As many people around the world shift from their office settings to working full-time at home, this new lifestyle can require some adjustment. There are often challenges faced while employees become accustomed to their new space. Allison Hernandez, lotus823’s Co-Founder and Managing Partner participated in a Working From Home Best Practices Webinar Panel Discussion on April 2nd. Check out the practical guidance and takeaways on working from home she has to share below!
Sure, there are pros and cons to every situation and working remotely is no exception. As an employee you can immediately begin to think of the advantages, but working from home comes with disadvantages as well. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits (in no particular order), that can first come to mind with telecommuting!
Advantages of Working from Home
- Sleeping in. For starters, you may not have to wake up as early. By subtracting the time that it would normally take to commute to your destination, you can simply push back your alarm clock.
- Save money. From eliminating the drive to and from the office, you will not need to fill up your gas tank as often. Lunch can also be expensive, and with your personal refrigerator at your disposal, you can save big by preparing food and that much needed coffee at home.
- Furry co-workers. Perhaps you have a furry friend at home who you now can call your co-worker. Having your pet by your side can calm and soothe you if you’re feeling stressed.
- Custom environment. Maybe you learn and work better in your own personal space. Working from home offers you the chance to set up an environment catered to you. You are in control of the noise level and atmosphere.
- Less distractions. Besides the occasional bark or meow you may get from your new co-worker, you can avoid those classic office distractions – countless phones ringing, colleagues chatting about their personal lives, construction being done on the building, etc.
- Flexibility. Working from home means you can plan out your day differently than if you were in an office. You may be able to take breaks at your leisure, answer important phone calls easily, and snack at any given moment.
- Business in the front. Or at least up top, above where the video chat displays. Cozy clothes are an option when working from home! You may have to hop on conference calls but the chances of someone catching you in your fleece pajama bottoms are unlikely.
- Forget crowds and traffic. You will never be late to work again due to that slow walker in front of you or sitting in bumper to bump traffic.
- Catch up on chores. Multitasking is easier than ever with being able to throw a load of laundry or run the dishwasher while you work.
- More time with loved ones. If you have little ones at home or a significant other who is feeling under the weather, you are able to spend more time with them while working remotely.
Disadvantages of Working from Home
- Loss of face-to-face interaction. Of course you may still talk to your coworkers, teams, and clients on a daily basis, but instant messaging and video chats are not the same as if you were physically together. Employees often feed off of one another’s energy, and it is difficult to have the same experience when relying on technology to bring us together.
- Longer replies. When working long-distance, it may take longer for important questions to be answered rather than if you were to ask in person.
- Separating work vs. leisure. With the temptation of turning on the tv or laying down in bed, employees may find it harder to separate work from leisure time.
- Difficulty sticking to a routine. It can be tough to work the same exact schedule as if you were in the office. You may have a different order of completing tasks now at home.
- Less motivation. Some employees may find that they work better in a more established work environment.
- Unreliable WiFi. Maybe you don’t have the best internet connection. If your wifi starts to glitch on you, you may have to come up with a quick solution.
- Tempting power naps. “I’ll just close my eyes for 10 minutes” can turn into a half an hour before you know it. By being in the comfort of your home, it can be tempting to add a quick snooze to your calendar.
- Ordering take-out on the regular. You thought you would be saving money but in reality you are saving yourself from cooking by ordering DoorDash or GrubHub for lunch.
- No second monitor. Back at the office you may have been taking that second monitor for granted. When relying solely on a smaller laptop screen and the built-in mouse, this can slow down your productivity.
- Loneliness. If you like to chat while working, you may begin to miss the office conversations with your cubicle buddy.
If you are in a position where you are working remotely, check out these habits you can integrate to help you stay focused on being productive and meet deadlines with the many distractions at home.
Actions and Routines
- Wake up at the same time. Employees should go throughout their days the same way they would if they were in the office. Rolling over and turning on your laptop the second you wake up is not a good way to start the workday. Give yourself extra time in the morning to make that cup of coffee and get your brain moving.
- Determine your work style. When it comes to meeting deadlines, it’s all about consistency and efficiency. Music can be a great asset for staying productive but not everyone works the same way. If you are working remotely you can customize your work environment to what works best for you!
- Diminish distractions. By silencing your phone, just as you would if you were working in an office, you can prevent notifications from derailing your focus.
- Stick to a schedule. Planning out your day is the key to effective time management. Have a clear plan so you make the most of your time and actually accomplish the important things.
- Establish a home office. You don’t have to dedicate an entire room for working at home but you should create an environment you’ll be most successful in.
An organized workplace encourages workers to be productive, reduces work-related stress and saves time — especially because employees spend less time looking for things. Read on for some tips to establish an efficient workplace with organization.
Tips for Staying Organized
- Keep a calendar. Whether you are old school and prefer your notes and to-do lists handwritten, or you have everything digitally, employees rely on their calendars to keep things organized.
- Jot down important information. When you take notes and complete assignments at home, you should maintain the same methods of organization at home as you do in the office. Another important factor is where you set yourself up to work.
- Keep your space clean. Employees should be working in a tidy environment not next to a pile of clothes you’ve been meaning to throw in the wash.
Too much of anything is not good for you, which is why it is beneficial to schedule time away from your work to recharge. Check out how to break up your work day at home.
Scheduling Breaks and You Time
- Make the most out of your break. Employees can make the most out of their lunch breaks when working remotely by reading a book, working out, or catching up on some chores.
- Step out for some fresh air. Back to those with furry friends at home, taking your dog out for breaks when they (or you) need it is another great way to break up the day.
- Get that body moving. Incorporating some form of exercise is a great way to relieve any tension and clear your mind.
- Meditate. Taking a step back from your workload and relaxing is a great way to recharge both the brain and body.
To learn more about working from home, check out the webinar panel discussion Allison participated in on April 2nd below.
If you enjoyed this blog post, stay tuned for the second installment focusing on tips for managers while working remotely!