In the grave circumstances of COVID-19, home-based offices have not only benefited in many ways, but people prefer them more for safety and employment sakes. Hearing ‘working from home’ makes people imagine the most leisure working environment. You think of flexible hours, mid-work snacking, you do not require any special attire so you can work even in your pajamas, and most of all, you can take a break whenever you like. This is true that a home-based office is much more relaxing and calming than actually having to go to the office but the ‘feeling of relaxation’ can often lead to laziness, low productivity, and affect your performance in all kinds of ways.
Here are some tips that I have been using myself as well as seen others using them to improve their home-office, along with their performance. They will help maintain the working pace and keep up the quality of your work.
1. Structure Your Day
Having the right mindset will automatically put you in the mood to work. For this purpose, you need to structure your day as you one would do at an office for any regular working day.
Scheduling is essential to keep track of what jobs you are about to do, what is due, and what you have done. This will not only organize everything you have to do but also make you feel less burdened with work. It works similar to when you submit a 3000-word report, which seems hectic, but three 1000-words assignments seem way easier.
● To-do List
A to-do list is great for people who often miss essential things in their jobs. Keep a record and strike out the tasks or points you have completed. This will help you keep track of work and avoid mistakes.
● Sit upright
It might sound silly, but the way you sit and work at your home-based office can contribute to your productivity and hence make you a more successful home-based employee. Try to sit upright while working; if you can get a chair and desk for your workplace, that would be great. Also, use plastic buckets and folders to keep the paperwork organized.
● Small Breaks
Taking small breaks while working is essential, not only for your health but your performance and productivity as well. Especially when you are stressing out due to workload, make sure to rest for a few minutes to regain your energy. The best part about home-based offices is that you can stop and resume whenever you want. You can also take power naps of 15 minutes if you are super stressed and burdened with work.
● Starting And Ending Of Working Hours
If you pretend to be at work even when you are home, you would be able to work for more hours with the same productive attitude. Try to begin at an early hour; 9 or 10 am are perfect timings.
2. Technology And Innovation
Using technology is essential, and there is no denial in keeping your gadgets up to date holds great significance. To succeed as a home-based employee, use technology for faster and convent working.
Using the latest technology, like video conferencing and over-net communication, will lift off all kinds of barriers between you and your office personnel. Use innovative applications like zoom, skype, and others to have an uninterrupted transmission.
● Digital Data Storage
Most of us are used to the piled up paperwork,’ but using mobile technology can take you home office up a notch as it provides a safer and more convenient means of storage and processing. Keep yourself updated for a better home office.
● VPN And Cybersecurity
As an employee, people have to deal with a lot of sensitive information. Breaching and hacking are a common problem in the case of weak systems and connection security. To improve your work’s success rate and better security, use VPN to hide your IP address and location.
● Other Technological Facilities
- Using secure search engines like Google, Operas, etc. will make your work a lot easier as you can access all kinds of information via them.
- There are features like text-to-speech and voice recognition, which save time in typing and searching.
- You can use the cloud for storing and sharing data. Not only is it safe, but it also provides limitless data sharing, which makes life a lot easier.
- Automation is genuinely a blessing, especially when you are multitasking. It also helps in scheduling tasks; this future proves useful for people who have repeat a couple of functions daily as an initiation or termination process.
3. Healthy Lifestyle
Only because you are working from home it is not necessary that you must work from your bed all day and lay here and there when you go through a procrastination period. Maintain a healthy lifestyle will improve your bodily functions and mental health, which will contribute to better functionality and performance.
● Healthy Meals And Snacks
Even if you are eating three healthy and balanced meals in a day, your health will not improve if your snacking habits are unhealthy. Make healthy snacks like smoothies, homemade granola, and power bars, including nuts and fruits. Drinking detox tea is also a great idea; it relaxes the mind.
Being out of shape because you work from home is a widespread problem, but what is even worse is that people do not do anything about it. You can schedule small work out sessions as a break from work. Changing your routine can help you work better. A huge benefit of working out is the release of endorphins in the body, which improves mood and hence makes you better able to work.
● Is Isolation A Good Idea?
Isolation is a good idea when you are working, and it will help you focus better and keep optimum performance. However, if you are not working, your mental health should socialize with your family and spend time together. Psychology says that doing so improves one’s group dynamics and socializing skills, which are useful as an employee as well as an employer.
4. Understand yourself
Before starting your routine office work, make sure you are doing so during your productive hours. How would you know that you ask? It is where understanding your core comes in handy.
● Productive Hours
There come a few hours or maybe days when procrastination takes over. Know when you are highly productive and finish all the necessary work or the one with a close deadline. Sometimes the procrastination period starts to interfere with your daily routine. The best way to deal with this is to take things slow.
Some tasks are always more exciting and appealing than others, and you still work better on them, whereas some functions are just another annoying thing you have to do. You end up disencumbering that without any reasonable effort. Now you cannot eat your cake and have it too, so you used your creativity to make tedious tasks enjoyable. Use technology and your working style to improve the working space and routine.
● Learn To Relax
No one can work 24/7—all-day every minute. Not only is it unhealthy but nearly impossible. When you are tired, your abilities become compromised, which leads to bad quality work, and you probably even end up missing the deadlines too. A simple way to deal with this problem is by learning to relax. When you are working, remain focused, but once you decide to take a break, do not touch any work or even think about it.
5. Your Workplace
A home-based working space must be a combination of comfort and functionality. You must have things that contribute to your productivity and make your life easier. A common mistake while building a workplace is that people include too much comfort, which leads to distraction and a decline in productivity.
Furniture is important. It should be comfortable and NOT tacky at all to provide you a relaxed and calming environment to work in. A suitable height desk with a wheeled chair is the right choice.
Nothing is more annoying than the strain you feel when you are unable to see what you are working on correctly. Always set up your home office in a place with good lighting. You can either have a room with good light set up or have windows for the natural light.
Ever feel like you suddenly are getting control over your life just because you cleaned your room? Exactly! This is why trash bins are necessary. Don’t trash your working space, instead discard all the junk in a container.
● Organizational Tools
When you have the right kind of supplies, it makes a huge difference. Buy necessary stationery, including folders, files, papers, pencils, pens highlighter, paper clips, etc. You can add personality to them by purchasing themed ones. Use dividers and containers for separating and organizing all the stuff. Things like a paper shredder, calculator and other gadgets also come in handy.