According to recent surveys, at least 7 percent of the private industry and 4 percent of government employees have access to flexible workplace arrangements. Because of the current health emergency, work-from-home setups are no longer just perks, they’re becoming necessities.
It’s in your best interest to take advantage of work-from-home arrangements. Doing so protects you and your loved ones from unnecessary exposure. But if you’re unused to working at home, you could have problems adjusting. These problems could reduce your efficiency and affect your productivity.
Below are four methods you can employ to make sure you stay on track when you’re working from home.
Come Up with a Schedule
Its vital that you manage your time efficiently when working from home. You should be able to accommodate not just your responsibilities in the workplace, but also your duties at home. The best way to do so is by coming up with a comprehensive daily schedule.
Use apps or a daily planner to divide each day into 15-minute segments. This allows you to plan your day in more detail than if you scheduled activities by the hour. Set up alarms to ensure you’re aware of what you’ve got scheduled and you know when each activity should be accomplished.
Most importantly, stick to your schedule as much as you can.
Use the Right Apps and Software
Take advantage of the myriad apps developed to help people do their work. When you’re working from home, the most important software generally fall into three categories:
Data management software: These are apps that make it easier for you to organize and manipulate files. For example, an app that removes duplicate files from Google Drive makes it easier for you to find your documents.
Communications software: These programs enable you to talk and share information with co-workers. Video conferencing software and messaging maps belong in this category.
Task-specific software: These are programs designed to help you perform your job. Specialized software for creating graphics or industry-specific programs are task-specific.
Determine which kind of apps or software could help you and try it out.
Make Meetings Meaningful
Office meetings have a reputation for dragging through long hours. You can’t afford to lose that much time when you’re working from home. Each minute you spend in a meeting must count.
Before any meeting, secure an agenda and make sure that the participants stick to it. There’s no room for segues or side stories when you all have to get back to work. Tell people to hold their questions or comments until a predetermined point, ideally at the end of the meeting. During this free forum, set time limits on how long each person gets to speak.
Don’t ignore the power of motivation. If you’re not feeling up to the task, you won’t able to put as much effort as you can into doing your job. Remove distractions around your workstation. If it’s too noisy, shut the doors and windows. Too bright? Close the curtains.
Keep yourself entertained to make sure your brain doesn’t get too bored with your work. Put on soft music or take frequent breaks to de-stress.
Working from home can be a challenge, but like any challenge, you can overcome it with enough preparation. Employing the strategies described above will help you unlock your efficiency.