Working from home used to be a rare work setup for organizations, but now, most of us have shifted to working remotely. Working from home is an elaborate system that may take some getting used to, especially for companies who have never implemented a full-scale remote setup for everyone. This e-guide will discuss various aspects of working from home to help you optimize your routine and effectively function as part of a large group such as:
The work-from-home setup is implemented when companies have transitioned into mainly communicating remotely or digitally with employees and do not require the physical presence of their teams in order for the organization to continue day-to-day function.
Work-from-home setups may be short term or long term, depending on the needs and demands of the work. You and your colleagues may even find yourselves suddenly transitioning into the work-from-home setup for an uncertain amount of time. Some reasons for the long implementation of the work from home setup in your organization may include:
Whatever it is, you must be able to adapt and adjust to this new kind of “normal”. You and your organization need to be equipped for such a change. From the logistics, to the tools and resources, and even the mindset of your employees and your organization as a whole.
The work-from-home setup may be unusual for most which does not always make it everyone’s first choice, but you cannot deny the advantages it can bring to your personal and professional life. Some of these advantages include:
Working from home can ultimately reduce your expenses. The money you spend on commuting, gas, food and lunches, clothes, and more, can now be allocated to other things. Perhaps you can use it to buy food you can cook at home, reallocate it for monthly dues, internet expenses, and others.
Did you know that in a 2011 study from Staples, it was reported that employees who worked from home experienced 25% less stress? They also ate better and healthier and they’re more comfortable with their environment. This is because you are at home in your haven, surrounded by familiarity you’ve built for yourself.
When you work from home, you have more flexibility and comfort. You can use your break times for various activities at home. You can also choose the place you want to work in. Whether it be a designated home office, a corner of your bedroom, somewhere in the yard, or your patio, you can work anywhere you feel comfortable.
You also have the chance to learn how to be truly independent when you work from home. You’ll learn how to motivate yourself, discipline yourself, work in concentration, and finish tasks – you build a stronger sense of responsibility down the road.
Once you familiarize yourself with the work-from-home setup, you’ll be able to focus more on your work and be more productive. With more comfort and less stress for you, you have the chance to get more work done and contribute to the daily workload of your company or organization.
Working from home also helps you focus on improving your health and lends you control over your own safety. There will be times when being in the office can be a risk, like a flu outbreak or even a pandemic. The office environment or the commute could be hazardous or dangerous. In this case, working from is definitely a much better choice.
Though working from home presents many benefits to you as an individual and as an employee of a large company or organization, you should also be prepared for some setbacks. Recent studies suggest that telecommuting can lead to longer work hours and more meetings, which can lead to burnout and more. You need to anticipate how you can turn these disadvantages around.
When you work from home, expect to be distracted by several things. Your phone, the TV, your bed if you’re stationed in your room, your pets, your family, and more. These can distract you and hinder you from getting your work done. If you have little to no self-control, you might just find yourself in the middle of an unproductive day.
Less interaction or socialization
If you live with your family, you have people to interact with throughout the day. But if you live alone, you’ll have less interaction or socialization with people. Since you’re no longer with your co-workers physically, it may get harder to interact and socialize.
Loss of sense of time
Because you have less socialization, you might lose your sense of time. When you work at the office, you regularly talk to co-workers and you have people checking in on you from time to time, inviting you to breaks, lunch outs, and more. But now you might lose track of time when there are fewer interactions like these.
Fewer office perks
You’ll also find yourself with fewer office perks when you work from home. Some of the common office perks are gym memberships, free breakfasts or lunches, and complete office equipment. You may not have all of these at home and you may find yourself demotivated to continue this kind of setup.
Trouble with work-life balance
Keeping the work-life balance can also be troublesome when you start working from home. You may not be able to separate work from your own personal life. You need to find ways on how to maintain the line between work hours and personal life, or you may find yourself tired and stressed all the time.
Shifting from the office setup to the work-from-home setup will change a lot of things in your normal work routine. Additionally, there will probably be new obstacles for you now that you’re in a new situation. If you don’t have some sort of work-from-home checklist that can help you get ready for such a change, here are a few tips that can help you prepare:
Before anything else, make sure you know full well the ground rules or any protocols set up by your company or organization. Familiarize yourself with the rules and guidelines about your schedule, your leaves and absences, any equipment lent to you, technical problems, and more. These guidelines and protocols will change now that you’re working from home, so it’s best to get to know them before you throw yourself into your workload.
You’re going to need all the necessary equipment and tools for your new setup. You need a computer or a laptop, headphones, a camera, and maybe even a second monitor. You also need a number of essential online tools that will help you and your group function and finish tasks properly.
Set up an official workspace for you at home, with a proper desk and chair, and all the important materials you need for your shift. This will help you focus and keep away from any distractions or interruptions. Also, this will also keep you comfortable and relaxed as you work for the day.
As mentioned above, there will be more distractions for you at home. You need to minimize these potential distractions. Turn off the TV, keep your gadgets or mobile devices away from you, or keep your pets out of the room. Think hard about what could distract you and figure out a way to avoid them.
As expected, when you’re part of a company or an organization and you’re now working from home, it can be hard trying to maintain cohesion or harmony as a group. Since you won’t be under one office roof anymore, making everyone feel like a part of the group and work as a group will be a challenge. You need to be prepared and know exactly how you can maintain connected as an organization or company.
Maximize your use of Google Calendar and always keep it up to date. This will help everyone keep track of meetings, projects, assignments, and more. If it’s always updated, then other team members won’t miss anything new from your schedule.
A large conference call service that can handle a high volume of participants is a must. It’s also an advantage if they have top-notch features that will make your meetings more productive and smooth. Make sure this conference call service can host corporate announcements, quarterly meetings to report financial results, monthly sessions for your association, weekly meetings, and more.
Having a reliable large conference call service is not enough. You also have to make sure that your virtual meetings are productive at best. It’s not wise to put time and effort into meetings that will not contribute to the efficiency of the group. You and your team deserve better virtual meetings.
If you’re a manager or a supervisor, make sure to do regular check-ins with your team. Ask them how they’re doing and if they’re coping well with the new setup. Tell them important updates and news that they need to know, and check in with any concerns and provide a solution for them as soon as possible.
Always keep it professional even though you’re at home. This means you should still dress properly, talk to co-workers and supervisors as if you’re still in the office, be punctual in meetings, and more. Professionalism will keep things harmonious for organizations and companies and will keep things smooth in business operations.
Being responsive is especially important for you and your team when working from home as it keeps things going. Respond to emails even if it’s just to acknowledge receipt. This applies to chats and messages as well. You can even use this opportunity to interact with them to keep the socialization going among your colleagues.
As mentioned above, the work from home setup can skew a lot of daily routines, habits, and more. This can throw you off your game and your focus at work. You need to quickly adapt to this new change. Here are four simple tips you can apply to your work-at-home life:
Planning your workflow will keep you focused on work. Remember that there are a lot of distractions when you work from home. If you have a workflow at hand, you’ll be set on achieving these goals for the day and your attention or dedication will not waver.
You need to take breaks from time to time to rest your mind and body, and you need to make the most out of these. Breaks are the perfect opportunity to read a book, exercise, watch a series episode or a film, or more. These things will keep your day from being dull and can help rejuvenate you for the rest of the day.
Working from home can disrupt your work-life balance. You may not know just when to turn off work to focus on personal matters. You need to keep work time and personal time separate. You can do this by getting ready the same way, setting up a designated workspace, making plans for after-work hours, and remembering to clock out. All this can help you improve your work-life balance while you work from home.
Working from home means you don’t have an office janitor anymore. You need to clean up after yourself. Clean your desk after your shift, dust your computer or laptop regularly, clean any dishes or utensils you used on your break or lunch. Having a clean workspace can help you focus on your work.
As great as it sounds, working from home can also affect your mental wellbeing, especially if the setup is being put into place because of a stressful situation. It could be because your office building is out of commission, or that your health is at risk because of a disease or virus, or because of financial reasons. Whatever it may be, these reasons could affect your mental health negatively and cause you to feel dejected in your personal life and perform badly for the company. You need to learn how to maintain good mental wellbeing while working from home.
You’re going to need a new kind of normalcy in your new situation and a routine will help you with this. Your routine should be clear and straightforward and should help you achieve productivity both in work life and home life. Stick to this routine until you have a better grasp on your new setup.
Technology and social media can give you a different kind of stress and even anxiety. It’s best if you unplug from it from time to time. After work hours, disconnect your phone from your WiFi, turn off your phone, or log out from your social media accounts. This will help you relax and focus on the things or people that are currently around you.
After your shift or after a week’s worth of work, feel free to use your time to exercise, meditate, or relax. This will help you strengthen your mind and body, and clear your mind of any stress or low spirits. Do a little workout session every weekend, meditate, or better yet, you can simply light a few scented candles, lie down, and listen to calming music.
Stay connected to your family and also to your co-workers. Your family will keep you grounded and will provide comfort in times of need. While your co-workers will be there to help you function at work and help you discover new people and interests.
Your company or organization moving from the office setup to a work from home setup can be an alarming change, especially if this is your first time. We hope we’ve given you enough information to help you and your company perform better as you work from home as part of a large group.
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