But since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, most companies have had no choice but to embrace remote work at least in some capacity to survive.
According to the 2021 State of Remote Work Report from Owl Labs, 2021 was the year the world stayed remote, and 90% of the 2,050 full-time remote workers surveyed said they were as productive or more productive working remotely, compared to when they toiled in the office. Another 74% said after the pandemic, working from home is better for their mental health, and 84% reported that working remotely after the pandemic would make them happier, with many even willing to take a pay cut.
Having said that one thing is certain – working from home is here to stay!
The Olive Jobs team is virtual, and I’ve been working from home for three days a week for over 2 years now. And from today’s perspective and for me personally, working from home gives me say higher productivity, creativity and workplace satisfaction.
But for lot of my friends and colleagues working from home still means dealing with an unusual challenge. That is why I decided to share my experience and write this blog, hoping that these Tips will help you to be successful, both at getting your work done and at maintaining your mental well-being.
1. Consistent morning schedule
I must admit that I am not a morning person. But when it comes to working for home effectively it is important create rules for yourself and the people around you. That’s why having a consistent morning routine will help you start the day right. As I said, mornings are not my best part of the day, so usually I am taking a shower in order to wake myself up. After that, I am drinking my coffee and start the day with emails and meeting. From what I understand during these years is that you should try to keep your morning routine as close to your go-into-the office routine as you typically would, minus the getting ready part.
2. Have a separate workspace
Having a separate workspace, especially in a full house, helps create mental boundaries. My “go to work” space is my living room. Since I am living alone with my dog, for me it’s easy to occupy the biggest room in the house. But no matter how big or small is your space to “go to work” where only work happens and no other activities, this routine will help give your day some structure. Even if you only have a table or a corner of a room to spare, entering that space acts as a mental trigger that it is time to focus.
3. Technology and internet are a must!
In my house, the WiFi works better in the living room than in the other rooms. So if you have the same situation – living in a house where WiFi reaches some rooms better than it does for others, consider this when you set up your home office.
As well, as a manager I am always considering the best remote work gadgets for my team – so they can make their work from home experience more successful.
4. Plan, schedule, and focus
A working plan or a schedule is critical to home working. There are lots of tools to help you organize your work and keep on track with the team schedule, goals and tasks for the following day or week. Our favourite ones at Olive Jobs are Google Calendar and Texano.
5. Create when you are most productive
Should I say again that I am not a morning person? I think we all figure it out by now 😊 So, either is at home or at the office, my motivation naturally ebbs and flows throughout the day. So usually I am doing the easier, technical, and logistical task before my launch break. The creative part comes after that when I found myself most productive.
But I must admit – night hours are also creative for me. If a clever idea comes to my mind, I will pour myself a glass of wine, sit on the couch and work on it.
6. Make your launch break into an event
Always have a break. I understand working from home can be lonely, but it is something that you can work on. For example, if you miss your colleagues or friends take a 30-minute launch break and share a meal in the nearest restaurant or park.
Everyone has their own things they like to do when they take breaks, but as you know, it’s proven that breaks help with focus over an entire day.
7. Be present with your colleagues
As a manager, and even as a team member being present with your colleagues is very important. The best way to do this is to stay in touch with co-workers and your team.
Tell your team members and your manager when you’ve “entered the office” for the day, and when you plan to leave, or be offline.
Be real and human even if that means getting on the phone. Be a part of team building, after work parties and random chat channels.
8. Leave work at “work” and enjoy
This is one of the biggest challenges of working from home.
How do you leave ‘work’ at work, if work is at home? The end of my shift means a long walk with my dog. I set my plan for tomorrow, put it on my planner, close my laptop and take a walk with Bono.