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If you’re like many people, you’ve probably thought about working from home. Maybe you’re tired of the daily commute, or you want to be able to spend more time with your family. Or maybe you’re forced to work from home due to the global coronavirus crisis. You may be asking yourself, how do I make a smooth transition to remote work? This article shares five essentials to walk you through the transition.
However, the initial joy of being able to work from home can be quickly replaced by worry, anxiety, and feelings of isolation. Making a smooth transition to working from home requires some preparation and forethought. Here are a few tips to help you make the switch without too much stress.
Essential #1 – Set Up a Quiet Working Space
How on earth do you get things done when there are so many distractions? While it may be tempting to try to work from your couch or bed, this will only lead to frustration and a feeling of never being able to disconnect from work.
Instead, create a designated quiet working space in your home. This doesn’t have to be an entire room — even a tiny corner will do. Just make sure that it’s comfortable and has everything you need, including a good chair, a desk, and adequate lighting.
If you live in a small space or have young children at home, this may mean getting creative. Can you convert your closet into a mini office? Or set up a workspace in the basement? Maybe you can turn an empty wall in your living room into a bulletin board where you can pin up important papers.
Whatever you do, make sure that your working space is as free from distractions. This will help you focus and be more productive.
Essential #2 – Get Organized
One of the challenges of working from home is that it’s easy to let work consume your entire day. Suddenly, there are no more boundaries between your personal and professional life. To combat this, it’s important to get organized and set some limits.
Start by setting up a daily schedule and sticking to it as much as possible. Decide what time you’re going to start working, and take regular breaks throughout the day. Then, set a specific time when you’re going to stop working. This will help you create a healthy work-life balance.
In addition, try to keep your workspace clean and cluttered-free. A cluttered desk will only add to your stress levels. So take a few minutes each day to tidy up your space.
Essential #3 – Establish and Maintain a Daily Routine
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is maintaining a sense of structure. It can be too easy to let work consume your entire day — and night. This is why it’s important to establish a daily routine and stick to it as much as possible.
Start by getting up simultaneously each day and getting dressed, even if you’re not leaving the house. This will help you get into the right mindset for work. Then, establish regular mealtimes and take a few breaks throughout the day to stretch your legs, get some fresh air, or just take a few minutes to relax.
Finally, establish a specific time when you’re going to stop working. This will help you create a healthy work-life balance and prevent work from spilling into your personal life.
Essential #4 – Start as Early as Possible
When you work from home, there will be no one to tell you when to start working or take a break. This can be both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, it’s great to have the flexibility to set your hours. But on the other hand, it can be all too easy to let work consume your entire day.
To avoid this, it’s important to start your workday as early as possible. Instead of waking up at 10 am because you worked until 2 am the night before, try to get up at 6 or 7 am. This will help you get a jump start on your workday and give you the structure you need to be productive.
In addition, make sure to take regular breaks throughout the day. Even if it’s just a five-minute break to get some fresh air or stretch your legs, this will help you avoid burnout and stay focused on your work.
Essential #5 – Communicate With Your Team
If you’re used to working in an office, the transition to working from home can be a bit isolating. Suddenly, you do not see your colleagues daily. But you don’t have to be a hermit — there are plenty of ways to stay connected.
Use video conferencing tools, such as Skype or Google Hangouts to meet with your team. Or use instant messaging apps, such as Slack or WhatsApp, to communicate throughout the day. In addition, make sure to communicate frequently through email or instant messaging. These tools will help you feel connected to your team and prevent you from feeling isolated.
The Bottom Line
These are just a few tips you can follow to transition to working from home. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can make the transition seamlessly and set yourself up for success. So what are you waiting for? Make the transition to remove work today.