9 Tips To Make Working From Home Easier

I know I’m a little late to the game as several people posted their tips for working from home earlier this week. I considered doing the same but I wanted to get a few more days under my belt before sharing.

Working from home isn’t something that’s new to me because for a period of time, I was doing some freelance work and I worked from home a few hours a week.

Also, with my current job, I’m able to work from home if I need to have some work done on the house, or need to get away to get some work done.

The difference between those times and this current situation is that all of my co-workers and clients are also working from home. So there’s no one in the office and we’re all in different locations. This has made not only the workday but meetings really interesting.

Tips To Make Working From Home Easier | A Relaxed Gal
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A few of the people I work with have expressed concerns that meetings might not be as productive and it could be hard to hear everyone. Thankfully we haven't run into any major issues, just a few technical glitches but from those glitches, I've learned so much.

Overall, you need to figure out what works best for you. This past week I’ve tried a few different things that seem to be making this working from home a bit easier that I wanted to share with you.

1. Continue with a morning routine

While I no longer have a 30-minute commute in the morning I’m still waking up to an alarm and following a morning routine that was similar to my routine when I was working outside of the home.

I’ve found that continuing with a morning routine has helped me to be more productive and get a good start on my day.

2. Have a work schedule

I don’t mean that you need to plan out every hour of your day. You can if that helps but I’m referring to when you’ll start working and when you’ll stop.

When working from home there may be a tendency to continue working past the end of the workday. Doing this could eliminate any work time boundaries you had previously set and may be hard to shed once we all start working from business offices again.

3. Get dressed

I get it, the great thing about working from home is that we can do it in our pajamas and we don’t have to dress up like we do when we go out to work. When I work from home I don’t get as dressed up as I would if I was going to the office but I still make myself look presentable. What presentable means varies from person to person. For me, it comes down to “Would I be comfortable with my co-workers seeing me dressed this way?”

We do a lot of video meetings so I tend to put on a nice shirt, do my hair, and put on some minimal makeup. Instead of jeans, I’m wearing yoga pants and no shoes. I’ve found that I’m less productive if I don’t get dressed each day.

4. Create a workspace

I’m blessed that I have a room that I can set up as an office space with everything that I need. I know not everyone has that benefit so find what works best for you. That may be a desk in your bedroom, using your dining room table, or working from your couch. Do whatever works for you and helps you to do your best work.

How to weather working remotely | A Relaxed Gal

5. Plan ahead for meetings

While we should be doing this all of the time, it’s even more important now that you aren’t in the same room with your co-workers and can send non-verbal cues and communications to each other.

Some of the things my co-workers and I have started doing are
  • Setting clear agendas for each meeting. Even if it’s a quick regroup or catch up we’re making sure we communicate what’s the agenda and/or goal for the meeting. This helps our meetings to be more productive (goodness I’m using this word a lot).
  • Define meeting roles. Now that we can’t scan the room to see who will be speaking up next we’ve been making sure that everyone knows what their role is, and who is presenting which part of the presentation so we can have clean hand-offs and transitions, particularly in client meetings.
  • Set up group chats. For our client meetings, we’ve been setting up group chats so we can communicate with each other during the meeting without having to say anything on the phone. This way we can prompt people, ask for clarification, or adjust on the fly without those not part of the chat being aware.

6. Adjust the way you communicate

Speaking of group chats you may find that you need to change the way you communicate with your co-workers. It can be hard to adjust to not being able to turn to your right or left or walk down the hall to have a face-to-face but instead having to type everything.

Here are a few things you can do to change up and improve your communication when you’re remote
  • Over-communicate, especially in written communications so that you get your point across clearly to everyone who receives it.
  • Try finding new tools for communication and collaboration. Everyone seems to be leaning towards Slack for team communications and Zoom for video conferencing.

7. Take breaks

I’ve found this to be very important. Until this week I didn’t realize how much time away from my desk I would spend working in the office. I would have a 3 block walk to and from my office building in the morning and evening, I would get up to go to the breakroom, walk to a conference room, or to talk to my co-workers.

Now working at home I don’t have to get up as often so I’m making myself get up and walk around my house every couple of hours and get a change in scenery.

8. See how others make it work

It’s been encouraging seeing how others are making the best of being a remote employee and the tips that they’re sharing. Here are some of my favorite working from home tips and articles.

9. Be patient

If you’ve never worked from home before or don’t work from home often this is probably a huge adjustment. So don’t stress. Take it one day at a time. Before you know it, you’ll find your own rhythm for working remotely.