Shifting from on-site to remote work will present a challenging task for first-time remote workers. As you slowly grasp the idea and practice of working from home, you’ll realize that your schedule and the flow of your usual workday will change. So how will you go about your day in this new situation? How will you create a schedule that will work for your new setup? Take a look at these 6 tips you can apply for your own work-from-home schedule!
Working from home means your regular schedule will not be applicable anymore. There is no need to commute, no need to take time picking out work clothes, and more. However, you still need to create a daily pre-work schedule if you want your day to start right. This pre-work routine should replace your regular morning routine when you work in an office. So instead of the usual commute to work, have a quiet breakfast, or drink your morning coffee, read the newspaper or a book, or do some light exercise. Make a habit of doing this before work and this new routine will help you get ready for the day.
Set your working hours and stick to it. This is important as sometimes working from home might make you feel like doing more hours. Maintaining a daily schedule, similar to the schedule you have at the office, will help you focus and prioritize your work rather than procrastinate. This will also help you keep your work life and personal life separate from each other.
It’s also wise to coordinate with your family or your roommates when it comes to your work-from-home schedule. Tell them what your day will be like—when is it okay to interact with you, when not to disturb you, or when you can go for lunch, when you’ll be taking your small breaks, and more. The more they are familiar with your daily schedule, the more they can work around it and help you work properly.
It also helps if you define distractions early on. Know what takes you away from your work. Is it your pet? Is it your TV? Is it surfing the internet? Is it your phone or a mobile device that keeps ringing? Once you have defined what distracts you the most, figure out how you can avoid them.
If you’re quickly distracted by your pets, you can stay at your home office or station in a different room. If you end up surfing the internet for non-work things, it might be better if you have your internet provider block certain pages or websites. If your phone is your major distraction, keep it on silent or stash it away where you won’t be able to see it. The more you know how to handle your distractions, the more you can focus on your schedule.
Utilizing your conferencing solution and making the most out of them will also lead to an effective day at work. The more you use it for meetings and sessions, the more you can keep your schedule neat and organized.
A large conference call service that can handle a large volume of participants and boasts great conferencing features can be used to:
Of course, your lunch break should also be included in your work-from-home schedule. However, since this is an entirely new situation, feel free to reinvent how you take your lunch breaks. Watch a movie with your family while eating, start a virtual watercooler conversation with your team, read a book, catch up with the blogs you’re following or anything that can help you take a breather.