12 tips for when you are working from home

How to improve your working from home situation? For someone a piece of cake for others a nightmare.

1. Become a creature of habit

When you are forced to work from home you might lose a lot of your daily habits all at once. No panic, try making new ones! Decide how long you will spend on certain tasks and keep to it. It might be hard to build a new discipline but after a few days you will be use to it.

2. Classy or Shabby?

Obviously there is nothing wrong with working in your sweats, either showerd or not at all. But you might want to consider dressing up for a conference call with clients. Even if you work from home, you still represent your employer. Does that pizza stain on your t-shirt or your messy hairdo really look professional?

3. Good furniture

When you are not seated in a correct working position all kind of pains can pop up. To make sure you have the correct setup for your desk, screen and chair we share some tips with your:
  • The height of your chair depends on your length. A general rule of thumb is that your knees should from a 90 degrees angle. (When your feet are flat on the ground).
  • The back of your chair should support your entire back. (This also means you should not sit down on the edge of your seat.)
  • Your arms should be als to relax alongside your body and be able to make a 90 degrees angle on the armrest of your chair.
  • Following you adjust your desk to match the height of armrests of your chair.
  • The top of the screen should be at eye level at a distance of approximately 60 cm.
For people who are not use to work from home and are all of a sudden forced to, this might need some adjustments. Not everyone might be able to adjust desk, chair and screen height. Try to adjust using a couple of books and if this is not possible try to change working positions multiple times a day and try to move a lot.

4. Choose your spot

Suddenly you have to work from home all day instead of maybe once in a while a morning. The most important thing is that your create a working space that works for you. Some people prefer to face the wall so to not get distracted, others might with to have a nice view. Maybe try some spots out before you really decide on one. After that make sure that spot is all about WORK. Create enough space for your laptop or desktop and you have enough space for whatever else you might need to do your job. Once again try to think about that conference call with clients. What will they see in the background?

5. Work in sprints

Especially when you work from home it’s very tempting to skip your brake. But mind you that working for 8 hours straight is something robots or machine should do, you are neither. Make a to do list at the start of your day. What is good to start your day with? What really needs to get done today? Do you need any help from others on certain tasks and can you plan a meeting with you colleagues? Take time to make lunch (also don’t forget breakfast). Try working in sprints of two hours each. Is that to much for you, make it 1 hour sprints. Keep your schedule clear for yourself and your roommates. Are your kids also home? Make clear agreements. Do homework for an hour, afterwards leave time for some fun.

6. Make clear agreements with colleagues

Make clear agreements about what you're working on and when you will hand in a project. You mostly talk about these things at the office, it is important to keep eachother up to date digitally. Also be transparent and communicate if certain deadlines are no longer manageable. A lot of parents now have their children home from school. So the might need to put in a little extra effort and time to teach their kids or help out with homework. Make sure your colleagues know when you need to take some time to tend to your children. That way they also know when to contact you or not.

7. Make clear agreements at home

When all of a sudden you and you partner or roommate(s) all work from home it might take some getting used to. Especially when sharing small space. Make clear agreements about sharing the common space. Try not to talk over each others phone calls and video conference calls.

8. Noises and little pitchers have big ears

Special times call for special measures. On a regular working day you would try your best not to let your clients know whether you are working from home or from the office. However, now it might be the case that not only you are home but your children as well. Despite all your efforts you might hear your kids making noise on the background of your conference call. Make it clear to your customers what they are hearing. More other than not the will be understanding of your situation. Keep in mind that when communicating with colleagues or clients you might talk about business-sensitive information. Make sure you do so in a closed of space where no one can eavesdrop.

9. Stretch your legs

Most likely, you are moving less when working from home then you would when working in the office. It starts with not having to get out of the house to commute to work. Try to stretch your legs on breaks but also during work. Phone calls can also be made while walking. No matter how small the room is you work in. There is always a little space to pace back and forth.

10. Coffee chat

During our coffee breaks at work we tend to chat a lot with our colleagues. This way you always get a glimpse of what your colleagues are up to but you can also empathize with their ups and downs. You might not have your daily coffee break chat anymore but nothing is stopping you from asking your colleagues how the are doing. Why not send them a text? An easy way to get in touch and let them know you are thinking of them.

11. Help eachother

When at work normally you can always bump your colleagues for some help. You might have that one ‘nerdy’ colleague that always helps you with ICT problems. Or that one colleague you always go to for creative input. That useful help suddenly disappears and you have to come up with different ways to collaborate together. Show your colleagues that you are still there to help when necessary.

12. Stop working

By this we mean: stop working on time. Especially when you work from home you tend to keep going. Don’t do that. Finish your work. Put on a list what you needs to do the following day, so that you have a good overview to start. Only continue working in urgent cases.