For some of us, working in an office is a way to get out of the house and jump into business mode. With the ever changing way of life, going to the office may not require you to even step outside your own home. How can you juggle your work life and home life when they are all under the same roof? Time Management is key while working remotely from home. Here are a few helpful tips.
Your work-life balance is important to maintain and will take time to get sorted out. If you’re a parent, it may be tempting for your kids to come ask for help or to play, but setting boundaries will be the most important item to master. Explaining is key. This also goes for your work. Family time or personal time are important and it may be hard to turn off your work brain when all you have to do is commute from your laptop to the couch. If you easily get caught up in work, try setting an alarm that will go off when you need to clock out for the day. Turn work related notifications off to help reduce your temptations to start working again. Add your scheduled work hours in your signature to let clients and fellow colleagues know the appropriate time to contact you.
Find a Work Space
Try to find an area that you can use all the time for work and is separate from your home-life areas. Having a constant area will help create a connection that would be just for work. If you try working on the couch you may be tempted to turn on the TV for background sound, (don’t do it) you will get distracted from your work. For example, creating an “office” in the kitchen by using the table will make it hard to clearly separate your work-home life dynamic because you may have to clear it off every time you eat. Try setting up a small desk somewhere in the house that will always have your work items on it and your computer. This will help create consistency and give you a definitive work space.
Make a Schedule
Working remotely may not be your typical 9 to 5 anymore. Your productivity may be during other non-traditional hours due to family constraints. You may be better working in the early mornings while the rest of your family is sleeping and in the afternoon while the kids are doing schoolwork or playing. Think about talking to your employer to see if switching your schedule is feasible, (depending on what kind of job you do).
Turn Off Social Media and Distractions
Do you find yourself glancing at your phone during the day wondering what is going on in the world? Then finding out you were on your phone for quite some time? Looking at social media can be distracting and time consuming when you are on the clock. Think about setting up Do Not Disturb while you are working. By not receiving notifications it may help you not be distracted.
For IPhone users: Go to Settings→ Do Not Disturb→ Scheduled→ add the time you would not like to be disturbed.
Take Designated Breaks and Lunch
Taking your designated breaks and lunch are imperative for you to step away from your work. You need to take a few minutes for yourself. Try going for a walk around the block or head to the “breakroom” and have a chat with your “work pals” (AKA pets and family).
Dress to Impress
Try to keep to your old schedule when you used to get ready to go to work and the clothes you used to wear. It can help you keep in “business mode” while you are talking to your clients, writing emails, or working on your upcoming project. Though it sounds like a great idea, wearing sweatpants and fluffy slippers may not be the best option while working remotely.
Cope with Distractions
When you were in your usual office setting; clicking pens, typing on keyboards, and the sound of the printer were your usual sounds that you could eventually block out. Now being at home, you have a whole new set of sounds like the neighbors talking, your kids playing or watching TV, or dogs barking. You once got used to the sounds in your office so you are bound to get used to these new noises. Try putting on headphones or get a white noise machine that can help reduce the outside sounds.