Working from home tips that’ll help you stay productive, no matter what you do
It’s not hard to come across generic working from home tips for just about every profession.
Whether you’re a sales assistant, DIY crafter, or technical developer, tips for working from home are general. Find a routine, stick to it, so on and so forth.
And that’s great, as it applies to most work that can be done from home.
But when your workflows revolve around the office how do you work from home successfully?
Actionable working from home tips
Well, there are a few working from home tips that can help you make the best hires that you make, whether you’re in an office or not.
In this article, you’ll see working from home tips and advice. Whether you’re a remote veteran or making the transition to working from home, by the end of this article you’ll walk away with a little more confidence.
Let’s dive in:
Don’t designate an area, make the area work for you.
One of the most common working from home tips is to have a dedicated room to work in. And that’s true because a dedicated office can make you more productive.
While it’d be nice if we all had a spacious room that we could dedicate to work, the reality is that we don’t all have spare rooms that we can convert into an office.
If you do, great – transform your spare room into a dedicated workspace.
If you don’t, you’ll have to make your couch, bed, or coffee table work for you.
If your partner or housemates are home with you for the whole day, find a quiet space that you can remove yourself to hold an interview.
Spend your day writing job listings and contacting candidates on the couch, but have a dedicated quiet space where you can hold an interview in peace. If that’s your bedroom on your bed, so be it.
Make it presentable and own it.
If the only other space you have to work is a kitchen bench, couch or coffee table, set it up to work for you.
Work whatever hours you feel like.
Another of the common working from home tips is to work the same hours that you work at the office.
And that’s great advice if you’re new to the world of remote work. You may need to stick to set business hours if you work in customer service or are needed by other team members throughout the day.
Aside from that, work whatever hours suit you, because everyone has their own best ‘prime time’.
Transition to and from work
There are very few jobs in the world that require you to be on from the moment you wake up.
Getting the work/life balance right when transitioning to remote work can be tricky.
Even if you’ve never noticed it, your traditional commute to the office is a time that you’re hyping yourself up to work for the day.
While a long commute can be bad for you, some of us need that commute to prepare for work. So there’s every chance that you’re going to hit the start of your remote day a little flat.
Whatever your normal commute may be, spend that time doing something that can help you transition ‘away’ from home and into ‘work’. That doesn’t mean using the extra time to sift through emails or catch up on that monthly report.
These buffers at either end of the day keep your mind prepared to go from ‘home’ to ‘work’ and visa versa, thus helping foster a healthy work/life balance.
Working from home is full of distractions, no matter what.
And the more you try to eliminate them completely, the more tempting they’ll be.
Telling the FedEx guy to come back after 5 pm isn’t exactly overly practical for either you or him.
The key here is to manage your distractions. Put the dishwasher on in the middle of the day, sure, but don’t let that activity evolve into ‘cleaning out the pantry’.
Digital distractions in the form of social media and the news are without a doubt the biggest temptations. Also keep your computer from adding distractions as well – turn off notifications, uninstall apps you don’t use, create a separate user just for work tasks.
But also remember the human element of your distractions – family and housemates. Have the difficult discussion and lay a few ground rules – such as only being disturbed when the house is on fire – and you’ll find yourself being a little more productive.
The best working from home tip involving distractions is to be aware of them. The more you try and fight them, the more you’ll notice them. Be aware of when you’re distracted and simply try to switch back to work mode.
Communicate with colleagues
Working in HR means that you deal with people a lot – both inside of your company and from all areas of your company.
So it goes without saying that communication is core to just about every knowledge job these days. But working from home, it will need to go to the next level.
If your entire team is new to remote work, your managers may start to micro-manage to make sure that goals and KPIs are being met.
To avoid this, come up with a communication plan that sees you meeting with those above you to communicate positives, negatives and challenges regularly and clearly – both one on one and in a group setting.
If you find yourself being micromanaged, consider increasing the frequency of your reporting and use video calls on a more regular basis.
We’re not yet at a point where tone of voice and emotion can be conveyed via instant message or email, so the way you speak to colleagues may need to change. If you’re not already, consider using emojis to help get the tone of voice across.
This is probably not advisable for disciplinary action or serious talk, but for small talk, jokes, and less-important conversations, the odd smiley face, wink or even an XD can help make your communication a little more fluid.
Remember to stay social
You’re familiar with people power. We’re just glorified monkeys and we all need other monkeys to socialize with from time to time.
These events not only help you get to know the people you work with, but they also help break up the monotony of an 8-hour straight workday.
If you have a daily team call, spend 5 minutes of it talking garbage with everyone. If you’re in a managerial role yourself, consider taking the time to genuinely check in with others on your team to see how they’re going. This is even more important if your team is new to remote work, plus it’s an unexpected and nice gesture to have someone genuinely interested in how you’re travelling.
Take your breaks
Make sure that you also take your breaks in their entirety. Take a full 60 minutes for lunch, even if it doesn’t take you that long to eat.
One of the joys from working at home is that you can run errands in your lunch break. Pop down to the post office, take the dog for a walk, and do all the things in the middle of the day that you normally can’t.
Leave the house
It’s not likely that you physically sit in the same one spot for 8 hours straight when working in the office. But one of the best working from home tips to use is to actually leave the house during a break. This can be as simple as taking the garbage out while making a coffee, or it may be more like going to a coffee shop to do your monthly reporting.
Working from home doesn’t mean having to be at home the whole time.
Don’t confine yourself to your desk at home if you don’t need to. Taking a break may help you look at problems in a different way and make your day a little more interesting.
You’re not like everyone else – experiment
There are hundreds of working from home tips, but the truth is that they’re not all going to work for you.
What matters is that you find your own ideal way to work from home.
And to add another level of complexity, your ideal working from home system may change. You might find that you prefer to work early mornings and have free afternoons in the summer. Being able to form positive, productive habits is one thing, but being able to evolve them is another.
Take your sick days
This can’t be stressed enough:
If you’re sick, you’re sick.
If you’re not feeling 100%, that means that you can’t work at 100%. In most parts of the world, an employer has to offer paid sick leave to employees. So take those sick days if you are indeed sick.
It may be a simple cold, but if you’re coughing and blubbering in the middle of an interview, it won’t be fun for you nor your candidate.
Use your benefits
Employee benefits may differ between a remote-first company and a remote optional business. But whatever those options are, make use of them.
If you’ve got a budget for computer equipment, use it and buy a quality desk chair, larger screen or something that will improve your productivity and comfort while working. Moreover, it is a great idea to use a VPN to keep your connection safe.
Remote work tips for recruiters
Here at DevSkiller, we help out a lot of recruiters. As a result, we’ve got a few tips to help recruiters transition to remote work, or increase their effectiveness while working remotely.
Accurately state your remote policy
As a recruiter, an important working from home tip is to clearly state your remote work policy in all of your job listings.
Accurate and engaging job listings are an important part of the HR recruitment plan, but extra detail is needed when you’re making a remote hire.
Candidates who seldom work from home may jump at the opportunity of remote-first work, however remote work veterans more than likely know what works for them and be a little pickier.
Are you a remote-first company, remote-friendly or mixed? Are the hours fixed or flexible? Does your candidate need to be available to meet over different time zones?
Your company’s working from home policy is just as important as the finer details of the position you’re recruiting for, so be sure to update your policy accordingly.
Start using video to recruit
CareerBuilder states that job postings with videos are viewed 12% more and have a 34% greater rate of application than traditional text and image job listings.
Considering creating a short video with your mobile that explains your remote policy, as well as a bit of an insight into the position from relevant members of the team.
Video screenings may now be the 3rd or 4th point of contact between a recruiter and candidate, used late in the recruitment process.
Remote recruiting has been made significantly easier by the growth of video conferencing technology. In fact, the big 4 tech companies are now using virtual interviews as standard.
Both one-way and two-way video screenings can be used in different parts of your recruitment process, and both are a great alternative to face-to-face and phone screenings.
Video screenings allow you to:
- Assess a candidate’s body language and non-verbal communication
- Engage in conversation in a natural manner
- Interview from anywhere in the world
As good as video interviewing is, a good working from home tip is to always have backup plans. There will always be that one interview scheduled at the same time your internet decides to drop out, so always have a candidate’s phone number handy.
What are your thoughts?
You’ve just seen a handful of working from home tips for the modern recruiter.
While recruiting from home doesn’t differ from doing it in the office, there are a few things specific to the role of recruiters that can help you get the most from your day.
Whether you’re a working from home veteran or in transition the above tips can help you get the most from your workday.
How regularly do you work from home? What are some of your working from home tips? Let us know in the comments!
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Image source:BRUNO CERVERA on Unsplash