Seven Tips For Working From Home

photo of a dog sitting in a man's lap as he works on a laptop

By Honor Credit Union

Team Members often learn that working remotely is different than they expected and that it requires specific skills and habits. The following tips will help you stay focused and get to work while at home.

Define Your Workspace

  • It can be easy kick back and sit on the sofa with your laptop and expect to get work done. Many remote workers will tell you they have tried that, and it simply doesn’t work! We are creatures of habit and most of us are used to lounging with our laptops to watch TV, play games and chat with friends and family.
  • Establishing a workspace, even if it is your kitchen table, gives your brain a cue that it is time for work and not play.

Master the Basics

  • Use Zoom, email, or whatever internal communication your organization uses to stay connected with your team.
  • Plan for video calls/meetings by making sure you know how to turn on your computer’s camera and microphone and being aware that other team members may be able to see the background behind you.

Set Daily Goals

  • Set daily goals, track them, and share your progress.
  • You may be surprised by how differently the workday passes without the comings and goings of an office to break things up or influence what you do next.
  • Start each day of remote work by writing down what you need to achieve. Pay attention to how long tasks take you and start adjusting your daily goals as needed.
  • Communicate with your manager or supervisor if you think your remote work plan needs to be adjusted.
  • Of course, make sure to take breaks!

Eliminate Distractions

  • If home is where your heart is then remote work can mean pets, children or a favorite hobby are only a few feet away. Depending on your living arrangement, you may need to hang a “do not disturb” sign so your family members do not interrupt you during your Zoom call.
  • Pets often need a closed door to keep them away and you might need headphones to block the neighborhood noise.

Prioritize Privacy

  • Take a few minutes to assess the privacy of your workspace. Can someone standing behind you read your computer screen? Are your windows open so your neighbor can hear your phone call? What information do you need to secure before grabbing a cup of coffee or taking a quick break?
  • Your personal privacy matters too, so see if there anything around you that you would not want visible during a video call. 

Stay Connected

  • Feel confident about calling or messaging a team member who is working remotely, just as you would walk to their office or call them if you were working on-site.
  • You can even keep your daily coffee run with your coworkers, simply plan to call or video chat with a cup in hand at the time you would normally take a coffee break together.

Get Ready For Work

  • Just like sitting on the couch can make us feel a little too relaxed, wearing pajamas all day makes it hard to get into work mode. Dressing casually is a perk of working at home, but getting “ready for work” is a daily ritual that many remote workers swear by.

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