How to work from home: 15 tips to make it easier
Working from home is awesome — under completely perfect conditions. But if you don’t have private space, are extremely isolated, or just aren’t cut out for the work from home life, it can be a challenge.
In this article, we’ll walk through how to ask to work from home if you’re not already, what exactly makes working from home challenging, and 15 tips for improving your work-from-home life.
How to ask to work from home if you’re not already doing so
These days, many people want a remote job.
About 54% of employed adults that can work from home said they’d want to keep doing so regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In some cases where remote work is possible, managers are still asking employees to come into the office.
If you can do your job from home, here’s how to ask your boss to make the switch:
Research other companies in your industry. If your competitors aren’t letting their employees work from home, know that it might be a tough sell.
Talk up the benefits. Consider productivity levels, safety, flexible scheduling, and anything else that might appeal to your boss.
Create a simple, clear plan. Include things like how you’ll communicate with your boss (whether it be through tools like Slack or the phone), how you’ll meet deadlines, and more.
Speak in person. You’ll be much more easily dismissed over the phone or through email, so plan to meet with your boss in person when you ask.
Be trustworthy. If your boss says yes, go above and beyond and check in frequently so that they know they made the right choice to try telecommuting.
Be prepared to walk away. There’s always a chance your boss will say no. You might need to find another opportunity if remote work is important to you.
What makes working from home challenging?
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, 71% of employees whose jobs can be done remotely are working from home. While it may sound nice not having to make a commute and being able to stay home with kids and pets, it’s not always all it’s cracked up to be.
Some of the biggest challenges remote workers face include feeling unmotivated, interruptions from family members, and not having an adequate workspace. Young people and parents are having the most challenging time:
Lack of motivation: 42% of people between 18–49 years old that work from home say that it has been difficult to feel motivated, whereas only 20% of workers 50 and older said the same.
Too many interruptions: Half of parents with children under 18 say frequent interruptions are the hardest part about working remotely.
Workspace challenges: Technology (or Zoom) fatigue is present in workers of all ages, with 37% of workers saying they’re worn out by the amount they use video calling or online conferencing.
15 tips on how to make ‘work from home’ better
Despite these challenges, the majority of workers don’t want to go back to the office. Let’s look at some tips and tricks that you can try throughout your day to help you work from home effectively.
Tips for lack of motivation
These suggestions will help you stay motivated and in the game outside the office.
1. Get started early
Start working earlier than usual to beat procrastination and tackle your to-do list when you’re the most focused.
2. Keep your morning rituals
This includes getting dressed for the office every morning, even if you’re more casual than normal, and creating an at-home “commute” buffer between waking up and getting to work.
3. Structure your day with time blocks
Popping back and forth between too many work tasks will cause burnout. Block time for specific activities each day, and include break time.
4. Turn off distractions
Mute notifications from chat apps during work blocks, or put your phone in a drawer so that it’s harder to get distracted.
5. Have a set start time and end time each day
When we work from home, flextime can become normal. Pick a time each day when you start and finish to define your working hours — no matter what.
6. Work when you’re most productive
If you’re a night owl, work after dark. If you’re a morning person, get up early. One of the perks of working remotely is that you can do what works for you.
7. Use the Pomodoro technique
This technique breaks work into small chunks and breaks. When you’re home, you can use those small breaks to do simple chores. Then, when you’re done working, you can really relax.
Tips for when you have too many interruptions
These suggestions help you separate home relationships and work relationships and hopefully find time to focus.
8. Have a dedicated workspace if possible
If you don’t have access to a dedicated home office, choose a specific space within your home that is just for work. When you’re in that space, your family knows you’re working.
9. Don't stay at home
“Work from home” doesn’t always have to happen at home. Take your work to a coffee shop or park for some separation and work-life balance.
10. Prepare meals the night before
The less you have to do during the day, the less you’ll be distracted. Meal prep the night before so that you don’t feel tempted to cook a full meal in the middle of the workday.
11. Allow for distraction time
Let your children or family members know that they can interrupt you during certain hours in the day if they need to, but other work hours are off-limits.
Tips for workplace challenges
Remote work can mean spending a lot more time on the computer than you would when you’re in an office. Here’s how to combat technology fatigue when Skype calls, Zoom meetings, and video conferencing in general get old.
12. Meet up with others in person
Take a walk with your neighbors or have standing coffee breaks with others who work at home in your house or nearby.
You can even get together with some co-workers and work together once a week.
13. Prioritize eating and sleeping
Sticking with your sleep routine and taking care of yourself is one of the best ways to combat the screen.
14. Group calls together
Take conference calls in the afternoon if your work allows. If you can’t always stick to the afternoons, lump as many calls together as you can so that you have long blocks of time without a video conference.
15. Block your screen’s blue light
Whether it’s blue light blocking glasses, a screen cover, or a natural light application, find a way to limit the effect of your screen’s blue light on your eyes and circadian rhythm. This can help improve your overall wellness.
How to find work from home jobs
If you want to work from home but don’t yet have a job that will allow it, Jobcase can help.
Just select the “remote work only” filter when looking for opportunities that support remote employees in your area.
Jobcase is more than just a job search tool — our community of like-minded individuals can help you find new job opportunities and meet personal career goals. Build your profile today.
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