How to Work from Home Successfully: Time Management Strategies

Apr 24, 2020

1127 Diana Zevan

How to Work from Home Successfully: Time Management Strategies

Searching for “how to work from home successfully? Want to increase productivity? The hardest challenge for anyone in such a situation is to stay focused. If this problem is what you struggle with, we have prepared some working tips to help you not lose productivity and work enthusiasm. Check the article below!

When you start working from home, you are likely to feel the burst of motivation to implement your ideas and work as hard as never before. But after a few days of working remotely, all the enthusiasm disappears. This happens not because work from home is less efficient than in the office. Or something else. You just do it wrong. So, how can you work from home efficiently? Keep reading the article to know the pros of remote works, challenges you might meet and how to avoid them.

Why Work from Home?
What are Work from Home Challenges?
What are Effective Time Management Strategies?

Why Work from Home?

They say that if you once tried working from home, you will never want to come back to the office. Whether it’s true or lie, we don’t know. But many opinion polls show that people working from home are 29% happier than office employees.

  • Over 71% of the US workers say they’re happy working remotely and only 53% of on-site workers say they’re happy at the office [1].

The main challenge of those who work from home on a regular basis is to be able to unplug the computer after working hours. Sounds doubtful, but in fact it’s true. Remote workers do not always track time and sometimes work till night, since they don’t need to hurry up home. They’re already there. Statistically, remote employees work more than 40 hours a week 45% more often than office workers do it.

But why does work from home make people happier? The top reasons why people choose to work remotely are:

  • Ability to balance work and personal life is important for 91% of respondents.
  • Better focus on work and, as a result, increase in productivity – 79%.
  • Feel less stress and avoid communication with other people – 78%.

As a result, all these reasons every year attract more people and increase the demand for remote work places. Moreover, many workers might decide to leave the job and look for another one – 53% – if they will no longer be allowed to work from home. While 61% of remote workers will require to increase salaries in case they need to work from office.

Well, the numbers show that people enjoy working from home. But it doesn’t mean that you should quit your office and look for remote positions. Here you need to choose the lifestyle you prefer and overcome its challenges.

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What are Work from Home Challenges?

Is it hard to work from home? Well, yes and no. But mostly no. Many employees – over 27% of respondents – believe that remote work can impact their career development [2]. But how?

Working from home, you can face various challenges. They include:

  • Absence of team interaction. When you don’t have an opportunity to communicate with colleges, managers and team members, you might feel disconnected and out of touch. Moreover, it might influence the effectiveness of your work since you don’t communicate with them and might not know the significant information about the work.
  • Feeling of laziness. Working from home, you might distract yourself with Youtube videos, social networks, kids or your cat. It’s true but it can show that you do something you don’t like. Statistically, remote workers work longer but more flexible hours and, as a result, enjoy the quality of life. If you don’t feel so and look for any opportunity to stop working, you need to think about changing your career.
  • Overwork and professional burnout. On the other hand, merging of professional and home life can result in an unhealthy balance of work and life. People quite often overwork, forget to take breaks and feel too tired. As a result, they burnout and don’t have enthusiasm to work.

So, work from home management has several challenges and many people wonder how to work from home successfully. Keep reading the article to discover our top tips and feel connected to the team and workflow.

What are Effective Time Management Strategies?

Thanks for technologies and flexible work, we can set up our working conditions to perform well. Even now, when the greatest part of the population started working remotely, we all need to know how to manage your time and not lose money. If you are one of those who work from now now, try to follow our time management strategies.

Create a separate workplace

If you have never worked from home, you might think that your bed or sofa are the best place to get the job done. Imagine how productive you will be, laying on the bed with the TV on or thinking that the kitchen is your office. How can you stop opening the fridge full of tasty things every minute? That is why creating a separate workplace is a number one thing to do when you start working from home.

The best way here is to turn one of the rooms or balcony in your house into the office room. It will help your brain to distinguish between personal life and work. But if you can’t do so, turn your bedroom into the office. Separate bed and working table, put a front between sections and take a comfortable chair.

Get dressed like you’re on-site

No matter whether you’re planning to leave the house during the day or not, get dressed as if you’re going to the office. It’s important since getting dressed you feel like you’re going somewhere, you’re ready for the day and full of enthusiasm to do your job. But when you miss this stage, you’re not ready to work. We don’t mean wearing a suit with shoes or a blouse with high heels. Follow the whole morning routine: wake up, take a shower, have breakfast, get dressed. Just leave your pajamas and get jeans with a t-shirt. Well done! Even though the secret of how to work from home successfully is not entirely about what you wear but it is definitely a part of the deal.

Make a schedule

If you are not a business owner, you usually have a deadline set up by your employer or a client. But some tasks might last for months and contain small subtasks. And we understand that it might be difficult to distribute time and follow the deadlines. For that, the better idea is to make your personal schedule. It is considered to be one of the most effective time management strategies. We recommend setting a working schedule for each day and create a list of tasks to perform. Moreover, you can give yourself a reward for working hard like a new pair of shoes or a bath with candles.

Besides, we can recommend you to try time blocking assistants. It’s also an effective time management strategy when you set blocks for tasks, conferences and business events. You need to put all of them into the calendar that will send you notifications about the event or a task. You can try:

  • Wrike Calendar which helps to oversee projects, tasks and deadlines.
  • Google Calendar to schedule meetings and important conferences.
  • Workato for automating tasks and processes scheduling.

Then, you need a time tracker to set specific hours for tasks and a task management app to set your priorities. We recommend Microsoft To Do, Google Tasks, TickTick, OmniFocus.

Focus on high priority activities

This strategy is connected with the previous one. Before you start a new project or just take a task, identify its importance and hardness. Don’t follow the idea to clear small and less important tasks first. To help you create the schedule, follow our advice:

  • Talk to your team and client to make sure what tasks are the priority.
  • Understand without what tasks you won’t be able to do other project items.
  • If you don’t do something today, can it have a negative impact on your productivity?

Take a break and prepare meals

Don’t think that working with no breaks will help you to do your tasks faster. Taking small breaks from your work can enhance your focus. If you’ve been working hard for hours, take a small break – up to 7 minutes – to drink tea or stretch. When you finish a project or see that half of the hard tasks are done, take a large break – up to 30 minutes – and get off the work. This time you can spend on a meal or something else you want. Why do you need this? A break can help your brain to relax a little bit and refresh. This helps not to burnout and work with enthusiasm.

Moreover, don’t forget to cook the food before the working day. It will help you save time and not eat junk food and unhealthy food for lunch.

Minimize interruptions

When you are an on-site worker, your team mates might interrupt you. But working from home, you face other distractions, such as children, TV, household chores and more. And it’s a problem since the more interrupted time you get, the less effective you are. So, what to do? The most essential time management skill is just not to get interrupted. But it’s not so easy when you’re at home. We recommend avoiding checking emails and social networks. Don’t answer the phone when you’re busy. Keep your door closed and work when your children are busy or studying. Once you break the flow, it will be difficult for you to reestablish it. So, discipline yourself and keep concentrated on work. Since time it will be easier for you.

Track your time: Use Time Management Tools

We’ve already mentioned the need to track your time. Let’s consider how you can do it effectively. You can’t deny that it’s impossible to manage the time when you don’t know exactly how you spend it. You might be spending too much time on simple tasks or social networks. The only way to work effectively is to track the time. So, here we can recommend several time management tools for your remote work:

  • Toggl is a free app with the basic functionality that is perfect to track your time.
  • Everhour is an app that is perfect when you need to see how much time your team spends on a project.
  • Timing is an automatic time management app for iOS.
  • Timeneye for time tracking that also contains several project management functions.

Communicate with the team

Working from home, you meet challenges of communicating with your team. But constant communication with employees is essential for productivity and helps the team to avoid misunderstanding in project tasks. So, there is a variety of tools to keep your team connected.

  • Zoom and Skype conferencing tools to let you run online conferences with the team.
  • Google Hangouts is online tool for video calls and messenger.
  • Connecteam – a team management app that allows not only communicating with the team but also monitoring their schedules and adding tasks there.

Work when it’s best for you

Working remotely, you will notice the time when you’re highly productive. Knowing this time, you can build your schedule around it. If you are more focused and energetic from 7 am to 11 am, select that for your hardest and the most important tasks. Creating the schedule, also consider that it should get with your personal life. You should focus on important tasks when you’re less interrupted by the family. So, you will be able to save less significant tasks for the time when you will be distracted by them. However, this one of the effective time management strategies is not always possible to follow as employers sometimes require remote workers to follow a regular office schedule.

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Review every day

When your working day is over, spend some time to review all the tasks you’ve done. If you achieve all the goals, you do everything right. If not, decide what you’ll change tomorrow to accomplish everything you need. Reviewing every day, you will be able to set up a perfect working schedule for you.

Conclusion

Whenever you decide to try all the time management strategies or only one, remember that they won’t help you without self-discipline. Concentrate on work and make yourself following the strategies. Keep doing so, you will get used to managing your time and work. And, as a result, see the positive sides of work from home.

Work from home? Share your effective time management strategies in the comments below.

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