Many people has used to work in the office so that they can connect to their colleagues. This is the most essential bond that is required to cultivate the team work in an organisation. Recently, more and more people are required by their companies to work from home due to coronavirus situation.
Let’s put coronavirus aside.
There are many benefits for working from home or remotely for individuals and companies. One major rewarding is the increase of happiness at work. Statistics from OWLabs 2019 report shows that full-time remote workers say there’re happy in their job 22% more than people who never work remotely. To employer, this indirectly also improve the employee retention and loyalty which indicates they are 13% more likely to stay at the current job compared to the onsite workers. I am not going to detail of these further, if you are interested please proceed to the report by OWLLabs report for more detail.
So how do we really stay focus and utilise the hours that we have when working remotely, in other words, how do we discipline ourself?
The most important thing that we need to do is to set the right objective for a day. The first thing you need to do every morning before your day starts is to do a quick review and to prioritise the tasks that you need to accomplish on the single day. You should take 10-15 minutes to list down the tasks including those probably pending from yesterday and add them to the today list. From the final list, prioritise which are those that are most important and urgent, make them the higher priority than the others.
You may label you tasks with high, medium and low priority. You should focus on completing the high priority tasks on the same day, preferably in the first half of the day. The medium and low priority tasks should be accomplished in the second half of the day. You only come back to your low priority tasks when you have extra hours after you have completed your medium priority tasks. Otherwise you should just leave the low priority tasks to the next day. After all, when you are able to deliver the high priority tasks with optimum outcome, your boss or customer will not come back to chase you on the low priority tasks.
You will need most of your energy and hours to focus on the high priority tasks so that you can do your best to deliver it with optimum outcomes. Any number more than 3 high priority tasks will most likely to make your day ineffective because you may not do your best to deliver those really important and urgent tasks. Chances are high these tasks will come back to haunt you again the next day or so in the event of maybe the outcomes are not up to the expectation. If this situation continue it will become a cycle that can pile up your daily tasks over a period of time. You will lose control over your work-life-balance and not enjoying your work anymore.
Do I need to remind you that checking emails should be in the medium or low priority tasks list? You should keep emails as low priority task instead of medium if possible. This is to avoid the pile of unimportant or just-for-information emails taking too much of your precious hours in the day. Emails can be wait else they will just come in as phone calls, don’t you agree? We leave emails to the end of last 1-2 hour of the day so that we are not missing any important email (most of the time not urgent) that probably will become high or medium priority tasks in the coming days. Please refer to this article for effectively unclutter your inbox.
One more important thing for working from home is to make sure you have your proper working environment. This could be a designated desk or area in your house. You should have a dedicated room designated as your SOHO if you have kids at home during working hours. You should consider establish house rules with your wife and kids that you should not be disturbed when you are working especially when the door is closed. You do not want to end up like this poor guy on TV program. Better still if you would like to completely seal your ears from the noise surrounding you, you should opt for this Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones. I use it a lot when I work from home. Once a while you may want to move around probably to sit on a nice table in the garden. Enjoy your garden while working with a good cup of coffee.
Last but not least. Working remotely promises many benefits to both employee and employer however we still recommend to work on site to have the connection with people. Maybe 2-3 days a week working remotely. When you have discipline to accomplish more at home, it give you more time to social and connect with your colleagues in office, and have a more successful career.
I hope his article give you some working remotely tips that I myself practicing now. They works for me. You may adjust these suggestions to your own taste and environment. I hope you have a better work-life-balance and enjoy working as part of your life.