Professional life, personal life… A limit was sometimes very difficult to define! In my case, I mixed the two a lot when I was beginning homeworking. But I ended up doing everything badly, from a professional and personal point of view. Until I understood how to telecommute well…
The purpose of this article is to present my seven main lessons regarding homeworking. And I hope you will find them useful during this exceptional period of confinement (hello Coronavirus!). Are you ready?
1. Dedicate a specific area for your teleworking
A house or an apartment, in the end, is only “4 walls”. In my case, I started working in the living room. And, as a result, the whole space became my “office.” Except that my wife works too, from home, and she did the same. So, very quickly, one disturbed the other… We had to react quickly… Because the living room is above all a place dedicated to family life.
Solution: Dedicate a specific area for your teleworking. Even if we didn’t have “office space” per se, we reorganized the space to create one. The bedroom is often a good fallback plan!
Result: The house has once again become a place of life, a place for the family first.
2. Set a rhythm and stick to it
The first mistake I made when I started homeworking was to take advantage of it to sleep a little more, to do things at home, to watch TV, etc. But those little breaks here and there killed my productivity. And we haven’t talked yet about the presence of the children if they are at home too! Rhythm is also essential to them.
Solution: Set a work rhythm and keep it. So, as soon as the alarm rings, I encourage you to get out of bed, spin in the shower, get dressed… In short, to keep the same rituals as those you had before this period of teleworking.
Result: This rhythm that you follow will allow you to be more efficient, to better organize your days… And, when your workday is over, close your computer and leave it in your “office space”. It’s time to move on to the second part of the day: your personal life! You will see that these habits will allow you to go less in circles, especially if the confinement lasts.
3. Call people from your “office space”
Homeworking often involves many more phone calls and video conferences. It’s nice, it helps to keep the social bond with colleagues. But, for people who share your space, it’s terrible. Especially if you are in the living room (see point 1 of this article!). Or if you need to pace around when you’re on the phone.
Solution: Stay in your “office space”. And, of course, keep those moments of communication that are essential to homeworking. It’s an effective way to “do things as usual,” like when you’re at the office. At Efficy for example, we have set up a “video conference coffee break” which everyone is free to join! ☕
Result: Each teleworker works from his “office space” (my wife in the dining room, me in the bedroom) and all phone calls remain in these spaces. You will also see that day after day the trends will come back to normal: Conversations will become shorter and more professional.
4. Watch out for the fridge and cupboards
I can already imagine you smiling… However, this phenomenon is true! When you are teleworking, the temptation is immense. Everything is close to you, and it only takes you a short walk from your “office space” to the kitchen. But pay attention, because this is the most terrible walk! As a matter of fact, I gained 20 kgs in 6 months of homeworking…
Solution: Eat at fixed hours. Normally, at the office, you don’t eat a snack. So why would you listen to your stomach suddenly calling for a snack? I am not a nutritionist or a psychologist, but I am applying to myself the “why” technique. Why do I want a snack, for example? Often, it is to replace a social connection, a break or discussion time that you had between colleagues. And, if you really can’t resist going to the fridge, organize a stock of fruit or healthy snacks.
Result: Your body will thank you! During the homeworking period, and even more during the confinement period, your physical activity will decrease considerably. So be reasonable!
5. Clean up your house
With homeworking, we spend more time at home than usual, and it gets dirty faster and faster! At first my wife and I tried to always clean up after breakfast, lunch and dinner, but it didn’t work. And it created tension in our family life.
Solution: Clean immediately. With us, the rule is if something is dirty, we clean it immediately. Surprisingly, we spend even less time cleaning!
Result: We have the pleasant feeling of being in a clean, healthy and tidy environment. This is all the more important in this period of confinement linked to COVID-19 because your home becomes your multiple places: family life + work + activities!
6. Set up your agenda with objectives
At the beginning of my homeworking years, I often had the impression that my day was extendable and that if I was distracted for 10 minutes, I would compensate it later… Until you arrive at the end of the day and there comes the disaster: “What, it’s already 8 pm?!”
Solution: Set your agenda with objectives. As you would do at the office, create a daily to-do list also taking into account moments of break.
Result: Homeworking is a much more favorable environment to get focus and improve your productivity. We are less interrupted than in open space. So take the opportunity to do what you never have time to do: train yourself, do competitive intelligence, analyze market trends…
Family life and homeworking are sometimes very complicated to combine. There will be moments of tension, friction. Some live more or less well this long period of homeworking. Others will experience mood swings because they feel like trapped in a box. So try to listen to each other. Stay positive.
Solution: Apologize. It happens to everyone to “freak out”, to speak badly… The whole thing is to reduce the pressure.
Result: It gets better! And we start on a good basis.
Success of homeworking depends only on you!
I hope you found this article useful. And with all my heart, I wish you success in putting this advice in place to deal with the confinement to which we must all comply.
Efficy continues to be by your side during this exceptional period, and our activity goes on, even remotely. Take the opportunity to follow us on social networks (Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook), we will regularly share our tips and tricks to assist you in homeworking. Of course, video replays of our webinars are always accessible via ourYoutube channel; his may be an opportunity to improve your knowledge of our Efficy CRM and E-Deal CRM solutions.
Either way, take care of yourself and your loved ones.