There are many challenges to working from home, not just now that Covid-19 has unfortunately become part of our lives, but even before.
The way to overcome these is to face them and look for a way around the problem.
- One difficulty that many people nowadays discount instantly is ‘internet connection. While some areas work on a 100 Mbps or more, the norm seems to be around 25 Mbps. There are an unfortunate few who still only get 1-2 Mbps, believe it or not. There is little you can do about this, but there are a few ways to make it work better for you. (Think about the recent darts tournament from home, when one of the top players could not participate due to a slow internet connection.)
Try to do as much offline as possible; do not open many tabs at once and find out when you get a better speed – this may be early morning, lunchtime or afternoon. Make the most of these lulls as a little extra speed can help a lot when you only have 1 Mbps.
- Time management is the problem most people complain about when working from home.
Yes, it is nice to be able to sleep late, or meet friends for coffee, but the work needs done, and there is no less of it just because you are at home. Work out how many hours you work in a normal day and set up a schedule so you maintain those hours. You can break it down and do two hours from 5-7am then 9 am – 1 pm and 2-3 pm. If your day was seven hours in the office, then you are on schedule and can have the rest of the afternoon off. It is important to maintain a work level comparable to office working hours.
- Friends and Family often can’t seem to accept you are ‘at work’ when you are sitting in your pyjamas at home, but you are.
You need to establish rules, not only for others, but for yourself too. You may be at home, but you are at work and the same rules apply. No long personal phone calls, no kids playing around you or television on. Everyone needs to pretend you are in an office and behave accordingly.
- Organisation can be a problem for a couple of reasons. Many people are used to having a secretary, and everyone has a space at work where things go once they are ready; filing cabinet, out tray etc.
You don’t have a secretary at home, so will have to do your own filing if this is applicable. You need to organise work so that you have finished work or archives to hand, current work in a different place and ‘to do’ in yet another. This can be as simple as opening different files on your computer, or might involve physical filing.
- Just as it is easy to do too little, it is also easy to do too much. Unless you are being paid or otherwise recompensed for working eighteen hours a day because you have nothing else to do, don’t do it.
Work proper hours, then stop. A few hours a week extra is all right, but downtime is necessary to set you up, and you will be more productive after a break. Outsource whatever you need to. We EQ Transcription Services can help with that part of your work, providing accurate documents that are ready to send out or archive. Until then, stay safe.