With the leap of technological advancement and the advent of new job opportunities that come with it, working from home is becoming more and more common. Even the most traditional companies are forced to go with the flow of time and look for ways to innovate and introduce the concept of homework or ‘telework’ as its called in Japan.
It was once associated with the image of a novelist sitting in a dramatically decorated room, smoking a cigarette and bashing the keys of a typewriter. Or a well-tanned business person chatting away on a massive mobile phone by the side of a resort swimming pool.
Nowadays it can be anything from sitting at your kitchen table eating breakfast writing code, to trying to work out the finer details of the next business move over an online meeting.
Living conditions and work routines are somewhat individual and vary quite a bit. Instead of giving concrete advice, I would like to shear a few of my own ways to be more productive and more than anything, enjoy working from home.
Have a strong morning routine.
A good morning routine starts the night before. It is important to get a good nights sleep. A dark room, that is not too warm tends to be the best sleeping condition for most people.
Don’t use the snooze button. The last few minutes do very little to help recovery and are at best a waste of time. At worst, trying to sleep a few minutes longer can make you drowsy. Ideally, the goal should be to beat the alarm clock by a few minutes.
Exercising or at last doing some light stretching is good for helping the body wake up and clear the head.
Start work by planning the day. Figure out what the priorities for the day are and if possible start the day by doing the most complicated or time-consuming tasks first.
I like to reward myself by having breaks after every ‘checkpoint’. But do not check social media or do anything else, that might occupy your mind later. Have a cup of coffee or tea and relax. Ideally, your thoughts should naturally drift to the next task ahead.
I like to have a separate room just for working. If you don’t have a spare room make sure to at last prepare a space to work at. A clean well lit house is a nice place to be in and therefore makes it easier to be productive.
If you don’t have the house for yourself, then it is best to coordinate and compromise. If you live in a flatshare let your housemates know what times you will be working and what are the minimum requirements. Like how much noise you will be making(e.g. conference call) or how much noise you can cope with.
If you live with a partner, try to be as cooperative as possible. Understand that sharing the space with someone for an extended period of time is difficult. Regardless of how much you like the person. Make sure to share responsibilities. For example, do the dishes right away or keep the house as clean as possible. Less stress for your partner means less stress in the house.
Have enough breaks. Make sure you are not pushing yourself too hard.
Burnout is a real thing. Especially so when getting used to something new. Like the ‘telework’, that is lead in because of the current circumstances.
Have a plan throughout the workday. Track your progress and make sure not to push yourself too hard. Working from home seems to be statistically the more productive way by nature. Various studies show that people who work from home tend to get done more, compared to their colleagues at the office. So try not to worry too much about getting it right the first time. Rather ease yourself into the experience and try to enjoy it.
Freelance writer and coding enthusiast.
Also a keen sportsman and painter.
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