Are you getting used to your work from home routine now?
Right now, millions of workers across the world are adjusting to working from home. But, I’ve been doing it for the last three years, successfully, and working from cafes and hotels for three years before that. It’s coming up to 7 years since I worked in an actual office.
I want to help, so I’ve put together a few tips to help you master the art of a work from home routine, to make sure that if you want to keep up the productivity during this weird time, you can.
– Post in collaboration with eSIM.net
Productivity and your work from home routine
Even if you had productivity down at the beginning of the lockdown, your attention and desire to work may be waiving as the weeks pass. A break away from your normal work routine is sometimes disruptive and scary – a change of scenery, resources, and the support available to you is enough to make most people tear their hair out.
An IT department would be wonderful at FlipFlop HQ, at all times.
But, don’t panic. Working from home is the norm for plenty of people across the globe, particularly those working for – or managing – online businesses. They are living proof that this type of work can be productive and even enjoyable!
eSIM.net are one of those online businesses, selling eSIM plans to customers in over 200 hundred countries. Their team is spread across the world, too, with many of their staff having mastered the ‘work from home’ set-up. Connectivity is the main core of their business.
READ MORE: 9 Ways to Feel 10x More Motivated
1. Create a dedicated workspace
The first step to working better from home is finding a dedicated space where you can work comfortably, away from the normal distractions. So, ideally somewhere calm and quiet.
Don’t have a dedicated office room?
That’s not a problem – most people don’t!
– This is not my home!
Try to create a space that is as similar to your normal work station in the office as possible and make sure you only use that during working hours. If you don’t have much space available at home, pack up your work station once you are done with it and bring it out again the next morning.
Creating a solid boundary between home life and work life will really help you stay focused and in the zone.
With all that being said, it doesn’t hurt to try out new workspaces as you go. Struggling with a project? Try taking your laptop to another room – sometimes a change of scenery can really help keep the creative juices flowing.
– A dedicated space will help with you work from home routine
I’m lucky enough to have a travel themed office in my house, but I do find that sometimes it helps to go and sit on the sofa and work – especially when I’m writing. I find that if I’m doing admin tasks, or research, I like my office. But if I’m writing, I like the sofa.
I also have a breakfast bar in the kitchen so if I feel like standing up and working, I can use that too.
2. Get connected with an eSIM
Once you’ve found the sweet spot to work at, now it’s time to get connected. For many people this is a breeze – you’ve had fast, wireless internet connection for years, so not much will change. But what about if you struggle with mobile phone coverage at home? Or you require a business phone line? Should your employer pay for your telephone bill or the data you use for work?
An eSIM is a new solution to these problems, but only if you have one of the latest smartphones (iPhone 10 or 11, Google Pixel 3 or 4, and Samsung’s S20 series). With an eSIM, you can add a second mobile phone number to your device – perfect for having a personal and business line on one phone. You don’t even have to remove your normal SIM card and can receive calls and use data on both. However, because an eSIM is not locked to any one network, you can scan through all available networks and make sure you get the strongest signal to work from.
A win for you and your employer.
What’s best of all is that you (or your boss) can easily purchase eSIM data and voice packages online and have them sent directly to your email address in the form of a QR code. You simply scan the QR code to your device and follow the instructions.
It’s as easy as that.
3. Set yourself a schedule
Now you’re officially set up, creating a work schedule will help you stay motivated and productive.
The first thing to start with?
Get dressed in the morning.
That might seem obvious, but dressing for work is one of the best ways to optimise your mood for the day. I usually do my first hour in my pjyamas, just because I can, and then when it’s time to properly get down to work I’ll get changed into something reasonably comfy, but that I wouldn’t mind being seen out in. A shower is a good idea too.
If you’re into make up, a blush or a mascara here and there might be nice. I don’t bother, although, I do occasionally spritz a bit of perfume to spice things up.
Trust me, choosing to work in your pyjamas is probably one of the quickest ways to find yourself down a YouTube black hole.
– I’ll occasionally mix up my work from home routine and work at the breakfast bar in my kitchen
Define your working hours
Second, define your working hours and stick to them. And that doesn’t mean having to work the traditional 9 to 5 (unless, of course, your boss says so). The best way to set this schedule is by talking, honestly, to your manager and agreeing what hours you will work. Working from home can be a tough transition and it might take a week or two to get it right. But figuring out your optimal working time and sticking to it will keep you productive and on-track.
I always make sure I’m at my desk ready to work for 9am. And then, to be honest, I’m not very good at stopping, but when you love your job, you’re lucky!
Take breaks and fresh air
Lastly, ensure your schedule includes enough breaks and a chance to get some fresh air – it’s so important. Whether it’s 15-minutes spent reading in your garden, or simply cracking a window and smelling the roses (or city air), get away from the screen. You’ll work better when your mind has had a chance to switch off and revitalise.
I live in Southsea which is right by a beach, and near a common too. I can go for a 20-minute walk and be on the coast. I find this really helps clear my mind and I usually have a good idea or two while I’m there too. I include some sort of outside time in my work from home routine every day.
4. Remove the distractions
Easier said than done, hey? It’s amazing how many more distractions there are at home compared to the office. Yes, you might not have Chatty Cathy sat opposite you, but there’s snack cupboards. And Netflix. And washing up.
– Pets are probably the only distraction that are worth it. Not my doggy btw.
Working from home is done best when you pro-actively remove any distractions during your working hours. Don’t switch the television on in the background and hit the ‘Do Not Disturb’ button on your mobile phone. I find it really helps to actually just leave it in another room.
Remember those breaks in your schedule?
You can use that time to check in on your phone and catch up on the latest headlines. And maybe have a snack or two, too.
5. Don’t be afraid to interact with other humans (safely!)
Speaking of distractions, one of the biggest can be the people you live with – whether that’s your housemate, parents, kids, or your boyfriend who is bored and restless. But, for those living alone or those separated from loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic, working from home can be really lonely.
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to reach out to people during your working hours, and when work is over.
People need people.
If you don’t already have a work chat on Skype or WhatsApp, start one. Connecting with your colleagues during the day can be a great way to stimulate your brain, helping you work better and stay motivated. Keep your daily or weekly meetings with your manager or staff members. Not only does it force you to have to get out of bed in the morning (and maybe brush your hair), but it’s an important way to check on your colleagues and see how they are coping.
6. Bribe yourself
Bribing myself with treats – like a cup of tea, or a biscuit, or even some phone time or a break – is one of the best ways to get me to work. I tell myself that if I finish this task / work for another hour, then I can have or do the treat. Fun how I can trick my brain this way.
Your work from home routine
Working from home isn’t for everyone, and it won’t be forever. But in this scary time, everyone will need to adjust.
I hope these tips can help you work better from home and remind you to check in on your family, friends and colleagues – just because you’ve found your groove, it’s important to remember that they might not be there just yet.