There’s no doubt that we’re in a new era for the workplace. The COVID-19 Pandemic forced many businesses to pivot into the world of remote working. While some offices have begun to open up again, just as many have made the decision to permanently convert to a high-flex work environment.
At Balsom Communications, this is nothing new for us. We’ve been working remotely as long as we’ve been working. In the past, this meant working from home offices, coffee shops, airplanes, and anywhere else we could get things done. Now it may be less glamorous, but it’s just as productive. So what’s the secret to success? We put our heads together to bring you five fabulous tips for working from home.
1. Have a dedicated workspace
When you first start working from home, you might find yourself overwhelmed with the freedom. You can do whatever you want! Outside of the video conference call, you never even have to get out of bed!
Trust us friends, this is not what you want to do. When you don’t delineate your workspace, your whole house becomes an office. That’s right. Let that sink in. Your bedroom? Nope, your office. Your bathtub? Office. Your kitchen? That’s work too. There’s literally no escape.
I know it’s not realistic for most people to have a separate office space, but be consistent. Carve out somewhere that’s your workspace, and keep your work contained to that place. It’ll help keep work from simply bleeding into every aspect of your home life.
2. Remember to ‘clock out’
In the immortal words of Rihanna, “work work work work work work.” Does that sound less like a song and more like the intimate details of your life? Well, cut it out.
Don’t get me wrong, I work hard. But it becomes very easy to just always be in work mode when you’re working from home. Go easy on yourself. An email that comes in late can wait until tomorrow to get a response. You’ll be more focussed and productive during working hours if you take the time to reset outside of the work day.
I find I miss the way a drive home from work can decompress me from the day, and some days I’ll go for a short drive after work for just that reason. It helps me mentally transition from my working day to my personal time.
3. Find your vibe
So many of us are accustomed to the traditional office, that we think our home office needs to be exactly like that. Friends, that is so not the case. Find the vibe that makes you the most productive.
For me, I like some background noise. If you were a fly on the wall of my home office, you’ll most likely definitely catch some trashy reality television humming in the background. For some of us at Balsom, it’s CBC News that underscores the work day.
Maybe you focus better in cool temperatures? Go ahead and crack the window. Find you work harder standing? Then stand! There are literally no rules, people!
Personally, my office vibe includes lots and lots of coffee, burning incense, staying cozy and letting Selling Sunset play in the background. And of course, the company of my sweet little kitties.
4. Take breaks
Repeat after me: you are allowed to take a break. Seriously, say it out loud right now! I mean it! When simply being present in the offices stops being a part of your job, it’s hard to not feel like every single moment needs to be quantifiable as WORK.
You are not a supercomputer, though. You are a human being (unless you are a supercomputer in which case I have a lot of questions, mostly about the 2004 Will Smith film I, Robot). All this to say, don’t be too hard on yourself. Take a break, eat some lunch. When you get back to work you’ll be more productive than before.
5. Stay connected
Perhaps the most important tip I can offer is this: stay connected with your colleagues. Keep everyone updated on your progress, on whether you need help, or anything else that’s going on.
We like to stay in the loop with each other by carbon copying one another on emails, and by setting aside a designated daily catch up. Even on days when there’s nothing new to report, the socialization of a work phone call can make a huge difference in the day- especially if you’re an extrovert like me.
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need in order to be successful. Now, go forth and prosper, people.