11 Guidelines For Working From Home: A Definitive List
Updated 10 August 2022
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In the modern era, working from home has become the new normal, with thousands of companies adapting to the change and transitioning to this form of employment. The widespread use of technology is enabling employees to carry out their tasks without having to travel to the office in person. While there are several advantages to this novel approach, it is also necessary to follow some self-implemented rules to ensure a proper work-life balance. In this article, we look at the guidelines for working from home that can make it a comfortable yet productive experience.
Related: Work From Home Guide
Guidelines For Working From Home
As remote and hybrid work models are giving the professionals the opportunity to work from the comfort of their home, here are 11 guidelines for working from home that can help increase efficiency while maintaining an ideal work-life balance are:
1. Create a dedicated workspace with all the necessary equipment
Having a dedicated space as your workstation can have a positive impact on the quality of your work. It is essential to create and maintain a work-like environment at home to amplify productivity. Ensure that you have comfortable furniture for your setup. Easy accessibility to all the equipment and stationery that you might require for work, like your laptop or desktop, hard drives, charging cables, work phone, keyboard, mouse, printer, an extension board and a headset are essential.
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2. Ensure that the place where you choose to sit has ample light and ventilation
Sitting in a well-lit room with necessary ventilation can help boost productivity. Choose a place that has enough natural light and fresh air. If that is not possible, ensure adequate light inside your room to maintain a positive environment, especially if you work at night. Apart from natural light, having additional sources of ambient light helps you see better, feel fresh and focus more on your work.
3. Keep your workspace tidy and ensure there are no distractions
A clean and tidy workspace helps you keep your priorities organised and your mind focused. Have only your laptop or desktop, your work-related files, a diary and pen for taking notes and a bottle of water on your desk. Untangle the wires of your chargers and routers and bunch them up neatly, instead of letting them spread haphazardly on the floor. You can ask your family to maintain minimum contact during your working hours. Shut the door of the room where you are working if required. Turn off the TV or anything else that might distract you.
Related: How To Stay Focused When You Work From Home
4. Choose a place where you get good network coverage
A basic rule of working from home is to have a good network connection to be online and attend work-related calls. A strong network and fast router speed are essential to ensure a smooth flow of information that makes working from home a pleasant experience. Make sure your workspace has good connectivity and choose a trusted service provider who offers a reliable connection in your neighbourhood. If possible, have a backup dongle ready for emergencies, such as electricity shortages or network connection issues.
5. Set regular working hours
Create a schedule while working from home in which you have fixed hours dedicated to work. Keep a few hours aside for yourself or for short breaks. Notify your colleagues regarding optimal times throughout the day when they can communicate with you. This way, you can plan your work and leisure hours so that you can differentiate personal and professional time. Try to maintain a fixed routine to maximise your output.
6. Streamline communication channels to maximise efficiency
Coordinating with your team is an essential part of maintaining efficiency across departments. Clarify communication channels beforehand to ensure a smooth exchange of information and seamless coordination between you and your colleagues. For example, instead of having multiple channels for different work-related purposes, choose one platform. It is beneficial to have a single platform where everyone can see the conversation and take part in the discussion as it helps keep all the data in a single place, making it easily accessible.
7. Try to conduct video meetings whenever possible
Statistics show that video meetings have more engagement and greater productivity as compared to audio-only calls. Video meetings can create the feeling of attending a conference room meeting in real-time, rather than just communicating through emails and messages. Besides, people are more alert, presentable and attentive during video meetings. Have video meetings with your team and encourage people to take part in the discussion.
Related: Everything You Should Know About Working From Home
8. Plan social interactions with coworkers
Apart from work-related interactions, take some time to interact with your colleagues on a personal level. You can decide a specific day and time to have a fun session where everyone can simply have casual conversations, share what is new in their lives and exchange news. This can help in improving social relations in the workplace and also let you de-stress.
9. Follow a dress code
While working from home, it may be comfortable to dress in your home attire, but it can impact your overall body language and may make you feel lethargic. Have a dress code for yourself that is presentable and work-appropriate. It helps you to be ready for urgent video meetings and also helps you feel professional, increasing your efficiency and productivity.
10. Focus on your nutrition and take time to step outside
Taking regular breaks to go on small walks can help refresh your mind. Set alarms and have dedicated breaks for your meals, your tea/coffee and snacks, or even a short walk outside. Have a healthy meal that includes fresh vegetables, salads, proteins and vitamins. Make sure you plan some time to step out of the house and meet your friends or even grab a cup of coffee at your local cafe.
Related: 10 Tips For Working Effectively And Improving Productivity
11. Maintain a work-life balance
It is essential to keep work life and personal life separate and maintain a healthy balance between the two. Sometimes, work stress can affect personal lives if there are no boundaries while working from home. In such a scenario, chalking out a daily routine and dedicating particular hours to specific tasks can be helpful. This way, you can complete your work on time and spend time with your family and friends.
Setting a schedule and following it meticulously, organising your workstation, taking timely and planned breaks, keeping yourself presentable during work and keeping your workspace clean are some of the most essential factors that can make working from home a great experience.
Related: How To Work From Home Online
Advantages Of Working From Home
There are several advantages of a work-from-home culture, which lets people pursue their work and hobbies in a better manner. Here are a few of them:
No work location constraints
With the work-from-home culture, people are not required to live in the same city as their workplace, as they do not require commuting to their offices every day. There is no rule about working from home at a specific location. You can live in one city and work for a company that is based in another, or even in a different country. This creates a lot of opportunities for people to work from places of their choice.
Recruiters are more inclusive
Companies that allow employees to work remotely are more open to hiring people from different socio-economic, geographical and cultural backgrounds. They are open to diversity and inclusion and are willing to hire people with different perspectives. Working from home has also increased opportunities and proven to be of advantage for people with disabilities or health issues who cannot work at an on-site job.
Working from home helps cut down on various expenses, which are otherwise a necessity. Transportation and commute, parking charges, lunch expenses and wardrobe expenses are some of the most common costs incurred when you are required to work from an office space. Working from the comfort of your home or preferred location cuts down on many of these costs and helps improve savings.
Related: Work From Home Jobs That Pay Well
Better work-life balance
It is essential to maintain a work-life balance and keep your professional life and personal life separate from each other. Working from home has made maintaining this balance much easier as it gives flexibility in working hours. The employee can choose to start and end their work according to their convenience, so long as they complete their work, depending on their organisation. This helps in managing personal activities whenever necessary, like attending doctor's appointments, dropping the kids off at school, running errands, etc. This also helps to increase work productivity.
No stress of the everyday commute
Working from home eliminates the time you may otherwise require for commuting to and from your office. You can spend these extra hours to focus on things that are close to your heart. This can include spending time with family and friends or pursuing hobbies like exercise, art, music or anything else that you prefer to rejuvenate yourself.
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