07 May 2020 Anders Bohea Last Updated: 30 March 2023 Working from home – How to do it effectively In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards remote work, allowing employees to work from the comfort of their own homes. While this type of work arrangement offers numerous benefits, such as flexibility and autonomy, it also poses its own unique set of challenges. One of the biggest challenges is how to maintain a productive work schedule without the structure and social interaction of a traditional office. In this blog post, I’ll be exploring the best practices for working remotely, including time management, setting up a suitable workspace, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Whether you’re a freelancer or a remote employee, these tips will help you stay motivated, focused, and productive while working from home. So if you’re ready to take your remote work game to the next level, let’s dive in! ContentsPreparing for a work day at homeStay connected when working remotelySetting up a home workspaceStaying goal orientatedWork-life balance when working from homeDon’t be afraid to ask for help Preparing for a work day at home Creating a morning routine that helps you transition from home life to work life is an essential step to being productive while working from home. One of the benefits of working remotely is the flexibility to start your day when you choose. However, this freedom can be a double-edged sword, making it easy to slip into the habit of working all day without any breaks. Having a morning routine can help set the tone for your day and ensure that you start your workday with focus and energy. Consider activities such as exercising, meditating, or journaling to help you center yourself before starting work. Taking a shower and getting dressed in work-appropriate attire can also help you signal to your brain that it’s time to get into work mode. The key is to find a routine that works for you and helps you transition from home life to work life seamlessly. Whether it’s taking a short walk, doing a quick yoga routine, or brewing a cup of tea, find something that helps you get into the right mindset for work. By creating a consistent morning routine, you can improve your focus and productivity throughout the day. Stay connected when working remotely Working remotely can sometimes make employees feel isolated from their colleagues, which can negatively impact morale and productivity. Therefore, staying connected to colleagues is essential to maintaining a healthy work environment. One way to stay connected is to schedule regular check-ins with your colleagues. This can be in the form of one-on-one meetings, team meetings, or virtual coffee breaks. These meetings can be a great opportunity to catch up on what everyone is working on, share ideas, and discuss any challenges you may be facing. Video conferencing software like Zoom or Skype can be used to facilitate virtual meetings, making it easy to connect with colleagues no matter where they are located. Chat platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams can also be used to stay in touch throughout the day. These platforms allow for quick and easy communication, making it easy to ask questions or share ideas with colleagues in real-time. They can also be used for team collaboration, document sharing, and project management, further facilitating the remote work process. By staying connected to colleagues, you can maintain social connections and ensure that you’re up-to-date on the latest happenings at work. This can help you feel more engaged and motivated, which can positively impact your work performance. Setting up a home workspace Creating a dedicated workspace is crucial to maximising productivity when working from home. Setting up a space that is free from distractions and tailored to your needs can make a significant difference in your overall work experience. When choosing a designated area for your workspace, consider factors such as natural light, noise levels, and access to power outlets. It’s important to choose a space that is separate from areas of your home that may cause distractions, such as the living room or kitchen. If possible, try to create a physical boundary between your workspace and the rest of your living space to help create a mental divide between work and personal life. Investing in comfortable and ergonomic furniture is also crucial to avoid any physical discomfort that could hinder your work performance. Consider investing in a comfortable chair, a desk that suits your height, and a monitor that is positioned at eye level to reduce eye strain. An organised workspace can also help improve focus and reduce stress levels. By creating a workspace that is tailored to your needs and free from distractions, you can help ensure that you’re able to work productively and efficiently from home. Remember, your workspace is unique to you, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different setups until you find one that works best for you. Staying goal orientated Staying goal-oriented is crucial when working remotely, as it can be easy to lose focus and become distracted by the many distractions that come with working from home. Therefore, setting achievable goals and tracking your progress towards them is essential to ensure that you’re working towards meeting your objectives. One way to stay on track is to create a to-do list at the beginning of each day or week. Prioritise tasks based on their importance and urgency, and aim to complete the most critical tasks first. This will help you stay focused on what needs to be done and avoid wasting time on less important tasks. It’s also important to break larger goals down into smaller, more manageable tasks. This can help you avoid becoming overwhelmed by the scope of a project and ensure that you’re making progress towards your larger goals. Tracking your progress towards your goals is equally important. This can be as simple as checking off completed tasks from your to-do list or using a project management tool to track your progress. Celebrating small wins along the way can help keep you motivated and focused on achieving your larger objectives. By staying goal-oriented and tracking your progress towards your objectives, you can ensure that you’re making the most of your time when working remotely. It can also help you stay motivated and productive, even when working in isolation. Work-life balance when working from home Maintaining work-life balance is essential when working remotely, as the lines between work and personal life can easily become blurred. To avoid burnout and maintain a healthy work-life balance, it’s important to set boundaries and establish a routine that allows you to separate work from your personal life. One way to establish boundaries is to set a specific work schedule and stick to it as much as possible. This can help you maintain a sense of structure and routine, and make it easier to switch off from work at the end of the day. It’s also important to communicate your schedule with your colleagues, so they know when you’re available and when you’re not. Taking regular breaks throughout the day is also crucial for maintaining peace of mind. This can include stepping away from your workspace for a short walk, doing some stretches, or simply taking a few minutes to rest your eyes. It’s essential to give yourself time to recharge and avoid burnout. Here’s an important one. Make sure to prioritise personal time and activities outside of work. This can include hobbies, exercise, or spending time with family and friends. It’s essential to have a healthy work-life balance to avoid burnout and maintain a healthy mental and physical state. By setting boundaries, establishing a routine, taking regular breaks, and prioritising personal time, you can maintain a healthy work-life balance when working remotely. This will help you stay productive, focused, and motivated while avoiding burnout and maintaining your overall well-being. Don’t be afraid to ask for help When working remotely, it’s easy to feel isolated and cut off from your colleagues. However, it’s important to remember that you’re still part of a team, and collaboration and communication are crucial for success. If you’re struggling with a particular task or need assistance, don’t be afraid to ask for help. One way to ask for help is to reach out to your colleagues or manager for assistance. Use video conferencing or chat platforms to facilitate virtual meetings or ask questions throughout the day. This will help you stay engaged and connected with your work and colleagues, and ensure that you’re receiving the support you need. Collaboration is also crucial when working remotely. Make sure to communicate regularly with your team and collaborate on projects whenever possible. Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback or share ideas with your colleagues, as this can lead to more innovative solutions and better outcomes. Remember, if you’re experiencing technical difficulties or other issues that are hindering your ability to work effectively, don’t hesitate to ask for technical support. Your IT department or manager may be able to provide assistance or advice that can help you overcome these challenges. Asking for help when you need it is essential when working remotely. By collaborating with your team, communicating regularly, and seeking assistance when necessary, you can ensure that you’re staying engaged, connected, and productive while working from home. Back to blog list About the Author Anders Bohea Founder & MD With a background in IT and marketing, Anders worked at a number of bluechip organisations such as Orange, Vodafone and Anderson Consulting. His positions have included a wide rage of roles from data centre management to consultancy. Since starting boxChilli, Anders has worked with diverse customers from differing business sectors, both in B2C and B2B environments. As well as boxChilli, Anders has also founded several other businesses including a successful million pound turnover online clothing store and a large online directory, both of which have been built up and sold on.