Ability to work from home - in pajamas, on a convenient schedule, without the need to go to the office in a crowded transport twice a day - it seems to many to be the ultimate dream. In practice, everything is not so rosy and working on the couch, alas, is not suitable for everyone: if surrounded by other people you are more motivated and you are more productive than alone, it may be worth choosing a traditional office. But even if you are sure that this is your option, pitfalls cannot be avoided - we will tell you how to get around them.
Set a clear schedule
Working from home does not always mean less work compared to the office - even though you don't waste time commuting. Most likely, you will have to set your own schedule to meet the deadlines. The good news is that you don't have to stick to the standard nine-to-five pattern: if you're more productive in the evening, there is nothing stopping you from starting at two or, for example, breaking the day into several blocks when you need to go somewhere. The main thing is to stick to the plan, and then it will be easier to get down to business.
Deal with distractions
Dealing with procrastination at home can be more difficult than at the office: no one will see that you are actually watching YouTube videos instead of filing a report. Nevertheless, there are working tricks here: if you feel that some activity prevents you from being productive (for example, you put a film or TV series in the background, but every now and then you are distracted by the plot), then it's time to abandon it. Try turning off social media notifications at least for a short period of time - this will surely go faster. To make sure that you are on time for sure, try keeping a to-do list.
Don't forget to communicate with colleagues and superiors
If you are not a freelancer working independently of others, but part of a team, you need to be aware of the company's affairs and understand how things are with common projects. For those who work from home, this can be difficult: it is faster and more habitual for colleagues to discuss some of the questions out loud, and they may simply forget to tell you about some important announcements. In such a situation, the responsibility to monitor the situation partly falls on you: talk with colleagues and superiors more often and find out how you are doing, so as not to fall out of the process.
Another important point to think about if you decide to work from home is food. Everyone who has at least once stayed for a whole working day in their own apartment knows how likely it is to spend it with tea and cookies, or to constantly break away from business to look in the refrigerator again. Remember that at home you decide what food you end up with on your plate, both for basic meals and snacks.
To limit the number of visits to the refrigerator, you can try setting an alarm or setting a reminder in your smartphone that it's time to take a break (for lunch or for a snack). It's better than eating right at the computer: while you work, you can quietly eat more than you would like, and that makes it harder to pay attention to the taste of food.
Another problem is to find time for lunch and cooking (do this right in the middle of the working day? And when to wash the dishes?). There is a way out: you can, for example, prepare lunches for the week ahead on weekends, or you can go out to dine near your home - the fact that you are not in the office does not mean that you cannot afford a break.
Potential loneliness dares many people from working at home: the option when you only manage to talk to your own cat for the whole day is not suitable for everyone. Even if you are comfortable working alone, complete isolation should still be avoided - otherwise there is a chance to quietly stop leaving the apartment. Don't forget to chat with people outside of messengers and go for walks periodically to warm up and get some fresh air. For a change, you can try coworking spaces or work in a cafe.
Organize your workspace
In order to quickly tune in to a working mood, experts advise to allocate a special zone. Just sitting on the couch with a laptop and a dog is not enough, but a separate surface is enough - the main thing is for you to feel that a new stage of the day begins when you rise from the table. “By creating clear space, I create boundaries between work and home. When I'm in my office, I don't think about home. When I'm in the home zone, I don't think about business,”says Virginia Ginsburg, owner of Swell Strategies, a business consulting and coaching company.
For the same reason, those who work from home are often advised to change from pajamas to work clothes. This, of course, does not mean that it is imperative to sit at the computer in a jacket - you can choose any one in which you will be comfortable.
Understand household chores
Many people believe that working from home will help them to do twice as much - to complete work tasks, and at the same time to do household chores. But, most likely, everything will be the other way around: if you are trying to solve a serious issue, household chores will only be distracting - at least because you will not be able to focus on one thing. Although, of course, you can try to find a balance - for example, thinking about a project while loading the washing machine, or taking breaks for mechanical tasks. The main thing to remember is that during working hours it is work that should remain a priority - and that it is impossible to do everything at once.
Ask everyone to leave you alone
If you are not alone at home, the number of distractions only increases - remember the story of Professor Robert Kelly, who was giving a live interview to the BBC when his children unexpectedly ran into the office. In order not to find yourself in the same situation, try to draw clearer boundaries: yes, in fact you are at home, but this does not mean that relatives and neighbors can contact you on any non-urgent issue, or that you can always interrupt for a half-hour conversation on the phone. Business hours are business hours, no matter where you are.
Don't work day and night
This item is especially difficult for those who, even leaving the office, cannot stop checking their work mail. Some experts believe that getting rid of workaholism for those who work from home is more difficult than defeating a lack of motivation. If this is your case, build clear boundaries - otherwise, you yourself may not notice how you sit at the table from ten in the morning until late at night. You can come up with a special ritual that will help you understand that the work is over, for example, make a circle around the yard - walk the dog or just walk.