Tips for Working from Home

For many workers, the transition to a remote work-from-home situation is new and brings with it both challenges and rewards. How you fare in a home work environment will depend largely on your personality, home environment, and material conditions. Still, there are a few steps anyone practicing remote work can take to make the transition more enjoyable and productive. 

Designated Space. Choose a space that will be your new “office.” It can be at a desk in a spare room, at the kitchen table, or even a coffee table. Make your designated space part of your daily work ritual. 

Maintain a Schedule. Working from home requires the discipline to adhere to a schedule. Set your alarm, practice your morning workday routine, and get to work like usual. If work requires you to flex your time, do so with purpose and resume your schedule as soon as possible. Don’t forget to inform colleagues about any changes to your schedule. 

Set Boundaries. Family and housemates can be a distraction, so set boundaries with them regarding your schedule. Be sure they understand when you are working and when you are “home”. Pets can make remote work difficult as well. Like others in your home, maintain regular schedules with them.

Take Breaks. With the line between work and home even narrower than ever, it can be difficult to maintain a balance. Just as if you were at your worksite, you should be sure to take breaks as part of your workday routine. Get up and move. If possible, get outdoors. Take a planned lunch hour daily. 

Use Sick Days. If you have PTO or sick time as part of your benefits package, don’t forget that they are there. If you need to schedule time to help a shelter-mate or aren’t feeling well, be sure to use your paid time off benefits. 

Be Counted. You’ll probably have virtual meetings with colleagues during your work-from-home time. In large groups, it can be easy to be overlooked. If you aren’t called on to contribute, seek recognition with a greeting or a goodbye to make yourself known. 

Over-communicate. With so much going on (messages being sent, forwarded, and replied to, documents being shared, and conference calls and meetings) it can be easy for colleagues not to hear one another. Use multiple methods to pass on important information like schedule changes. You may need to email, call, and chat important information. 

Stay Positive. Be kind to yourself and your colleagues and take time to support one another as you would at your worksite. 

Duffy, Jill. (2020). 20 tips for working from home.

Revised 22 December 2022




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