Working From Home Guide – Time Management Techniques
There are more people working from home than ever in the United States. The U.S. Census reports that more than eight million people worked from home in 2017, a substantial increase over the numbers from previous years.
The arrival of the novel coronavirus in 2020 shifted many jobs to work from home as companies adjusted to operating around an infectious virus. While COVID-19 was unexpected, the workforce has been progressively moving to work from home situations for years now and will continue with that trend.
Working from home offers many advantages. The obvious benefits are no early morning commute and sharing a breakroom with the one coworker you can’t stand. Working from home also enables you to earn more profits as you can become highly effective in this type of work environment.
On the other hand, working from home has its downsides. For starters, people with families have trouble balancing work with personal life, especially when children are in the picture. Working from home produces several distractions which can make it nearly impossible to focus on your daily assignments.
Therefore, time management techniques are absolutely critical when it comes to working from home. Utilizing time management techniques will help you progress into a more efficient employee whether you work for someone else or operate your own small business.
Working From Home in the COVID-19 Era
Prior to confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, the country was already witnessing an increased rise in people that worked from home compared to commuting to a traditional work site.
Regardless, the work from home job force got a major push when the pandemic started to ravish the globe in the spring . The accessibility of technology and helpful job resources like Skype, Zoom, and Slack have helped many employees make the transition easier.
All the modern resources available for workers that conduct their operations from home has made it no longer necessary to have a full-time position at a traditional office. Studies have confirmed that employees are actually more productive when they work from a home office where distractions can be kept to a minimum.
Research from the Harvard Business School concluded that companies with work-from-anywhere policies can improve employee productivity as well as reduce turnover and lower organizational costs.
Businesses discovered how important and practical work from home settings were when COVID-19 appeared and forced the shutdown of many physical locations. A distributed workforce is better equipped to keep operations running in the event of a pandemic.
Benefits of Working from Home
There are many benefits of working from home even during a pandemic. If you have been reassigned or are planning on transitioning to a work from home environment – consider these pros:
- Flexible schedule allows you to set your hours.
- No daily commutes and saved money on fuel.
- Customize your home office the way that makes sense for you.
- No other office distractions (we are talking to you Michael Scott)
- Save money on fuel, lunch, and other items.
- Avoid spreading germs and getting sick.
- Wear comfortable clothes and feel more in control of your job.
Related: Find a job you love.
Disadvantages of Working from Home
While working from home is ideal, there are some disadvantages to moving to a home office. Any major change in a job takes some time to adjust to which is why you should be aware of these common problems associated with working from home:
- Difficult to manage your time with other distractions.
- Sticking to a routine when it’s easy to slack off and do something else.
- Missing out on socialization with coworkers and other activities.
- Dealing with children bothering you or noisy neighbors.
- It takes longer to get answers you need from supervisors.
- Your internet connection or devices may not be as advanced as the ones you are used to at the office.
Time Management Techniques
Time management is vital in any work environment, let alone a home office where you may have to deal with a significant other, children, and neighbors. There are many distractions in a home to keep you away from work and divert your focus.
Consequently, working from home has tremendous opportunities for both productivity and distraction. How you chose to spend your day ultimately falls on your shoulders. So, how can you become a more productive worker from home?
Working from home is everything that you make it. When you utilize these time management techniques for working from home, you’ll become a far better worker. These techniques are especially important during the coronavirus pandemic where many distractions exist:
- Plan your day in advance: Everyone needs a work schedule even if you work from home. It helps keep you organized and committed to deadlines. Make sure you have a plan for every work day.
- Focus on the hours you are most productive: Some people are early morning risers while others like to be night owls. Regardless of your habits, try to plan your work schedule around the hours where you are most alert and focused.
- Reserve time for correspondence: Answering emails and phone calls takes up more of your time than you might suspect. Therefore, you should reserve specific times of the day and allotments of time to make sure correspondence does not take you away from your work for too long.
- Block any distractions: Working from home with children is not easy. You need to develop a system to prevent them from distracting you every ten minutes. You should also shut off your phone and get off social media.
- Establish goals and create rewards: The system of creating goals and rewarding yourself when you accomplish them is utilized in every school and workplace in America. Your home office should not be any different.
- Don’t forget your breaks: Everyone needs to get away from their job regardless of where they work. Be sure to set an alarm for your breaks to refresh your mind. You should also take time to remove your eyes from a screen periodically to protect your eyesight.
- Exercise and find other avenues for socialization: You might miss your coworkers over time. It is why exercising improves your mental well-being. Additionally, finding other ways to socialize since you no longer work in a traditional office setting goes a long way toward productivity once you return to the home office.
Returning to a Normal Work Environment
The coronavirus pandemic forced many individuals to move to a home office setting, either temporarily or permanently. You may determine that you like a home office for a brief escape or you may never want to return to a normal office setting. Regardless, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
If you are looking to return to a normal work environment, let Aloha International Employment help you land your next job. We are currently assisting many individuals that were displaced or lost their jobs because of COVID-19. Find out how we can help you today!
Related: How to Live Without a Job