Tag: Home Office

13 Bad Habits to Avoid When Working Remotely

13 Bad Habits to Avoid When Working Remotely

Access our ultimate guide to building and managing virtual teams

Many people are finding themselves in the position of having to work from home for the first time in their careers. Although there are many benefits of working remotely, there are also pitfalls that you need to avoid to remain effective in your profession.

Related: How to Be an Effective Virtual Team Member

The following are a list of bad habits to avoid when working from home that will not only affect your productivity but in many cases your mental health.

  1. Being accessible and available for everyone 24/7.
  2. Not taking regular breaks.
  3. Not having a break for lunch but eating in front of your computer.
  4. Holding yourself to the same high standard every day.
  5. Always wanting to look busy due to fear of looking “lazy”.
  6. Not getting enough sleep.
  7. Agreeing to take calls at inconvenient times because you want to be seen as agreeable.
  8. Not maintaining a healthy work-life balance and not separating work and life enough.
  9. Allowing your schedule to become too flexible.
  10. Checking your phone that one more time before going to bed.
  11. Getting involved in things that need to be done in the house in the time set aside for work.
  12. Sending one more email or making one more call when you are supposed to log off for the day.
  13. Never seeing your friends or family.

…And all the other things we regularly do because we feel obligated to do even if they are not realistically possible.

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Guidelines to Help Your Team Work from Home

Guidelines to Help Your Team Work from Home

Access Our Ultimate Guide to Building and Managing Virtual Teams

When your team works from home it has its advantages and disadvantages. Working in a home office and maintaining work-life balance requires preparation and regular evaluation of work practices. If team members are not careful, their home office can take over their life. By following a few guidelines, your team can avoid burnout as they take advantage of working at home.

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Setting Up a Home Office

It is important to set up the home office properly in the beginning. A poor work environment will only harm productivity. So, make sure that your team members are comfortable and have all of the tools that they need to do their job well.

Related: 10 Online Virtual Team Building Games for Remote Workers

The Set-Up:

  • Location: They should choose a separate room or a location that is out of the way. This will help prevent distractions and create a professional work environment. They also need to make sure that their work area is well lit.
  • Equipment: Make sure that their equipment is functional and that they have everything they need.
  • Clear out the office: They should remove items from the office that are not work-related. It should not be a storage shed.
  • Organize: They must organize supplies so that they are accessible, easy to use, and functional.
  • Make it a workspace: They must limit the office use for work. It is not a play area.

Setting Boundaries

It is difficult to establish boundaries in a home office; people do not view a home the same way they see the work office. Because they do not have company policies to prevent distractions, your team members that are working from home will need to create their own boundaries. They can base these boundaries on the rules and boundaries of the physical workplace. For example, do not take personal calls while you are working. Just like other boundaries, they should expect people to challenge them. They must stick to their boundaries, however, to be effective at their job and keep their work-life balance.

Dealing with Distractions

It is easy to become distracted while working from home. There is no one to supervise, and family can easily forget that they are working. Fortunately, a few safeguards will help your team members avoid distractions.

Avoiding Distractions:

  • Limit access: They can ask their family to stay out of the office while they are working. Family, children especially, can be very distracting.
  • Use a timer: They can schedule breaks for activities like social networking so that they do not constantly surf the internet.
  • Turn off the television: Even if they need a television for work, it does not have to be on all the time. They should turn it off to avoid distractions.
  • Set aside time to talk on the phone: They must not allow themselves to be distracted by every phone call.

Make a Schedule and Stick to It

Working from home gives team members the chance to create you’re their own schedule, but they do need to create it. If not, they will have trouble accomplishing tasks on time. Most people find a schedule that sets tasks for each hour helpful, but you may use any format or time block they like.

Example:

  • 8:00 am – Breakfast
  • 8:30 am – Return emails
  • 9:00 am – Call clients
  • 10:00 am – Research

No matter how they create their schedule, they must stick with it. It is too easy ignoring their schedule when no one is monitoring their performance.

Conclusion

For some team members, it can be a great advantage to work from home if they stick to some basic guidelines. This starts with setting up their home office properly to ensure productivity.  The team member working from home should set up boundaries and make sure they are sticking to them. They should also set-up some safeguards to minimize distractions. They should be encouraged to make their own schedule to accomplish tasks and to stick to this schedule as much as possible.

 

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