Do you work from home? Working from home has become more common for company employees. Here are some of our best helpful tips for working from home effectively.
If you’ve never worked from home or worked remotely, it can be challenging for you. Working from home can mean that you have more flexibility in your job. But this luxury can turn into a missed opportunity if you don’t maximize your potential.
Working from home can make you very productive if you cut out distractions. Some people think that working from home is too distracting. That isn’t necessarily true, working from home can increase productivity if you know how to work at home properly.
In this article, I’ll give ten tips on how to work from home effectively. Also, I’ll cover ten work-from-home best practices to help boost your productivity.
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Tips for Working from Home Effectively
Working from home can be challenging. Especially if you’re new to working remotely. Here are some tips from working from home effectively:
1. Set Rules for the People Around You
A tip for working from home effectively is to create rules for people around you. If you've got kids or another adult working from home, then it would be best to tell them your meeting times. Explain that during the meeting times they can't disturb you.
For example, put up a sign when you’re in a meeting to help kids remember. You also need to set rules about what your kids can do while working. You don’t want your kids screaming because they’re playing while you’re on an important meeting.
2. Ask for What You Need
To work from home well, you need the right equipment. Some common equipment that people who work from home need includes:
- webcams for meetings
- a laptop or monitor
- a work phone
- a mouse
Try to ask for these things as soon as you realize you need them. This includes any software you need to work from home.
Some companies will pay for certain things so that you can effectively work from home. But if you’re working from home for a short period of time, you'll most likely be expected to compromise on some purchases.
3. Have a Dedicated Office Space
Another tip for working from home effectively is to have a dedicated office space. If you can have a separate room, that’s excellent. If you do not have a separate room, make sure that you have a space that you can set up to work at every day.
Leaving a physical space lets your brain know that you are off work so that you can relax. Working in the same space where you like to relax can confuse your brain and cause you not to relax properly.
4. Create a To-Do List
If you’re having trouble working from home and want tips to work remotely, try using a to-do list or planner. You can make it part of your morning routine to create a to-do list of all the things you need to do at work that day. You can even create a plan based on how much time you think each task will take.
You can also create a list with the most critical tasks at the top. If you like to use a planner, try creating a schedule for the day. This can motivate you to get projects done in allotted time. This helps you sort out your day in your head, and you’re more likely to complete your goals.
Here's a daily planner template from Envato Elements that you can download and start using today:
5. Create a Stress-Free Space
A tip to work remotely is to have a stress-free space. Working from home can be exhausting. Some people find it hard to leave work mode.
If that’s you, it’s okay. Establish an area where all you do is relax however you choose to do so.
If you have trouble getting out of work mode, add a stress-free hour for relaxing to your routine.
6. Respond to Emails, Phone calls, and Voicemails
Unfortunately, people expect you to answer emails, phone calls, and voicemails very quickly when you’re working from home. So, try to answer as soon as you can during work hours.
You might be wondering how to work from home effectively with all those emails. If your coworker is too pushy, have a friendly conversation about their expectations.
If you can solve issues with a phone call, then do so. Phone calls resolve issues quickly because there are fewer misunderstandings when using the phone versus email.
7. Eat and Sleep
A working from home tip to work effectively is to get the right amount of sleep for you and eat healthy. When you work from home, it can be tempting to eat at your desk or go to your kitchen and snack out of boredom, but it’s not beneficial to eat unhealthily.
Maintaining a good sleep schedule is an excellent way to stay focused and energized the next day. So, make sure to get enough rest.
8. Walk During Breaks
When you’re working from home, it can be exhausting for you to stay in the same place and focus on the same thing all day. So, to work from home well go outside (if it's safe to do so) and walk or even just sit outside during a work break. A change of scenery can make you feel refreshed. Getting some fresh air will make you more productive.
9. Reduce Distractions
If you want to work from home well and be productive, cut out as many distractions as possible. First, figure out what's a distraction for you. Here are some examples:
- If you've got a TV in your office space and are tempted to it move the TV out of your office.
- If social media is distracting, then try muting notifications during work hours.
When you eliminate distractions, you can fully focus on working and won’t be distracted throughout the day.
10. Let People Know How to Reach You
If you prefer to answer phone calls, let people know that's your preferred method of communication. But if you get more work done while answering emails or through the company chat application, then let your coworkers know that. This allows you to get back to people quicker and work from home well.
Best Practices When Working from Home
When working from home you need to establish daily routines. Here are some best practices to help work from home effectively:
1. Keep Regular hours
An essential practice for how to work from home effectively is to set a schedule. Then, follow your schedule as much as you can. When you have a set schedule, you can maintain a better work-life balance.
For example, when working from home, it can be tempting to answer emails after working hours or accept a meeting request because someone else is in a different time zone. But if you don’t have an excellent work-life balance, you'll burn out.
Read more about improving work-life balance here:
2. Schedule Breaks
Most jobs require you to have a break. Know your company's policies on breaks. When you take your breaks, take them in their entirety.
When working from home it can be tempting to skip breaks, but most people can't work several hours straight and still work productively. Follow this tip to work remotely, and you'll be more productive.
If you're worried that you'll go back to work during your break, take a walk outside. (If you can do so safely).
Another tip for when you feel tired or stuck is to take a minute or two to stand up and stretch or walk around in your space. This can help you clear your mind.
3. Get Dressed for Work
Some people may view working from home as a chance to stay dressed in your pajamas all day. But one tip for working from home effectively is to dress how you typically would for work.
If you don’t want to dress up as much as you normally do for the office, then have sweatpants that you change into. When you get changed out of your pajamas, this helps your brain to take the cue that it is time for work.
Dressing comfortably if you can is important. Uncomfortable clothes can be distracting and cause you to be less productive. But you should keep up with your appearance, like combing your hair, taking a shower and shaving.
4. Set a Morning and Evening Routine
Another working from home tip is to create a morning and evening routine. For example, a morning routine could be:
- wake up
- eat breakfast
- get dressed
- drink coffee
- start work
Keep the same routine every morning you work. This helps you prepare mentally for work because you know what’s next.
Just like you should have a morning routine, you should have an end-of-day routine. Your end-of-day routine can be simple but having a consistent routine can help you relax after work. For example, an end-of-day routine can be to:
- create a to-do list for the next day
- shut down your computer
- walk your dog.
Or the end of day routine could even be a simpler routine like shutting down your computer and listening to a podcast you like.
5. Interact with Coworkers
A working from home tip is to create video calls or conference calls where you can connect with your coworkers. This ensures that everyone is on the same page for a project or for the day.
Some companies have coffee break video meetings where coworkers can interact. These can help your company to have a better working environment. They can also help you and other people feel less lonely.
Even though you’re working from home, remember to stay as professional as possible in work social video calls. These are like talking in a break room at work.
6. Keep Track of Your Progress
Tracking your progress is how to work from home effectively because you can see how much work your getting is done. If you like working from home and are getting projects done faster, you can show your boss how quickly you complete your tasks and projects with proof. This may result in you convincing your boss to let you work from home more often or even permanently when it’s time to go back into the office.
Keeping track of your progress if you're working on a project with a team keeps everyone on the same page. It’s great if you've got a tracking program that's shared with all the team members. That way they can all update how their work is going and everyone can see how much work is getting done.
Using progress tracking, you may also be able to predict when you'll finish the project based on your progress so far.
7. Create a Video Call Space
A work-from-home tip is to create a video call space. This is important if you make a lot of video calls. You can make the video call space a part of your office space or separate from your office.
Create a space where the camera is facing a wall because it looks more professional, and the wall can serve as a backdrop. It’s best to have a backdrop with all one color. For example, an all-grey wall would be better than a wall with pink leopard print wallpaper.
But if there's a crazy print in your background, it can be distracting and look unprofessional. Choose a quiet video call space because if it’s too noisy, people will have trouble hearing you. That’ll make you seem unprofessional.
8. Keep it Professional
Have a separate phone number for work than you do for personal matters. This way, you can separate work from your personal life, and you can always be professional when you answer your work phone.
If you want to be professional in presentations, then download a professionally made premium template from Envato Elements. You’ll make a good impression with the high-quality design, and you’ll save time. Presentations made from scratch can look sloppy so try using a premium template.
9. Make Sure You Have a Good Internet Connection
Another tip for working from home effectively is to make sure you've got good quality equipment so that you can be productive. If you’re working from home for a long time, this is essential.
If you've got a poor internet connection, it can be hard to have video meetings or even do your job properly. Research what the right internet connection would be for you so that you can easily work from home.
Some companies may even pay for your internet connection if you need a fast internet speed for your job. Not only is it important to have a good internet connection, but you’ll also need any updated software that your job may require.
When working from home, you can get cabin fever. If you can safely do so, leave your house and socialize. Even if you leave your house just to grocery shop or eat at a restaurant, it’s good to get up and move and leave the house for a while.
When you're working from home, you can feel lonely and isolated. So, a good working from home tip is to interact with your colleagues or schedule time with your friends after work. If you can’t go out and see your friends in person, set up a time when you can video call them and talk. This will help you get the social interaction that you may be wanting.
More Work from Home Resources
Do you want to learn even more about working from home:
- 20 Low Cost Small Business Ideas With High Profit Potential for 2022Andrew Childress01 Nov 2021
- How to Be More Productive From Anywhere in the WorldHarry Guinness09 Aug 2021
- How to Ensure Your Employees Have Work-Life Balance in 2021Andrew Blackman19 Aug 2021
- How Your Business Can Fight Bullying for Home-Based and Office-Based Workers (Spirit Day)Sharon Hurley Hall21 Oct 2021
Use Working From Home Tips to Work Better
Once you’ve read this article, start setting up your workspace. Use time saving resources like Envato Elements. Also, start establishing work routines to help you increase your productivity at home. Working from home can be a great opportunity to take advantage by following best practices today.