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Top tips for working from home

Due to the need for social distancing many people have been sent home to work. This can be difficult for those who have not spent time working remotely. It’s hard to get used to a new “office” that is yes so familiar. However, this transaction can be made a bit smoother by following some of the ideas mentioned in this article.

Here at JTI, we’re all working remotely to stay safe and we’ve developed these tips based on the experience we’ve gathered so far.

The most difficult aspect of telecommuting is the mental one. You would first think that setting up everything from a technical standpoint would be the most difficult part – well, it isn’t. When looking at the problems surrounding working from home, how we adjusted mentally tops the list. Why is this the most difficult aspect of it all? Simply put, everything has changed.

We’re all working from a new environment, while most people are comfortable in their home environment, that doesn’t make it ideal for work. Often our homes are regarded as sanctuaries for when we are done with work. It can be difficult to work as you adjust to being at home day after day when you are used to being out of the house all day. Many people would think that the idea sounds great, but once they’ve done it a few weeks, it can become mentally challenging.

Your day becomes less structured- Your usual morning routines will disappear in a couple of weeks, mostly due to the fact that when you’re working from home, you can literally roll out of bed and be at work. This can be a blessing and a curse.

The lack of structure can make it hard for some to work diligently. It can also lead to working too much because the ability to work is immediately available.

Overall you have more distractions – we always find things that bother us in our environment, even while we’re working – you notice some dust on the table and decide to quickly clean the room, or you suddenly become hungry and decide to cook some food that takes longer to prepare than expected.

The following tips are related to the mental aspect of working from home and it’s important to understand as you consider how to implement various ideas. Being able to stay mentally fresh does take effort and planning, but it’s essential when you combine your workspace with your leisure space.

Let’s have a look at our top tips for working from home

Create your own private workspace – Privacy is an absolute must if you want to work effectively from home. You need to avoid setting up an office in centralized locations of the house such as the kitchen, living room. Ideally, you would have to set up your office in an extra bedroom or a guest room. You can also consider using the garage, believe it or not, it can be an excellent short-term solution. Be sure that you have a door that you can close anytime, good lighting, and a stable workspace, such as a desk or a table, and let’s not forget about proper electrical outlets, internet, and phone connections. In essence, you should try to separate the workspace from any activities associated with your leisure time to ensure that you are in the right mindset for work.

Review the Job Tools – by job tools, we mean anything essential to your day to day activities. Do you have all the right software downloaded to the device that you are using for work? Do you need to print or sign documents? Do you have all the necessary hardware for a video conference? Do you need apps like Dropbox or Google Drive for file sharing? Or Slack and Trello for communication and project management? We advise that you run through your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks to make sure that you have everything to function and also be aware of what needs to be taken care of.

Try to follow your regular schedule – This rule applies to both people who have difficulty when it comes to self-motivation and workaholics. It’s essential to establish a regular schedule, if you need to be in front of your computer working at 9 AM then everyone in the household has to learn to understand and respect that. Additionally, it’s important that you learn to respect yourself and your personal time. If it’s the end of the day and you have some unfinished work, get up, move around, have dinner – you can get back to work later.

Start your workday early – You can accomplish a lot when you start early in the morning when your mind is the freshest. Many of us who work from home start the day with brewing a coffee and then we dive directly into our work and we try to finish the task before breakfast, which then comes as a well-deserved reward.

Try taking regular breaks – this is something that people usually forget to do at work, but at home it is a must, as it is a key aspect of your mental state. It can be easy to resent your home space if your workspace overruns it. One way to prevent this from happening is by taking your regular breaks and lunches. Talk with the people around you, have lunch outside with a book, take short walks after finishing with work, don’t do chores. In short, do things that help you mentally separate your workspace from the rest of your home space.

Stay connected with people – During this period, we are all isolated in our homes and there are many of us who live alone. Humans are social beings and are used to daily interactions with fellow employees. Try using instant messaging apps and video calls to stay connected, if you have a family at home, be sure to interact with them as well.

Enjoy the benefits of working from home – there are numerous advantages when it comes to working from home that should be enjoyed without shame or remorse. You can listen to all of your music libraries without the concern of your co-workers hearing you sing, having a second cup of coffee because you always have the best coffee at home, and actually having time for breakfast

Final thoughts

From a technological standpoint, working from home has never been easier, it can still be a difficult adjustment. In our experience, a good mental mindset plays the most important part in determining how much you can accomplish.