How to work from home for the first time?

Work from home is the dream of millions of people. The illusion of having complete control of your time, your responsibilities and of performing based on results, is something that is usually a great desire to fulfill.

However, when you talk with people who work under the home-office mode, there are divided opinions: there are those who have adapted quickly, and those who cannot find their way around to meet the objectives spending twenty-four hours inside their home and it causes them much more stress.

The home office is a growing trend in the world. It is estimated that beyond 2020, fifty percent of the performance of certain types of tasks will be able to be done remotely, so the workforce needs to adapt to this modality, which has its peculiarities.

Possibly if you are undertaking or carrying out projects on your own, you already know what it is about, and you are solving the setbacks that arise when working in the same place where you live as best you can.

For many, the big problem is how to divide the professional’s personal space; how to find a fixed place other than the living room or kitchen to focus on work; and, in addition, how to avoid being permanently distracted by domestic issues.

This guide to work from home can help you create a new form of performance that, sooner or later, you may need to adopt.

Advantages of working remotely

We know that in practically all situations there are advantages and disadvantages. In the meantime, the watchwords include responsibility and adaptability. We are aware that working from home is one of the most efficient and necessary solutions in actuality. Therefore, we will talk about the advantages of this work model and focus on the positive side of the situation.

  1. Flexibility and comfort

The flexibility of schedules is one of the greatest advantages of the home office, after all, you will organize your own time and tasks. If your company operates during business hours, of course, it is important to be online at the same time that your colleagues are. However, nothing prevents that, in case you feel more productive at night or early in the morning, you advance the work of the next day in those periods – only it is not worth leaving the work of the day for the dawn of the next day.

Also, think about the time you will save, as it will not be necessary to travel to your workplace. That is, no hours in traffic or unforeseen events such as accidents or traffic jams- be it on the bus, in the Uber or in your own car!

2. Quality of life and economy

By speaking in time saved, this can both: improve your productivity and help you invest in quality of life activities. Here are some options for free hours:

  • Practice physical activities (even at home, it is possible to perform various types of exercises);
  • Put that special project – personal or professional – that you put aside in practice;
  • Spending more quality time with the family, participating more actively in the lives of the children, caring for pets, making food with loved ones and reconnecting with friends, among other activities that would not be possible before;
  • Study another language, take online courses, read books, take on a second remote job, there are many possibilities!

In parallel, the company also offers, consequently, an additional benefit to its employees, providing those moments and motivating them even more!

Whether for employees or for the business, the economy is also significant when adopting the home office. There are several expenses that can be reduced, among these food, transportation, reduction of waste of resources, etc.

3. Sustainability

Likewise, your stay at home will be helping the planet. With fewer people commuting to work, there will be fewer cars on the street / public transportation use.

This implies a decrease in the consumption of fossil fuels and a significant reduction in air and noise pollution rates. Have you already thought about that point?

Whether it is a permanent or temporary home office, it will be sustainable!

5 Challenges of working from your home office

Here are 5 home office challenges and how to solve them!

  1. Have your own place to work

In general, not everyone has an office or their own workplace at home, even more so when the home office becomes adopted from one day to the next – as is the case with many professionals today.

The ergonomic reclining office chair, close electrical connections and workplace silence can be lacking, we know. However, with some adaptations it is possible to cope with this situation!

First, choose the place in your home where you feel most concentrated and is best suited for day-to-day activities. Then, try to adapt that place with what you have at hand in the best way, you may need some adaptation, such as electrical extensions, a lamp that was in your room or some furniture that was not used before. Creativity here is king, this is your opportunity to create your own workspace with the right home office.

  1. Distractions of the most diverse

It is a fact that at home there are many distractions: family, roommates, unwashed dishes, possible noise, television and even our beds – to be honest! So how do you focus and focus on work in the midst of “chaos”?

Whether it’s for social interactions or other distractions, you need to set limits. You can agree with yourself to finish the most boring task at once, and then take a short break – or some other type of reward that doesn’t take long.

If you are being interrupted by other people, talk to them and ask for their understanding; You can say that you reserved that time to work and that, later, you will have all the time to talk and interact.

For those who have children at home, a support network can be everything: divide the responsibilities with your partner and other responsible persons. Right now, we are all in the same boat and mutual aid is simply an indispensable pillar.

2. Feeding

Lack of routine can cause a great lack of healthy habits – even more so for those who have just landed in the world of the home office. At first, it’s tempting to use the extra time we discussed earlier to sleep, stay on the couch, or eat junk food.

However, do not fall into the temptation: to continue delivering satisfactory results, it is necessary to be with good rest and good nutrition. It’s a bit obvious but it should be remembered: we all need fuel to live and perform, right?

But what is the solution? Try to have various foods at home, which are transformed into healthy dishes and recipes. Thus, the benefit (and pleasure) of your breaks will be even greater, since you will be eating correctly and creating your own menu and why not, developing a new hobby? 🙂

3. Communication vs. loneliness and misunderstandings

For some of us, working in isolation, away from other people and from face-to-face communication can be challenging. We are social beings, some more than others. And being physically away from colleagues and relying on emails for communication can actually be a big problem.

Therefore, have technology as your ally. The tools for video conferencing are increasingly modern (we will talk about these later).

Take advantage of these tools to converse in a more casual way with your colleagues and speed up decision-making, it is possible that in the future this will also facilitate the physical communication routine. With a little patience and adaptation, we believe it is possible to get out of that challenge.

4. Overworking is not the solution!

Last and perhaps most important, remember: it’s not because your home and office are the same place now that you have to work longer hours just because you can. Just as being too distracted can be bad, not having space to rest can be too, and to the same extent!

Don’t forget to give and receive attention, exercise (even stretching), and eat properly. With a healthy mind and body, you will continue to deliver excellent results, at your own pace and time – the same ones you already have in your workplace!

If you need help to adapt, ask for it, it is something super normal. Your colleagues may be going through the same thing and wanting to talk about it, don’t you think?

And for companies, continue (as far as possible) to promote the meetings that you would normally do between collaborators, remotely. Here in the DR, since March is Women’s Month, we prepare a weekly mentoring program for our female employees. Now, with the adopted home office model, they were not canceled: the women of the DR continue to meet, chat and exchange ideas through videoconferences.

How to be successful working from home for the first time: 10 Valuable Tips

Follow these work from home tips and you will ensure a successful working time.

Tip # 1: Determine a specific workplace at home.

Productivity will increase significantly if you assign a desk, which can be a corner or a shared space, dedicated exclusively to work topics. There you will have all the necessary materials, filing cabinets, blackboards, and even elements for your moments of relaxation, with the least amount of interruptions possible.

Tip # 2: Working from home is a formal job

Many people confuse that doing home-office work is not as rigorous as going to the office every day. However, it requires a high level of responsibility, commitment, perseverance and compliance. It’s about discipline, which is applied here more than ever.

The recommendation is that you have a formally established schedule of days and hours; that you comply and that you allocate those hours exclusively to tasks and projects, even if you do not have to attend in person.

Tip # 3: Dress like you’re going to work.

The brain needs routines and the unconscious works better when you give it certain processes so that it releases the energy necessary to awaken your creativity, dedication and innovation. When doing home-office many people imagine working in pajamas, slippers or from home. Although you allow yourself to be comfortable, to reinforce your self-discipline, establish routines, schedules and certain formalities regarding your wardrobe. Although it may seem minor, this will allow you to focus better on achieving results and that there is no difference between going to the office or working from home.

Tip # 4: Keep work commitments up to date

Being off the physical “radar” of your superior, it is possible that a part of you wants to skip some rules. However, the home-office does not exempt you from complying with work agreements, deadlines, meetings (virtual or face-to-face) and the delivery of reports. What’s more: when working remotely, especially when a company is just starting to incorporate this modality, you will generally be required to have more results and additional responsibility compared to when you were in the office.

Tip # 5: Do not mix professional life with personal issues

Carrying out procedures, online purchases that will interrupt your work to receive them, taking care of the children many hours, attending and keeping the house in order, is another job in parallel.

If you do home-office you need to discipline yourself not to mix both spaces, since, otherwise, your life will turn into chaos. With greater organization and clarity, your productivity increases proportionally.

Tip # 6: Strive on your communication skills

In my experience, the three “Cs” of the home office are Commitment, Compliance and Communication.

Assuming you miss the weather, the adrenaline of the office and your colleagues, the solution is to stay present with them beyond the purely work interaction. Being sincerely interested in knowing how their projects and their families are doing and how they are going -for example- are axes that I recommend keeping in mind even if you work remotely.

In the same way, another fundamental requirement is to be excellent in your interpersonal communications, empathy and know how to interpret distance links since many times they will not be able to see each other face to face.

In case you didn’t know, more than 55% of the communication is gestural, 38% the tone of voice; and only 7% the words. This means that, from a distance, you will need to make an even greater effort, since many times you will not be able to generate an impact from gestures and tone of voice; so the precision when communicating in words, text messages, chats, emails, etc. it needs to be taken to a higher level of quality and precision.

Tip # 7: Don’t waste time

Effective time management is essential. When you have a job outside of your home, you generally have goals, objectives, accountabilities, and schedules to meet. Exactly the same thing happens when you do home-office. At this point it is vitally important that you focus completely on the tasks within the fixed hours that you will have established, and you will avoid any distraction with personal or domestic issues.

If you find it difficult to get up in the morning and take a lot of laps, imagine what will happen if you work from home, where you don’t have a camera watching you all day. However, there is a monitoring and control system: your results.

When you are a teleworker, more is required of you, since your effectiveness will be measured based on different parameters, as you are not physically with your superior and colleagues. So, take advantage of every minute of your new schedule to meet.

Tip # 8: Disconnect from work at set times

A common problem is that people who work at home tend to do it messily. Linked to the above, as well as you have a work performance schedule, the invitation is to determine when you will disconnect. It is not advisable to wake up at dawn and finish a report; or interrupting a familiar space to return to work. What you need to achieve is that, within work time, you complete all the tasks, and then you disconnect, including the company’s mobile, if that were your case.

Tip # 9: Make sure all the necessary technology works

In order for you to work in remote mode, you will need to have all the essential basic elements to do the tasks. From a good computer, synchronization with the servers of your clients or company, printer, high-speed Internet connection, and sufficient backups of all the information so that setbacks do not occur; even anticipate power outages or connectivity outages, so you can always get the job done. That is your responsibility, and you will not be able to go into “excuse mode”.

Tip N ° 10: Analyze if the home-office is for you and ask for feedback from your superior or clients.

The home-office is neither for all tasks, nor for all people. There are face-to-face functions that cannot be done remotely; and there are people who, due to their personality, style and need for socialization with others, do require face-to-face work. This is an in-depth, personal, and inner analysis that I suggest you do before adopting remote work.

I know of cases of workers whose personal lives are in chaos for different reasons; Of course, this is fully intended to dedicate yourself to working outside your home. Because that is how you do it in a co-working space or in a cafe, you need to establish a calm and comfortable workspace, which allows you to maintain and even exceed your performance in the office. If you have not resolved who you live with how you will do it, do not accept the challenge for the moment.

You must prepare enough not to fail. Many companies propose a trial period -for example, three months where you will only collect your salary if and only if you comply with each and every one of the results that they have previously agreed upon-; otherwise, there will be consequences. This, which sounds harsh, is part of your responsibility, and no one else’s.

Hence, asking your superiors for feedback is the best way to know how your home-office is doing; what can you improve; and also, from your side, what contributions you can make to the organization to remain effective in remote work experiences.

Working from home is a specialty in itself – not everyone adapts, and many prefer the traditional format at the office. When a company wants to implement it, doubts, marches and countermarches arise; Possibly, sometimes they do not know how to prepare the instrumentation, the inductions to the equipment and the internal regulations so that it is effective and becomes a win = win for both parties. Above all, we must banish the idea that working from home is equivalent to doing nothing or performing less. On the other hand, the workers themselves must make an effort to make everything work.