“According to the IWG Global Workplace Survey conducted in 2019, 80 percent of businesses in Germany, 76 percent in Brazil, and 58 percent in India had flexible working policies,” according to Kapersky.com, including working from home.
If you don’t have prior experience working remotely, you need to understand that working from home is not the cakewalk it seems to be. It takes a fine balance between flexibility and self-discipline to make things work.
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Making the most of working from home
The art of prioritization
Having a schedule is key when working from home. It’s important to have a clear-cut idea of what tasks you’re going to accomplish for the day and how much time each task will require.
Over the course of a week, you’ll get to understand how much work gets done in what part of the day. Prioritize tasks accordingly so you have a clear path to follow through your workday.
Setting up the ambiance
According to an article from Forbes: “In the current massive, forced work-at-home experiment taking place across the globe, many companies may discover there was little reason for employees to congregate in their offices.”
Customization is the keyword here. You have to make mental notes on how your productivity is affected in different scenarios. For some, a fixed area in your home, free from all the noise and distractions is the best option. For others, switching from one room to another is what gets those creative juices flowing. For still others, working from a nearby café is the best way to get things done. This could actually take a few days to figure out.
Working from home tends to provide a great deal of flexibility. The point is that you need to learn to manage your flexibility so it works to your advantage. It’s easy to postpone things for “later” and go on a house chore, help a friend out, or spend more time with the kids. However, it works better if you stick to a fixed schedule and postpone the above-mentioned activities until after you’re done with your daily work schedule. It’s fine to tweak it around. After all, what’s the point of working from home if you can’t have some fun with it?
State of mind
Although working from home seems like a physical transition, it’s more of a mental shift. You may blame office politics and pesky supervisors for your low productivity, but taking full responsibility for your work time is no small feat. Without the fixed office hours, a supervisor passing behind your workstation now and then, and physical proximity to your peers, you tend to be a lot easier on yourself than you would imagine.
A quick five-minute facebook break can avalanche into a 3-hour YouTube rabbit hole before you even realize it. Maintaining your “work avatar” at home will be a mental challenge.
Working around distractions
When working from home, it all boils down to setting your priorities straight. There are going to be distractions you never expected. Power outages, connectivity issues, and tech support may be things you can manage to a certain extent, but you’re still going to be the only person to blame when things go wrong. The initial period will be about learning to schedule your work around such distractions.
Another aspect is that you will have to send out the message to your friends and family that just because you’re physically home, it doesn’t mean you are available. This can be a lot tougher than you think. Your social life is definitely going to be different and it’s going to take time for everyone to adjust.