5 great tips to work from home effectively

Working from home – Welcome to the latest global revolution!

Work from home trend over the last decade has increased in popularity year on year.

The wide adoption of Wi-Fi and Cloud software systems has allowed this concept to become more accessible. Upwork’s “Future Workforce Report” predicts that 73% of all departments will have remote workers by 2028.

An option or a reality?

But the highest point of working from home culture revolution happened recently, in the time of the pandemic. Companies are forced to adapt quickly to the new operating realities, as more and more businesses implement work-from-home policies due to the spread of COVID-19.

The pandemic is changing the rules of the game between employers and employees and doesn’t give time to adapt and adjust to anyone who isn’t ready. For many employees, working from home is not an option anymore, it quickly became a reality. But also, an opportunity, if we consider the category of people that need to go to their workplaces and confront with exposure risks.

A privilege or a necessity?

What was a luxury trend in the past decade, tends in the wake of recent events to become the new norm.

Companies resort to new WFH politics to continue their activities, to protect the employees and to adapt their business to these times. Since it is proved that these measures reduce the cost with the working space, the future trend is likely to set working from home as the new normal way of work.

From boardroom to bedroom?​

Until this year, maybe you associated work with the business building, with the parking area, with the open space, with the dress code, with the access card, with the conference room, but look at you now: you’re reading from your bed on your smartphone in your pajamas with your dog staring at you: “Dude, another day with me at home?” See, even your dog is surprised by this change.

5 great tips for working from home and staying productive

Every job is different, and everyone has their own way of how to work from home, but there are some key strategies to maximize productivity.
And don’t think at all that advice you can find everywhere: “design a working space, adopt an office outfit”. It is not about dress and recondition your space. It is all about your work mindset.

1. Plan your day around your work

Whether you’ll keep your pajamas and slippers or you’ll adopt an office outfit, whether you prefer to design a proper working place or just work from your kitchen, all you need is to develop a work first mindset and create processes that work for you. Maybe you need to create a morning routine or set some rules with other people who share your space with. It can work for you to schedule breaks or turn off any social networking during the working hours. Or it can work better if you socialize with your colleagues. All you need is to find out what works for you to be productive while working from home. You know yourself better than anyone, you know your space, so choose the best way in order to give the best and get on track.

2. Get the proper tools

There are some essential, flexible and easy to use tools that facilitate work from home. Depending on your activity type, find and choose what works for you. Maybe you need a stable internet connection, a natural light, a comfortable headset, a proper desk, communication, file management or software tools.

Here are some recommended tools for you by RINF TECH team:

Project Management Tools  will help you handle your deadlines, manage tasks and budget and coordinate efficiently with your coworkers. Here’s some examples, depending on your work domain and type of collaboration with your team you can pick the one that best suits your needs.

1. Jira
2. Liquid Planner 
3. Build Tools

Team Communication Tools  are, today, more relevant than ever. We will discuss further on the importance of smooth, relevant, frequent, and concise communications between you and your team-mates. Your software should be reliable, rich in useful and (why not?) funny features, easy to use.

1. Microsoft Teams
2. Slack 
3. Skype for Business

Time management tools will support you when you are struggling with deadlines, deliverables, and resources. The visual interface can give you a clear idea on how to distribute your tasks during the working hours.

1. Trello 
2. ProofHub 
3. Toggl 

Reporting tools are useful to measure your projects’ performance and to visualize and present data in an attractive and clear way.

1. HubSpot 
2. SAP Crystal Reports 
3. Microsoft Power BI 

Other WFH tools

1. Google Drive While working from home, we can’t share the same hardware with our colleagues. Some files are too big to be sent via email, and the most convenient way is to upload them on the cloud and easy share them with a link.

2. Spotify one of the best things about working at the office is the vitality of the environment, the interactions your have with others, the sound of the community. During an extended period of smart-working you might miss all of that and, as you have probably already figured out, some good music can help a lot!

3. Microsoft Stream The Content of the online meetings and workshops you have with your team, or with a manager, can be relevant to many colleagues. By recording interesting conf-calls and uploading the videos on platforms such as Microsoft Stream, you will offer to others the opportunity to acquire knowledge and fresh ideas.

3. Manage your time and minimize distraction

Organize your schedule as clearly as you would at the office and set a finish time for any task. You can create to-do lists. Try to eliminate the distractions from your space and anything that wastes your time. Maybe you have a pet, children or old relatives living with you. Try to give priority to your work. This doesn’t mean you should ignore them all. But, try first to focus on your working activity, then share your time with the others. Don’t forget the smart breaks. Take time to get away from your screen, stand up, stretch. Working without any break will not bring you more productivity and it is not healthy. You should know when to stop. From time to time, try to change the atmosphere and disconnect: get some fresh air, take a short walk and rest your mind. You would probably take breaks with your colleagues, when they go for a smoke or a cup of coffee so try to keep that routine, to get away from your desk from time to time. We obviously don’t recommend that you smoke – don’t, it’s bad for your health.

4. Overcommunicate

Even when you are at the office, miscommunication and misunderstanding may happen. It is even more important when you are working from home to maintain an open communication and to reassure that there are not any issues: that you are transmitting clear, short and concise, that you understand precisely all the tasks. For this reason, when you’re working from home, it is important to communicate more often than you think. Managers need to know what people are working on, so you can set up interactions every day, such as daily reports or digital meetings for updates. If you have a concern or an idea, share with your manager. Tell your teammates when they can reach you. It is recommended to send feedback to people working reporting to you, even if it’s negative. Negative feedback is better than no feedback, and the positive one is also essential: it will encourage the ones who did a good job to continue to do so. Avoid emails when you want to share something unofficial, it is easy to ignore an email, better, pick up the phone and ask if you need additional information. You will spend less time in solving the problem. Embrace more frequent video calls. It is important to communicate using the right ways at the right time. Use various communication platforms to keep in touch with your colleagues, if your company already has some, be the first who embrace these ways. Overcommunication builds trust in the WFH environment.

5. Shutdown moment: sign off and stay off!

I know it can be hard and you may be tempted to postpone this moment, but don’t forget: before log in and start a new and productive work day, you need to log off and rest. At the end of the day, after you reflect on the progress you have made, turn off your devices and start to recharge your batteries. If you’re working from your personal laptop, don’t forget to log off all working apps once you’re done. Set boundaries between your work and your personal life and make time for self-care, otherwise you may experience burnout or you may start to procrastinate. In the end, working from home doesn’t mean you should spend all the time working.

Working from home can come with new challenges, but with patience, planning and persistence, can become fun, productive and exciting. It is up to you to make the most of it. Every day is a learning process, don’t be afraid to experiment. Be kind with you and enjoy the perks like:

No more commuting, which means you will replace the crowds and traffic with something that brings you pleasure and also you can       save some money

Home comforts, so you will replace the formal outfits with your cozy clothes – flexible schedule

No office distractions

More time with your family

Take these tips now and tell us what works best for you. And have a happy WFH day!

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