I have been working from home for over 20 years so based on my own humble experience and colleagues who also have worked from home for years, here are some top tips for those who are new to it:
Create a regular routine and activity schedule – not just for work but also for rest and play. Remember work can expand to fill the time available so set deadlines, be disciplined. Take into account the times of day when you work best and make sure to schedule in breaks that you keep to.
Discuss your plans and schedule with those you share your home with – for example, let them know when you will be on video conference calls or doing other work which requires you to be free of interruption and background noise; share the household, daily life chores that need doing!
Create a dedicated workspace – pick a place where you can be comfortable and focused; minimize clutter and be organised; have what you use most immediately to hand; make it a place where you want to be.
Get outside several times a day – get fresh air and sunlight, stretch your legs, practice mindfulness for a few minutes, make calls while walking (and of course remain socially distanced if you are out and about)
Get dressed, just like you’re going into work – or at least be presentable should you get an unexpected video call occur!
Practice mindfulness – take 10-15 minutes each day to meditate (and/or pray if you are religious)- it helps clear the mind and put things into perspective.
Virtual meetings are becoming the new reality so make sure you become skilled at it – both in running and taking part in virtual meetings. Become adept at the video conferencing platform(s) you may use such as Zoom, Go To Meeting, Skype, Google Hangouts or whatever. There is lots of good free tutorials available on You Tube. When taking part in any meeting, be there fully – it is not an opportunity to multitask! Consider investing in a good mic and noise cancelling earphones.
Stay connected – Embrace the power of virtual and make working from home work for you…make time to connect socially; call people you have not heard from in a while and see how they are doing.