Some Obstacles of Home Office

Due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic and quarantine, a large proportion of people switched to a mandatory home office, which is currently turning into homeworking. Working from home brings many benefits, but it can also have its negatives.  This may be especially true for people who are not used to working from home. This is not a holiday or vacation. Working remotely will become our daily reality for a while, and it is necessary to approach it responsibly, stay efficient and create the right conditions for working well. For many people, it can be difficult to keep their attention in an environment they are not used to using for work. Learn to communicate “remotely” with your team and superior.

Do you know the difference between home office and homeworking?

We all know the term “home office” for working from home. But we distinguish two types of work from home.

Home office – occasional work from home, which the employee draws several times a year as a benefit (e.g. in case of illness, family duties, etc.).

Homeworking – the employee does not come to an office and works only from home.

Like at work

Even if you are working at home and do not have to travel anywhere, set the tone. Get up at the same time in the morning, wash, and change. Don’t stay in your pajamas. Have breakfast, make tea or coffee, and start working. In short, act as if you were going to work.

Set up how you communicate with your team and supervisor

In the normal work process, we are in constant contact with our superiors and the rest of our  team, so we have a clear idea of what is expected of us, and we communicate all changes and tasks immediately during the day. The key to working effectively from home is setting up clear communication with your supervisor and other team members and sharing information, just as you all would in the traditional office.

The biggest problem is the feeling of loneliness and isolation

According to a study by the online agency Buffer, up to 19% of respondents said that the most common problem when working from home was a feeling of loneliness and isolation.

Therefore, communicate with your colleagues or superior as often as possible, either in writing or by seeing each other in online meetings using tools such as Hangouts, Skype, Slack, Teams and more. Trello, Freelo, Jira, etc. are ideal for task management.

Set your tasks clearly

Every evening, write down your homework for the next day, what you want / need to do, or write other things during the day so that your work is precisely given and organized. Create a common team table where you write down what you do every day. However, do not forget about one often neglected self-motivation tool, and enrich this table with already completed tasks to remind yourself of what you’ve done. MONDAY is perfect management tool for this type of mental organization.

Create pleasant working conditions

If you do not have a study or separate room at home that you could use as an office, set aside space for work. Lying in bed with a laptop on your stomach or sitting cross-legged on a couch  will probably not be very comfortable and satisfying for a long time. So, above all, find a position  that will be comfortable for you and resemble the right one as much as possible. If you do not have an office chair at home, make use of the classic dining room table and chair, which will comply with the principles of ergonomics.

The flexibility of home office is one of the most popular bonuses for employees, so enjoy it. After all, you can create an ideal workplace at home that fits your precise needs and desires. You will not be disturbed by loud music from a colleague’s headphones, tapping a pen, colleagues arguing over a failed task, constant chirping of conversation, a loud coffee maker, speculation about whether your office is too hot or too cold.  In addition, when you are tired of sitting at a table in a chair, you can relax on the couch with your feet up and a computer in your lap for a bit, sit in bed for a while, or take your laptop outdoors and enjoy the sun while you’re working.

Set boundaries

Of course, those who live alone or with a partner have an advantage. If children or other family members are also living in your home, set certain limits for them so that they do not disturb you, ideally closing yourself to another room. When you have a dedicated space for work, you will be able to concentrate better.

Last year, the Flex Job server conducted a survey showing that up to 65% of people are more productive when working from home. The biggest advantages were the time saved by having no  commute to and from work, the elimination of stress, and the absence of disturbances by a colleague.

Don’t be distracted

Once you have made yourself a study, establish your work mode. Even though you are not in an office with colleagues, working from home requires self-discipline, consistency, reliability, responsibility, a strong will and the ability to self-manage and organize one’s time. Do not leave work unfinished, telling yourself you’re just going to load the washing machine.  If you do, you’ll leave it again to hang up the laundry, and then to clean up that stain you noticed, and now to re-organize a drawer, and so on and so on.  Equally important: Turn off the TV, which directly encourages procrastination.

Create a work ritual. Bring everything you need to your computer (water, food, coffee, telephone, stationery, pad…) so you don’t have to keep getting up and losing your focus.

Don’t forget regular breaks

Take a regular break between tasks so you can concentrate better.  As your body gets more tired, your mind is also getting tired. So go for a walk, take a quick pause and lay down, or just simply stretch.

Exercise and keep fit

Use the time at home to exercise and keep fit. Every movement counts. At home you can easily squat, stretch, and strengthen the abdominal muscles. Yoga lovers can devote themselves even more to spiritual exercises, for example in the garden with sunrise or sunset. 

Define your working hours

On the other hand, some people are unable to detach themselves from work at home and keep working when they really should stop.  Set your working hours, and determine the time at which you will start working, but at what time you also finish.  If “closing time” comes and you are in the middle of a task, stop and ask yourself whether it is necessary to complete it now, or could it wait until tomorrow.   

Treat yourself to well-deserved relaxation after work. Watch a movie, clean up, read a book, take care of your family or do some cooking and prepare lunch for the next day. If you like, even  bake something tasty to go with tomorrow morning’s first cup of coffee, but leave the work for tomorrow.

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