Now that Coronavirus is spreading like wildfire and many of us our Self Isolating, Avoiding Crowds or Looking after children etc., many of us are now starting a new experience of Working From Home.
I myself have been working from home for many years so would like to share some of my Top Tips for Working From Home, as well as other Top Tips for Working From Home, that I have found online.
  • Top Tips for Working From Home – 1

    Try and stick to a regular Working From Home Routine / Working regular hours where possible…

    Set a schedule, and try your best to stick to it…(most of the time).

    Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps many home workers maintain a work life balance. That said, one of the benefits of remote work is flexibility, and sometimes you need to extend your day or start early to accommodate someone else’s time zone or an increased work load etc.

    When you do, be sure to wrap up earlier than usual or sleep in a bit the next morning to make up for it. 

    Automatic time-tracking apps, such as RescueTime, let you check in on whether you are sticking to your schedule. They can also help you figure out what times of day you are most productive versus when you ease off.

    You can then use that information to your advantage by reserving your hours of high focus for your most important tasks.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – 2

    Create an effective Morning or Starting Routine…

    Deciding that you will sit down at your desk and start work at a certain time is one thing. Creating a routine that guides you into the chair is another.

    What in your morning routine indicates that you are about to start work?

    It might be making a cup of tea/coffee. It might be returning home after a jog. It might be getting dressed (wearing pyjamas to work is a perk for some, but a bad strategy for others).

    A routine can be more powerful than a clock at helping you get started each day.

    Not everyone who works from home follows a nine-to-five schedule, so whether you have a morning routine or a “getting started” routine (at another time of day), it good to get that routine in to your habits, so things just happen naturally, smoothly and regular.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – 3

    Set firm Rules with the people around you…

    You need to make sure that the people in your home or who share your space with, when you work understand the importance of your work and your routine and do not constantly interrupt you, invade your space, distract you are seek favours or tasks from you.

    If you have children who come home from school while you are still working, they need clear rules about what they can and cannot do during that time. Additionally, just because you are home and can let trade people into the house or take care of pets etc. doesn’t mean other family members should assume you can and will always do it.

    If that’s how you choose to divide up the domestic labor, that’s fine, but if you simply take it all on by default because you’re home, you may feel taken advantage of, and your productivity WILL sufferer.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – 4

    Remember to schedule and form habits for regular breaks in your Working From Home Routine, as you would in the office…

    Know your company’s policy on break times and take them.

    If you are self-employed, give yourself adequate time during the day to walk away from the computer screen, phone and everything else that you are doing.

    A lunch hour and two 15-minute breaks seems to be the standard for full-time employees. Keep yourself fresh and energised and you’ll be more productive.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – 5

    Take Breaks in Their Entirety

    Do not constantly cut short your breaks, especially your lunch hour. You can use apps, such as TimeOut for Mac and Smart Break for Windows, to lock yourself out of your computer for 60 minutes. Or you can just launch a simple clock or timer on the screen when you take a break. If you return to your desk after only 40 minutes, walk away for another 20 or take the additional 20 minutes at a later time.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – 6

    Where possible try and leave the house regularly (or at least the room where your working)…

    You don’t have to eat out every day, but try to leave your home or work space regularly. The same advice applies to people who work in traditional office settings, too. Leave the building at least once a day. Your body needs to move. Plus, the fresh air and natural light will do you good.

    You don’t have to go to crowded public spaces to get away from your solo workspace. Take a walk. Weed the garden, go networking – Just ensure that you get out fairly regularly.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – 7

    Don’t delay in getting what you need to work from home…

    If you’re employed by a company or organisation that supports your work-from-home setup, request the equipment that you need as soon as you start working from home, or within a day or two when you realise anything new that you might need. It’s extremely important to set precedents early that you will ask for what you need to get your job done comfortably, including the right monitor, keyboard, mouse, chair, printer, software, and so on.

    Organisations that are used to having home working employees often have a budget for home office equipment. Ask what it is and how often it’s renewed. It also doesn’t hurt to ask whether there’s a loan agreement or who will pay for return shipping or disposal of outdated equipment.

    If you are working from home unexpectedly due to coronavirus, ask for what you need within reason. You could be working from home for weeks on end and you should be comfortable, but ordering a new office chair and desk might be asking too much. Consider a mouse and keyboard, plus a back-supporting cushion instead.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – 8

    Keep a Dedicated Office Space in your home…

    In an ideal world, home workers would have not only a dedicated office, but also two computers, one for work and one for personal use.

    It’s more secure for the employer, and it lets you do all your NSFW activities in private. But not everyone has a separate office in their home, and keeping two machines isn’t always realistic. Instead, dedicate a desk and some peripherals only for work use. For example, when your laptop is hooked up to the monitor and external keyboard, it’s work time. When it’s on your lap, that’s personal time. You may want to go as far as partitioning your hard drive and creating a separate user account for work.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – 9

    Have a Separate Work Phone Number…

    Set up a phone number that you only use for calls with colleagues and clients. It doesn’t have to be a landline, second mobile phone, or even a SIM card. It can be a free VoIP service, such as Google Voice or a Skype number. Similar to some of the other tips, having a separate phone number can help you to manage your work-life balance.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – 10

    Use a VPN

    You should use a VPN whenever you’re connected to a network that you don’t control.

    That includes Wi-Fi at co-working spaces, cafes, libraries, and airports.

    Some organisations have their own VPNs that off-site employees need to use, to access certain servers or websites that store information meant only for internal use.

    In those cases, you’ll also need to use a VPN at home.

    In any case, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of leaving your VPN connected as often as possible because it’s always safer to have it on than not.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – 11

    Remember to still socialise with colleagues

    Loneliness, disconnect, and isolation are common problems in work from home, especially for extroverts.

    Companies with a work from home culture usually offer ways to socialise. With Self Isolation, Socialising doesn’t have to mean meeting up. There are other ways.

    For example, you can implement a chat channel where remote employees can talk about common interests or if the virus eases you can have Social distancing approved for people in the same region, and in-person retreats etc.

    It’s important to figure out how much interaction you need to feel connected and included. Even if you’re highly introverted and don’t like socialising, give a few interactive experiences a try so that you’re familiar with them if you ever decide you want them.

    If you’re not at a company with a strong remote culture, you may need to be more proactive about nurturing relationships.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – 12

    Still arrange and attend meetings regularly and when you do, ensure that you are involved

    Certainly, as a home worker you will be taking part in more video conferences and conference calls etc. but it’s a good idea to attend optional meetings sometimes, too. Be sure to speak up during the meeting so everyone knows that you are on the call and have your own input to make.

    Asking Questions, Reaffirming important tasks and A simple, “Thanks, everyone” or “Good Bye!” at the close of a meeting will go a long way toward making your presence known.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – 13

    Remember to still get Face 2 Face Time with your bosses or colleagues when you need it…

    If your employer is lax about getting you in a room with other employees or management, ask to have an annual or semi-annual trip in your contract. It could be for annual planning, training, or team building.

    Or add it on to some other business event, such as a yearly budget meeting, nearby conference, or office holiday party.

    Don’t wait around for someone to invite you to the office or an event. Be proactive.

    For those unexpectedly working from home who are also trying to reduce face-to-face contact, set up a video call with your colleagues or manager once a week (or how ever often required) in order to check in or keep up some level of contact.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – 14.

    Take Sick Days when needed…

    When you’re not well, take the sick time you need. If sick days are part of your compensation package, take the time off that you need. Not taking it is like throwing away money.

    If you’re a freelancer who doesn’t have paid sick days, it can be very easy to fall into the opposite time-is-money trap and try to power through illnesses.

    Keep in mind that sometimes it’s best to rest and get better so that you can be your most productive self in the long term.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – 15

    Still look for Training Opportunities…

    When you are not in an office with your fellow employees, you might miss out on training and skills development courses that are taught in person.

    Your company might even forget to add you to its online training courses. It can be tempting to regard this as a dodged bullet, but you might be missing out on an important opportunity to learn something useful.

    Speak up and make sure that you are included in any ongoing training.

    In addition to top-down training, you can request online or in-person courses, training, and coaching if you need it.

    For people who work from home for 100% of the time, look for learning opportunities that are taught at the company’s headquarters or your closest office. That way, you get training and face to face time with colleagues.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – 16 Keep Regular Communication…

    Working remotely requires you to keep regular communication. Tell everyone who needs to know about your schedule and availability often. When you finish a project or important task, say so. Regular communication doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to write an essay to explain your every move, but it does mean repeating yourself. Joke about how you must have mentioned your upcoming holiday three times already, then mention it again.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – 17

    Be Positive…

    I like succinct and clear messages, but I know that the less face time I have with people, the less they know how to interpret my tone in writing. When you work remotely full-time, you must be positive, to the point where it may feel like you’re being overly positive. Otherwise, you risk sounding like a jerk. It’s unfortunate, but true. So embrace the exclamation point! Find your favorite emoji :D. You’re going to need them.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – 18

    Take Advantage of Your Perks…

    Every year, I at some point take advantage of the Weather and/or some major sporting event. Why? Because I work from home and I can. Plus, I enjoy it.

    When I worked in an office full-time, I struggled to find the time to enjoy the weather or a major spirting event. As we don’t get good weather that often in the UK, when it comes, I take time to enjoy it (work load permitted) and do my work around it for a while. Working remotely comes with unique perks. Take advantage of them. You deserve it.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – 19

    Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself…

    The most successful remote employees have a reputation for being extremely disciplined. After all, it takes serious focus to do any full-time office job from an unconventional space. That said, everyone lets their attention drift sometimes. If you find yourself working one minute and booking flights for your upcoming trip the next, don’t reprimand yourself too harshly. Instead, ask yourself whether people in an office setting do the same thing. If the answer is yes, cut yourself some slack, then get back to work.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – 20

    Create an effective ending routine…

    Just as you should start your day with a routine, create a habit that signals the close of the workday. It might be a sign off on a business messaging app, a final email to the office, an evening dog walk, or a 6pm jog.

    Something as simple as shutting down your computer and turning on a favourite podcast or song will do. Whatever you choose, do it consistently to mark the end of working hours.

    Top Tips for Working From Home – Summary

    Make Your Working From Home Situation Personal To You…

    These are some of my Top Working From Home Tips and Some Gathered From the Web, but above all else, figure out what works best for you.

    Sometimes the answer is apparent, but other times you might need some inspiration from other people who are in the same boat.

    A supportive community of home workers does exist, whether you find them in your organisations communication channels or online through blogs or Twitter, there are people in the same boat that you can chat too.

    If you enjoyed this Advice please find other useful Business Advice & News & Info for Entrepreneurs via the relevant links.