So, it's your first day at government/company-approved, working-from-home. It isn't exactly a new concept to the job culture in Sri Lanka. Many companies, especially the startups in the creative and tech field with flexible working hours, give this facility for the convenience of their employees every once in a while. It's mostly based on the mutual trust that the employee and employer have with each other, and it seems to be capable of delivering promising results. Personally, I find my efficiency is quite high when I work from home.
Back then, we at YAMU, especially the editorial team used to do that too. Based on our experience, let us share some tips with you to make this working-from-home, actually work.
First thing you absolutely must check is your internet connection. If you're working from home with a bad internet connection, this is not going to work out well. The whole point of allowing work from home is living up to the expectation of you getting the work done on time while staying connected with the team, just like you do at the office. You should be easily reachable by your team and having a good internet connection is helpful in that regard.
Also, depending on the nature of your work, make sure you've got the other devices as well; laptops, headsets, and necessary software etc.
Set Up A Dedicated Workspace
Not everyone has a separate office room/space in their houses, but you can set up one for temporary usage. Pick somewhere with fewer distractions, preferably a room or a space with some privacy and a good amount of light, and not a common area like your visiting room. It doesn't have to be exactly like your workstation at the office, but should be comfortable and similar enough to set your mind to work mode.
You can choose your bedroom too, but you should not let the bed be your distraction. Also, make sure there are laptop/phone charging ports nearby, so you don't have to carry them somewhere else when the battery is about to die.
Don’t Work In Your PJs
Everyone has a morning routine that they follow during workdays, and just because you're working from home, it shouldn't be left off. Given that commuting to work doesn't quite apply during working-from-home, you can wake up a little bit late if you like, but the rest of the morning routine should be followed as usual. You don't have to dress fancy or put on makeup/office clothes, but you should get out of your pyjamas no matter what. Wear something comfortable, but it should be guiding you to your workstation at home, and not the bed.
Set Real Work Hours
This is something that I practise very carefully. The office hours at YAMU is from 8.30 AM to 5.30 PM, and I stick to those exact work hours even when I'm working from home. It truly helps to deliver work according to the deadlines, and be efficient as you're at the office. Plus, it's useful when it comes to maintaining a good work-life balance.
Some companies have task management systems to empower their employees to work productively, but if not, you can always use an automatic time-tracking app; especially if you're not good at time management.
The lunch/tea breaks you take at the office are valid when you work from home too. While sticking to the regular work hours, give yourself an adequate time to eat, have a cup of tea, or snack. Working doesn't mean staring at a computer every passing minute of the day, even when you're at the office. So take breaks as needed, but not too much in a manner that it distracts you and slows down your productivity. The disciplinary you practise at the office should be carried out here as well.
Avoid Household Chores
So you're at home, and the things that you want to do when you get home after work are right in front of you. It's a massive distraction that needs to be dealt with.
It's okay to be involved with household chores; it helps to socialise with your family. But make sure you do it in a manner that it doesn't interrupt your workday plans. Always prioritise and focus on work, and do household chores after work, or during the small breaks that you take throughout the day.
Create A Rewarding System
When you manage your time effectively or finish up your work early, give yourself a reward. It could be a special snack or some time to watch a TV episode. It's a method to make yourself avoid procrastinating.