What’s your work from home experience?
Recently, working from home has become the new reality for companies around the world.
Most formerly sceptical businesses are now seeing the need to embrace remote work and a lot of others are fixing strategies to overhaul their office focused operational systems.
For those of us operating online businesses, e-commerce, tech related businesses etc who are already used to working remotely, working from home is not supposed to be a big deal for us.
For me personally, It has never been an issue. I have been working remotely whenever I have to, without experiencing much set back on my creativity…
Then the Covid-19 experience set in. And with the Covid-19 induced lock down, everything changed.
From getting to my back office at anytime between 10-2pm, there are days i won’t feel the need to work.
At other times, i realize to my surprise that I’ve filled my working hours with different activities so much so that it sucks to think about work. Then the distraction sets in.
Usually, it starts like the need for a little break. After a few hours of work I’d decide to take off some 5 minutes to stretch.
The 5 minutes stretch can get up to 10 additional minutes. And then 30 then I’d feel like, oh maybe i should take a longer break.
Most times I won’t realize how much these breaks have eaten into my time until I noticed a lot has been left undone.
With the realization that the lockdown might not completely end anytime soon, I needed to find out strategies I can use to improve my effectiveness as I continue working from home.
Over some days back, I realized some tips that have worked for me. And I’m going to share them below with you.
Tips to work from home like a Pro
Usually, working from home tips would slightly be different from one geographical location to another, depending on the experiences of people in that location…
In this five point tips, I’ve listed out strategies that are generally applicable to remote work, irrespective of your location.
The following are the tips…
Set up a Work Corner
Working from home does not mean that you need to have an exclusive home office for your work before you can get productive.
However, you definitely need a safe space where you can do your work effectively without much disturbance. Especially when you don’t live alone.
For this to work very well, you need a corner that is quiet, free from distractions and a place where you can create an ambience of an office space, exclusively for your work.
Get your Tools Together
To work from home successfully, you need certain tools to get your work done.
From your gadgets to apps, internet service, stable power supply etc. you need to put these tools in place in order to get your work coming up effectively.
If you’re in a developed country for instance, you may not have a lot to worry about with stable power supply but where you’re living in a developing country, power outages could be one of the biggest fall outs that will affect your productivity.
To get around this, you want to work on getting at least the most affordable alternative power sources to power up your gadgets.
Where you can’t get one, you have to utilize whatever electricity you have very effectively. Focus on performing most of the work that’s less dependent on electricity when there’s power outage..
When power is restored, you can then focus on doing most electricity reliant work at that time.
Of course this approach may not fix your issues entirely but, with much flexibility and pragmatism you can rely on this until you afford an alternative energy source.
Get a daily Plan
One habit you’d mostly experience when you work from home without a plan or target is the habit of doing random things at different intervals.
The habit of stopping in the middle of one work to fix another you think is more urgent.
This usually happens when there’s no plan for the day. Or when you don’t strictly follow your laid down plans.
To get this out of the way, you need to organize your daily schedules and then follow a strictly laid down plans that spells out roughly the things you need do for a particular day.
And how this thing will help you towards reaching your goal for the week or month.
This means you must have weekly goals that are measurable too. This takes us to step number four.
Set clear Goals
Your goals could be anything from getting an ABC number of clients for your biz to getting your business from point A to B within an XYZ time.
Without a clear goal, you’re not getting anywhere with your biz. And if you’re not getting anywhere then there’s no need (or motivation) to work.
Set goals that inspire you. Make your goals realistic and allow it to power your drive to work as you wake up everyday.
Without this in place, you’ll hardly get better results when you work from home. Especially if you’re working for yourself.
Working for others is a bit different because you’re most likely under supervision and you’ll be reporting to a superior.
But when you work for yourself, you’re not reporting to anyone so you’ll feel it’s not bad to nibble away some hours.
It’s fine you’ll definitely not be penalized. But your bank account will suffer for the incessant nibbling.
As a self employed person, freelancer or entrepreneur, you really can make something out for yourself working from home. This is what I tell myself, everyday.
Stay Committed to Work
As an employee, one of the high points of working from home is that you may not have a lot of supervision compared to what you would have in a formal office environment.
With this, you could be tempted to put in more less effort to work and this can affect your productivity in the long run.
For an entrepreneur on the other hand, being self employed affords you the opportunity to get up to work whenever you want and leave your desk at your convenience and no one would question you.
Managing such freedom without discipline and a serious commitment to your overall business goals can affect your business to a large extent.
So either as an employee or entrepreneur, you need lots of self discipline to set your goals and stay on track even if you could walk away without consequences.
This commitment is what will keep you on your desk even when you feel like taking a break.
Measure and track your Goals
Don’t be tempted to believe it’s enough to set goals.
Take out time to measure and track your goals, how realistic they are and how effective you’ve been working towards achieving them.
This will inform you on whether you’re actually getting the results right or not.
It will also guide you on what needs to be done.
If the biggest need for your biz right now is to survive the new normal, set your goals around that.
Chunk down these goals into small tasks that will get you closer to achieving it every day.
Review your strategy
Don’t be scared to review and re-strategize your approach to work, your strategy and other activities.
Check out those short emails you sent. Did they generate results? How many people opened it.
Find out, based on today’s result, do you want to create that same content again tomorrow?
It’s very easy to think that every thing is working right well after all you’re very busy…
Truth is, in this game, busyness is different from productivity so put your ears to the ground.
Your effort and hours are gold. Don’t waste it. Cut off activities that’s not adding up to your overall goals.
Before i conclude, here are a few takeaways i want you to get out from this post…
Working from home is getting more appealing to both employees and businesses because its obviously rewarding to a large extent…
But, to work from home successfully, you have to arm yourself with certain strategies and approaches that will make your work come out smoothly.
Over to you. What are your favorite work from home tips you’d like to share?