6 tips to work from home efficiently
1. Get properly set up
Working from home requires discipline. The first thing to do is to provide yourself with a work space worthy of the job at hand.
If you don't have an office at home, be creative:
- You live alone and the view from your living room is wonderful? Combine business with pleasure and set up your desk in front of the window. You will enjoy the view and the daylight.
- Some homes have a large entrance hall with an alcove, so you may be comfortable there.
- You don’t live alone and need some peace and quiet? Consider moving into your bedroom. Don't be afraid to rearrange the space a little to make yourself comfortable.
Avoid a place where you will be distracted. Or remove objects that are a little too distracting.
Equip your workspace just enough to make you feel like you're... well, at work. Pencils, paper, computer, stapler – the usual tools of your trade.
Make sure your makeshift desk is ergonomic. If you're uncomfortable and start feeling stiff, do exercises to reduce the negative effects of sitting in the same position.
Stand up briefly, but regularly, and remember to stretch at your workstation. The key here is to vary your positions before signs of strain appear.
At the end of the day, declutter your workspace so that it's pleasant to return to the next day.
2. Have a routine
Maintain your morning routine if what it involves makes you feel good and has a positive impact on your day - coffee in bed, reading the newspaper, breakfast for two!
On the other hand, if you think your morning routine could be improved, this is the perfect opportunity to start a new one, one that is adapted to your new reality as a teleworker. Get going!
3. Get dressed
Resist the urge to spend the day in your pajamas. Dress as if you were going to work, or sort of. This gets your mind into work mode!
Avoid clothes that are too cozy so that you feel as though you are on holiday. Remember that you're not - you're working, just at a distance.
4. Maintain healthy habits
Healthy nutrition remains a priority to maintain your balance and maximize your determination:
- Prepare healthy snacks: raw vegetables, fruit, nuts, cheese, etc.
- Place a jar of water on your worktable and drink regularly.
Get rid of chips, sweets and other foods that will sap your energy rather than boost it.
Don't neglect training if it's part of your routine. Free apps or videos on YouTube will help you stay in shape or maintain your fitness level. Even yoga centres have joined in to offer online classes.
Get out for fresh air every day and walk. It’s healthy and good for the mind.
5. Plan your schedule
Mark your agenda with the essential appointments - team meetings, workshops - then plan your day around them.
Are video conference meetings more tiring than a face-to-face meeting? Adjust your schedule accordingly.
Are you a morning person? Get up early and get active quickly. Do you have trouble getting into action in the morning? Start later. You're pretty much in control of your schedule.
Make a list of the things you absolutely want to do throughout the day and cross off activities as you go along.
Break your list down into sub-activities so that you can cross off several small tasks and you'll feel like you've accomplished a lot.
Don't be too ambitious: working from home is new to you. Increase the pace as you adapt to your new reality.
Plan breaks during the day to go outside, eat, and take your mind off things.
Do you miss your colleagues? Make time in your agenda to talk on the phone, video chat or other ways to stay in touch.
6. Make the most of family life
If you have kids, what's the point of comparing yourself to your colleagues who don’t have any? Organize your schedule according to your circumstances.
Now is the time to be imaginative, no matter what the age of your kids.
- Create their own play space, just as you did with your workspace.
- Vary your work schedule when necessary:
- Early in the morning when they're still asleep
- During their afternoon nap
- In the evening after they go to bed
It is not ideal, but sometimes flexibility is required to achieve results.
- If your spouse is also housebound, take turns looking after the children.
- Plan games that the children can play alone without an adult: puzzles, reading, block games.
- Involve them in household chores to develop their independence: tidying their room, clearing the table, emptying the dishwasher, folding clothes. This should give you some time to read your emails.
- Organize family activities: a picnic at lunchtime, a dance, etc.
- Take a family walk every day to discover your neighbourhood and surroundings. Go on an adventure!
- Take the time to play board games with them during your breaks.
- Leave a puzzle in a convenient place so that everyone can add to the puzzle whenever they feel like it.
- Teach them how to cook and organize a cooking contest.
- Big brother or sister? Ask them to plan a daily activity for their younger siblings. The little ones will love it.
Some find working from home THE ideal way to work, while others find it difficult to achieve their objectives when they are isolated from their co-workers and team. If you’re feeling discouraged in your first few days, don’t give up.