work,” but your brain is exerting the same amount of effort meaning that you should still schedule frequent breaks. Every hour or so, plan to take 5 to 15 minutes off. Get up, stretch, walk around, or do some office exercises. If you have a hard time remembering to take breaks, install an app like TimeOut on your computer that will lock you out each hour and not let you back in until your break is over.
5. Use the Right Remote Working Tools
You’re going to undoubtedly need to use different tools and apps while working online at home than you would be in the office. Remote workers rely on platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, and Slack to stay organized. Make sure you’re taking advantage of these fantastic remote working apps to help you stay organized, communicate with your coworkers and even track your working hours to avoid burnout.
6. Get a Work Phone
You’re going to find that your working days are a lot more efficient and productive if you are able to get a separate work phone. If you’re getting calls sent straight to your normal cellphone, imagine how easy it is to just swipe on into Instagram or Facebook after the call is over. Instead, ask your company if they will allow you to purchase a landline or separate cellphone to use only for work-related calls and emails.
7. Make Sure You’re Communicating
Whether you’re on a conference call or are chatting through Slack, it’s extremely important to ensure that you’re using great communication skills while remote working. Remember that it’s sometimes hard to read tone and intent over text. And, it’s easy to misunderstand what someone is saying when they simply write it out in an email. When you can, call your coworkers on Zoom or Google Hangouts to explain things to them in a quick video chat.
8. Be Kind with Yourself
One recent article mentioned that you’re not simply transitioning into a work-from-home job position. You’re being forced to deal with a pandemic, global economic crisis, and perhaps even homeschooling children as you try to get work done from your home. There’s a difference, and it’s okay if you’re struggling with that. Not everybody thrives on the remote work setup and with everything else that’s going on in the world, it’s okay to cut yourself a little slack. You aren’t likely to be as productive as you would be in the office and that’s okay.
9. Indulge in the Perks
While you should try to stick to a normal schedule as much as possible, go ahead and give yourself some time to indulge in the perks of working from home right now. Sleep in a little later, bake cookies with your kids during the day or sneak in an episode of your favorite Netflix series just after lunch. As long as you’re still getting your work done, it’s okay to treat yourself to a few indulgent moments amidst all of the chaos we’re currently experiencing.
10. Turn Off Notifications at Night
Our top tip for making it through a transition to working from home? Turn off your notifications at night. One of the biggest problems companies are seeing right now with remote workers is that they’re unable to transition from home life to work life due to the fact that both are currently merged. To avoid burnout, make it a point to turn off all work notifications and emails after a certain point in the evening.
Save Money While You Work
With so many new tasks to tackle as you transition into a work from home lifestyle, saving money is likely the last thing on your mind right now. However, it should be at the forefront of your thinking as the world moves further and further into an inevitable economic crisis.
At Cheese, we think it’s easy to save more money on daily spending while working from home. The Cheese Debit Card is a cashback debit card with 0 fees that will help you better manage your expenses. No banking fees, ever, plus cashback and saving bonus? It doesn’t get much easier than that.