Here are tips for leading a better and more productive remote-working life, based on my experience and what we have learned from others.
Wake up at your normal time, shower, and get dressed in real clothes (not pyjamas!). It may sound trivial, but this helps you mentally prepare for the day ahead. It’s also helpful to keep a set schedule. If your typical work nine-to-five hours, keep doing it at home.
Although it’s tempting to stay in bed or head to your sofa, those who successfully work from home agree that you’re best off setting up a station. If you don’t have a desk, use your dining room table. Besides making you feel like you’re at an “office,” this helps you maintain good posture, avoid distractions, and leave your work behind at the end of the day.
Sitting all day isn’t healthy even if you’re at the office, but working from home means you skip your commute and have fewer reasons to get up from your chair throughout the day. If you’ve gained an extra hour or two from not commuting, it’s a good opportunity to exercise, either by working out at home or going for a walk outside.
Open your windows to let in as much natural daylight and fresh air as possible, and take short walks if you live in an unpopulated area — and be sure to wash your hands as soon as you return home.
If you work on a team, make sure to check in regularly just like you would in the office. Create to-do lists to keep yourself organized and focused, and share the status of your lists with your supervisor so they know you’re on top of your work.
This may seem like a convenient time to catch up on chores around the house, but it’s easier than you’d expect to get distracted. The same goes for other at-home distractions. If you meal prep or pack snacks ahead of time for the office, do the same at home so you don’t get preoccupied in the kitchen.
It’s difficult enough to get work done if you have children at home, but even harder with younger kids like babies and toddlers. Still, it’s not impossible if you have plan ahead and have some flexibility.