The United States has started to adopt working-from-home options for employees. Right now, many businesses have allowed their employees to work at least some of the time remotely. Some companies have even taken it a step further by making remote work the primary way their employees get things done. However, the majority of these workers are first-timers when it comes to working from home. So there’s a good chance that it’s your first time too.
Working from home can be a great way to get things done. No more commute, no need for expensive office attire, and the ability to design your work schedule are just a few benefits. But it also comes with a unique set of challenges. Also, don’t think you’ll be less productive working from home. On the contrary, most Americans working from home are more productive. Given the right setup, you can be effective at doing your job. Here are five ways you can prepare yourself for working from home:
Start Scheduling Your Life
Working from home is no longer a simple nine-to-five job. Most businesses will now allow you to work the hours that suit you best. But that means it’s up to you to schedule your time wisely.
First, you need to set office hours. These are when you are working and unavailable for anything else. It’s essential to be strict with yourself here. Being at home doesn’t mean you can take a three-hour lunch or start working at 10 pm. Set boundaries with yourself and stick to them.
Then, schedule a personal time for yourself. This is when you can run errands, go for a walk, or relax. Make sure this time is non-negotiable and put it in your calendar like any other meeting or deadline.
Scheduling can make a huge difference in how productive you are when working from home. You can make the most of your time by being deliberate about when you work and when you take breaks.
Set Up a Workspace
One of the benefits of working from home is that you can design your workspace to suit your needs. But that doesn’t mean it will be comfortable or practical right away.
Think about what you need to be productive. Do you need multiple monitors? A standing desk? A comfortable chair? Whatever it is, make sure you have it before you start working. Otherwise, you’ll constantly be thinking about how much better your work would go if you just had that one thing.
Your workspace doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should be functional. And it’s worth taking the time to set it upright.
Invest in the Right Tools
Working from home is only possible if you have the right tools. The good news is that most of these tools are relatively inexpensive and easy to find.
First, you need a good computer. It doesn’t mean you need the most expensive model on the market. But it does mean you should have a powerful computer to handle your work tasks. Ask your employer or IT department for guidance if you’re unsure what to look for.
You’ll also need a dependable internet connection. Working from home means you’ll be relying on your internet connection for everything from conference calls to sending emails. A slow or unreliable connection will make it challenging to get your work done.
You need to look for a quiet place to work. It can be challenging if you live in a small apartment or have young children. But it’s essential to find a place where you can focus on your work. If you can’t find a quiet place at home, look for a coffee shop or library near you.
Finally, you need to invest in some basic office supplies. This includes printers, paper, pens, and Post-it notes. You might already have some of these things at home. But it’s a good idea to have a dedicated space for your office supplies to find them quickly when needed.
Start Delegating Chores
Chores can be a huge time-suck. And when you’re working from home, it can be tempting just to let them pile up. But that’s a recipe for disaster.
The key is to start delegating chores as soon as possible. Of course, this will be easier said than done if you have kids. But there are plenty of ways to get your kids to help around the house. You can also hire someone to help with the cleaning or cooking.
One of the chores that you should delegate to home services is laundry. Americans spend about one or two hours doing laundry every week. That’s a lot of time, and it’s time you can’t afford to waste. A local laundry delivery service can take care of your laundry while working. It’s more efficient, and it’ll help you save more money in the long run.
Delegating chores is essential for two reasons. First, it frees up your time so you can focus on work. Second, it helps to create a separation between work and home life. When your workspace is also your living space, it’s easy for the lines to get blurred.
Working from home is a great way to improve your work-life balance. But it’s not without its challenges. By following these tips, you can set yourself up for success.