Working from homer can be great, but, it needs discipline. And that sounds easier than it actually is – because it is not only your own discipline, but also of those around you (your kids, your maid, your mom-in-law, to name a few!). But, it can be done, with a little bit of setting the rules and sticking to them.
Also, from an employer’s perspective, there is often a perception that those who work from home, tend to do it in a casual manner. While that might be the case for some, many of those who work from home do follow a disciplined pattern that ties in with their work commitments. That ensures that professionalism, commitment and motivation remain the same as what they would be, if the person was present in office physically.
While there are many ways to do that, here are some basic tips that can help one to get started –
Clearly defined time-slots for working undisturbed
For each person who works from home this might be different. But defining them is important. So whether it is the early morning hours, afternoons or late nights that work for you, find out which time windows during the day work for you and stick to those as much as possible. It is within these time slots that you need to complete the maximum amount of your daily deliverables.
Have a specific area which you work from
Many people tend to shift from the desk, to the sofa or from room to room while working from home. But if you want to be effective while working from home, define the area that you will sit and work from. There might not always be sufficient space to create a home office, but it is possible to define which area you prefer to sit and work in, even if it is a desk in one of the rooms. Consistency is the key here, so do follow that.
Define your to-do list in as detailed a way as possible
When you work from home, you might shift between different things that need to be delivered, to be able to take a break from one of those. While that is fine, because it helps you re-energize and come back to the tasks to be done, having a detailed to-do list for each day and also by time-slots is very important. So make sure to detail out what you want to complete in the first half of the day and then the second half. Organize your calls in a manner that you can manage them during a specific part of the day. This might seem difficult, but it is possible to do it in most instances.
Set clear boundaries on non-work related activities
When you define the hours you will be working from home, you must set clear boundaries and not engage in any non-work related activities during those hours. This helps to remain productive and professional while working from home. Therefore, make sure to resist the urge to go out for house-related work or carry out household chores
Connect to new technologies that can improve your work-from-home arrangement
Be aware of the various technologies that come up in the market and can enable you to perform better while working from home. For example, these could be apps or platforms that can help with better task or project management, content reviews/ editing, video-conference connectivity or anything that can make your work-from-home arrangement better.
There are many more ways in which one can be disciplined while working from home, so you can definitely add to the above guidelines depending on what works for your situation as well as the kind of assignment.
By Simran Oberoi
Simran Oberoi is an independent HR Consultant in Bangalore, with HR Advisory, Knowledge Development and Research expertise of over 13 years, in Rewards & Compensation, Diversity & Inclusion, Talent Development, HR & Social Media. She has worked with consulting firms like Hay Group, Aon Hewitt and PricewaterhouseCoopers in the past, in India as well as Asia-Pacific leadership roles. Simran is also a keen baker – you can find her recipes at https://ovenderfulhealthybaking.wordpress.com/