As of 2023, nearly 13% of full-time employees work from home, while 28% use a hybrid model. The hybrid model combines both home and in-office working, which allows employees to have a more flexible schedule. Working from home, full-time or hybrid, can be a huge transition for some people. Even if you’ve been working remotely for a while, there’s always more to learn about how you can optimize your experience and productivity. These tips for working from home can help you achieve the work/life balance you’ve been searching for.
Tips for staying productive while working from home
Even if working from home is the best option for you and your lifestyle, it can still be a learning curve. After all, many of us are learning how to navigate this digital world for the first time. It might take you some time to find your groove and fully adjust to working from home. Luckily, we have some tips to help get you started.
Set a schedule and stick to it
Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance. That being said, one of the perks of working from home is the flexibility it offers. You might find that working earlier in the day is better for you, or you may have to work around different time zones.
Creating a morning routine can help set you up for success throughout the day. Look for an existing habit you have and try to start your work day after it. It could be making a cup of coffee or coming home after a jog. Look for an existing habit you have, such as brushing your teeth, to act as your signal. Asana recommends tackling your high-priority tasks in the morning so that you can feel more accomplished throughout the rest of your day.
Set ground rules with your housemates
If you live with family or roommates, it’s important to set some ground rules. This could look like having quiet hours or negotiating shared equipment. Simply knowing when the other person has a meeting scheduled can help both of you prepare to work around it. For parents who have small children at home, make sure you set clear rules for what your kids can and can’t do during work hours. If you have pets, you can schedule potty breaks and walks around your routine.
Have a dedicated office space
In an ideal world, remote workers would have their own office space to dedicate to their work. Sadly, this isn’t always possible. You may find yourself turning a corner of your bedroom into a makeshift office or working from the living room couch. Wherever you’re able to work at home, try to dedicate that space to work only. This helps your brain differentiate between personal time and work time so that you’re able to relax in your downtime. Indeed recommends crafting a customized environment that boosts your productivity, no matter what that looks like for you.
Take scheduled breaks
It can be difficult to get away from the computer when you have back-to-back meetings. Although it can be tempting to power through your to-do list, it’s important to take regular breaks throughout the day. You might have to schedule your breaks in the calendar to make sure you set aside time to eat lunch, stretch, and rest your eyes.
Set a simple digital timer to remind you to take a 5-minute break every hour. Drink water, walk outside, breathe, do jumping jacks, or stare out the window for a few minutes. A ringing alarm on the other side of the room can be effective at forcing you to step away from your screens for a few moments. It’s good for your brain (and your eyes) to switch up the view regularly throughout your day.
Get out of the house
You can take your work-from-home experience a step further by getting out of the house. If home is feeling a little stuffy, try working from a café, bookstore, or coffee shop. Sometimes a change of scenery is exactly what you need to get you through the day. You can also look into a coworking space to help you stay productive in an office environment.
It’s also important to get out of the house once you close your laptop for the day. Try taking a walk in the morning or evening when it’s cooler outside. Join a club or group that you’re interested in. Don’t forget to make time for face-to-face interactions.
Use a virtual private network
Virtual private networks (or VPNs) are a game-changer for home network security. They’re also extremely useful for small businesses worried about ransomware attacks and other common scams. The encrypted connection of a VPN protects sensitive data such as social security numbers, financial information, and personal files and photos. When you use a VPN, the chance of hackers and other unwanted visitors penetrating your network decreases greatly.
In simple terms, a VPN transforms your public network into a private one. That’s why VPNs are a great option for those who work from home—they offer you the peace of mind that you deserve.
Cybersecurity for working from home
In a traditional office, WiFi networks usually have protections in place to prevent hackers from accessing network devices. At home, you’ll need to secure your home WiFi network to avoid security breaches and to avoid the other challenges that come with BYOD.
With hybrid and fully remote work becoming more common every day, following cybersecurity best practices at home ensures your business information stays safe no matter where you are in the world. Avoid security risks by setting strong passwords, securing your home WiFi network, and staying up to date with the latest anti-virus software. For more articles about keeping your devices safe, visit the Quantum Fiber blog.