Nailing Working from Home
Our crowd-sourced guide to making working from home work!
1. Set up camp.
The freedom to work from your bed or your kitchen table might be tempting, but separating your work and living space will not only keep you from distractions (the fridge, the remote control, the wine rack, your children’s squabbles to name a few), but also help trigger work mode and keep your living space free from work-related associations. Find a space, clear it from distracting items, get a proper desk chair and close the door.
(Another added benefit: it signals to others around you that you’re “at work”, i.e. not free to empty the dishwasher.)
2. Keep it friendly.
Moving work to the digital space removes a lot of the in-person interactions that help build relationships (think of the last time you laughed at work). While for many friendships and work do not mix, normal human contact does make collaboration easier, makes us less lonely and more sane in the long-run. However, there are ways overcome this drift.
One of our GATE8 Road Warrior’s workplaces have set up a “virtual coffee machine” meeting, encouraging people to join it when they grab a coffee just to chat about things. If you haven’t already, you could set up a WhatsApp group with some of your colleagues where you can interact more casually. Perhaps above all, just be human and communicate as you would if you met your colleagues at the break out area. If there was ever a time to ditch the “kind regards” to your close colleagues, it would be now.
3. Stick to a schedule
This is important! As many of us have experienced while working from home, it is very easy for work to bleed into the late hours, swallowing our free time, sleep and sanity. Set a schedule. If your normal office hours are 9-6, make it 9-6 or better still, make it 9-5 because you’re probably being more productive. Include time for breaks, because you’re not a robot. And communicate your working hours to others so you’re both held accountable and others don’t expect to hear from you at ungodly hours.
4. Invest in your lifeline
If your internet is being glitchy, don’t put it off, get it fixed now. It will save a lot of hair-pulling in the long-run. One of our GATE8 Road Warriors has chosen a commercial broadband supplier, which give greater continuity with a ‘special service’ contract provision, putting him at the top of the pile of the engineers repairs. He also keeps a second router in stock, because they break.
5. Keep it smart.
What you wear matters, even if no one gets to see it. It might sound obvious, but clothes trigger moods and associations - a shirt will make you feel more professional whereas a hoody will put you in the mood for binging on Netflix. As much as you love your PJs, putting on something more formal will make you feel both more professional and productive.