Many people are now working from home due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Here’s a look at how to make the most of your work-from-home experience.
Throughout the 21st century, more and more companies have allowed working from home as an option for at least some portion of their workforces. Now that COVID-19 is spreading around the globe, many companies are asking employees to work from home indefinitely.
There are many benefits to working from home. For example, there’s no commute when you work from home, which is great news for workers in high-traffic cities. But there are also challenges to working from home that can threaten productivity, work-life balance and general satisfaction.
At JTB Business Travel, our team members have been working from home since 2018. Here’s a look at 7 tips that we’ve learned through the years that can help you maximize your work-from-home experience.
1. Create a Dedicated Workspace
To successfully work from home, you need to feel like you’re going into the office when you sit down at your desk. That’s why you need a dedicated workspace. It’s hard to feel like you’re going into the office when you’re sitting at the kitchen table, on the sofa or (especially) in bed.
Home workspaces can take all forms. Some people have a dedicated office in their homes. Some repurpose a guest room. Others even get creative by converting a walk-in closet into a cozy home office. No matter what form your home workspace takes, it’s important to have one.
2. Get the Right Equipment
Once you’ve identified the ideal home workspace, it’s time to get the right stuff for it. Make sure to decorate in a way that makes your workspace feel comfortable. Plants, photos of family and friends, your favorite coffee mug — these things can make a workspace feel like it’s truly your own.
3. Dress Appropriately
Remember that it’s important to feel like you’re going into an office when you’re working from home. You wouldn’t go into the office wearing pajamas, right? It’s essential that you get dressed for the day and wear something appropriate before sitting down to work.
This is important for your work-from-home mindset. But it’s also important in today’s remote work environment when video calls and meetings are regular occurrences.
When you work from home, you miss out on the many spontaneous conversations that characterize traditional workplaces. No longer can you spend time at the coffee machine exchanging ideas or getting quick status updates.
That’s why you must over-communicate when you’re working from home. By creating regular check-ins and status updates with your managers, direct reports and colleagues, you’re able to recreate (to some degree) those spontaneous conversations and the opportunity to share ideas and status updates. Tools like Slack and Flock can be great for quick communication between formal meetings.
5. List Out To-Dos
When managing your workday at home, it helps to create a manageable, realistic to-do list. You want to include on your list only the most essential items for the day.
By creating a small to-do list, you’re able to defer things that pop up that aren’t top priorities. Also, when you create a manageable to-do list, you’re in a better position to complete those tasks — and to end your workday with a sense of productivity and satisfaction. If you don’t have a go-to list manager, try Asana or Trello, both offer free versions of their management tools.
6. Stay Active
Working from home means taking fewer steps and climbing fewer stairs throughout the day. If you work from home for an extended period of time, it’s easy to become less and less active.
So find time to get onto your feet and out of the house. Go with a quick run or bike ride at lunch. Take your dog for a walk. There are plenty of ways you can get your heart rate up so that you feel less sedentary while working at home.
7. Plan Your Day
When you work in an office, you typically have a calendar that outlines your day. Do the same thing at home. Set an appropriate start and end time for your work. Make sure your meetings are appropriately scheduled throughout the day. And schedule out your non-work activities, too.
For example, make time for exercise in your daily plan. Also, you don’t want to spend your entire day in the news or on social media, but you can certainly schedule quick breaks to see what’s happening in the world.
Finally, there’s always a temptation to take care of home duties and chores when you work where you live. Plan an appropriate start and end point to your work so that there’s plenty of time left over to fold clothes, empty the dishwasher or mow the lawn after your day is complete.
We’re Here to Support You
Life gets complicated when so many people are working from home. As you try to navigate your own work-from-home situation, let JTB Business Travel provide support. We’re always here to help you before, during and after business trips, whether you work in a traditional office or from the comforts of your own home. We take a common sense approach to every service we offer and every recommendation we make.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your business travel needs.