Lessons Learned Working from Home

According to www.pcmag.com, working from home has some positive outcomes, but they don’t always come easy or are readily recognized. Everyone who works remotely has to figure out when to work, where to work, and how to create boundaries between work and personal life. What about office equipment, career development, training opportunities, and building relationships with colleagues? Working remotely, especially when working from home most of the time, means figuring out these issues and others. Following are some things you can do when working from home and making adjustments.

1. Maintain Regular Hours
Set a schedule, and stick to it…most of the time. Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps many remote workers maintain work-life balance.

2. Create a Morning Routine
Deciding you’ll sit down at your desk and start work at a certain time is one thing. Creating a routine that guides you into the chair is another.

3. Set Ground Rules With the People in Your Space
Set ground rules with other people in your home or who share your space for when you work. If you have children who come home from school while you’re still working, they need clear rules about what they can and cannot do during that time.

4. Schedule Breaks
Know your company’s policy on break times and take them. Give yourself adequate time during the day to walk away from the computer screen and phone.

5. Take Breaks in Their Entirety
Don’t short-change yourself during breaks, especially your lunch hour. It’s also easy to stop one task in hopes of taking a break only to get caught up in checking email. That’s not a break.

6. Leave Home
Get out of the house at least once a day. Your body needs to move. Plus, the fresh air and natural light will do you good. Maintain social distancing when getting into crowded places.

7. Don’t Hesitate to Ask for What You Need
If you’re employed by a company or organization that supports your work-from-home setup, request the equipment you need as soon as you start working from home, or within a day or two when you realize you need something new. It’s extremely important to set precedents early that you will ask for what you need to get your job done comfortably, including the right monitor, keyboard, mouse, chair, printer, software, and so forth.

8. Keep a Dedicated Office Space
In an ideal world, remote employees would have not only a dedicated office but also two computers, one for work and one for personal use. It’s more secure for the employer, and it lets you do all your personal activities in private.

9. Maintain a Separate Phone Number
Set up a phone number that you only use for calls with colleagues and clients. It makes it much easier to put down work and keep work and life separate.

10. Use a VPN
Use a VPN whenever you’re connected to a network that you don’t control. That includes Wi-Fi at co-working spaces, cafes, libraries, and airports.

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