2020 has been a tumultuous ride for everyone globally. ‘The’ pandemic that has swept the planet has left us all in no doubt that our lives have been altered for the foreseeable future and this impact is being felt across all areas. If you’re searching for tips for working from home effectively, then you’re actually one of the lucky ones.

If your company has survived this initial period, you will have already seen a shifting professional landscape. Phrases such as ‘social distancing’ and ‘working from home’ are now part of our vocabulary, with safety being the keyword. As such, the transition to working from home has been adopted by many.

Initially, the extra hour of sleep instead of a commute feels incredible. The kettle is nearby, and on your breaks, you can sprawl on your bed. But home comforts and productivity don’t tend to mix, so finding that balance between work and chill is important to succeed.

If you find yourself at home, yet feel like you’re not quite maximising your output in the way you should, then below are 12 tips for working from home effectively.


Decide on a workspace

A woman on her laptop checking her phone.
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Out of all the tips for working from home effectively, getting away from your bed is a major one.

This may sound obvious, but don’t lay in bed with your laptop on your lap. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of laziness when you’re in an environment where its sole purpose is to rest.

Regardless of where you set up, ensure you create a professional workspace that promotes work and not slacking.

When you’re at whatever makeshift desk you’ve made, it’s ‘go time’.


Set your hours

If this is not done for you, or monitored, then ensure you’ve got set hours.

Not so you know when to log off, but when you’re plugged into work. If you’re a 9-5’er, then ensure that you meet these hours. No slinking off to do housework, however easy it may be with it being nearby.

You’re on the clock, so stick to it.


Get routine

A person being creative during their daily routine, with coffee and a sketchpad on the table.
Photo by Rachael Gorjestani on Unsplash

Don’t rely on motivation, it’s fleeting. Rely on your routine to keep you honest.

Once your disciplined approach to routine becomes an important habit, you’ll start being productive even when you don’t feel like it.


Discover your peak hours

Some are night owls, whereas some of us are early risers.

Knowing when you’re at your best allows you to schedule your important tasks for when suits you. If you know you’re on your game early on and fade in the afternoon, power through your tasks early and earn yourself some slack for the PM.

We’re all different, so figuring out what works for you is one of the major tips for working from home effectively.


Hide distractions

Multiple people checking their phone.
Photo by ROBIN WORRALL on Unsplash

Social media? Netflix? Xbox?

You wouldn’t be on them in the office, so hold yourself to the same standard too. There are 24 hours in the day and you need only 8 of them for work.

Earn your chill time and use your remaining 16 to do what you want after.


Remember to take breaks and get away from the screen

As you wouldn’t sit in the office for eight hours straight, neither should you at home.

Stretch your legs and get fresh air if you can, as exercise during work is vital.


Get what you need to have a professional environment

A laptop and phone being used to apply for jobs.
Photo by Kevin Bhagat on Unsplash

Know your employment rights.

Your employer should be making sure you have everything you need to be successful, and safe. So even if that’s a desk chair, they have to help.

Make sure you equip your home office with what you need to get on with work.


Work like the boss is watching

If the boss walks past in the office, you certainly wouldn’t have Youtube up as they do.

Imagine they’re e-watching you, so stick to the task.

You don’t want to be pulled up in the morning meeting for spending four hours on social media, so be true to them, but more so to yourself.


Keep connected

A woman on her phone.
Photo by Andrew Leu on Unsplash

A physical disconnect from colleagues can cause a wider gap in both professional and personal connections.

If your work doesn’t have open communication channels for staff, such as Teams or Slack, do your best to keep in touch yourself. Knowing where you, your team and the business stands with each other is important, but being part of a community that can support each other is even more important.

Working from home is tough for everybody at points, so keeping a real-work feel to communication is one of the important tips for working from home effectively.


Set goals

It’s understood that setting SMART goals helps to improve productivity and success rates.

Although you can set them over a week, month or year, doing them each day is the compass that helps you navigate the day.

Plus, you’ll get a sense of satisfaction when you see your to-do list ticked off.


Make it fun

A person working on their laptop during sunset.
Photo by Simon Abrams on Unsplash

Working from home means you do have a level of freedom which you haven’t before.

By all means, concentrate, but get your favourite Spotify playlist blaring and sing along.

There are no annoying colleagues to give your tone-deaf singing any criticism, so go for it.


Give yourself motivation

Reward yourself. You deserve it.


This is not an ideal scenario, and you’re working under a tough strain.

It’s not going to be plain sailing and there will definitely be times where you’ll meet challenges. But don’t let them get you down, and pat yourself on the back for a good week. Whether that’s at the end of the day, or end of the week, treat yourself and remember how far you’ve come.

These tips for working from home effectively can vary from person to person, as do the effects of moving your career to within your home walls. You’ll go through a full spectrum of emotions and motivations, and at the end of the day, the only person who holds the key to your output is you.

If you’re serious about being productive, you’ll be able to adapt to the new reality of working from home, whilst still progressing in your career.


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