Clear protocols and expectations need to be set, for work-from-home (WFH) personnel to do their jobs effectively. Beyond rules directly concerning the work itself, it’s important to help employees pace themselves — managing their physical, mental, and emotional health – in the absence of office hours and face-to-face supervision.
Smart workers — and their leaders — can use thoughtful guidance to lend structure to their workdays, supporting not just a productive, but positive WFH experience.
Set a specific workspace
While it may be possible to work anywhere in your home, and just stroll to the kitchen to grab a drink, this won’t make the best use of your time, and may make it difficult to sustain the right mindset. Designate an official workstation, and before getting started each day, make sure everything’s the way you like it, from your internet connection to your drink of choice, so you don’t have to get up until you’re ready for a real break.
Make the most of those breaks
Responsible organizations will mandate specific mealtimes and other breaks, and savvy workers will do more with those breaks than just surfing the web. Instead, take your eyes and mind offscreen for a minute. You can do some simple exercises — maybe a yoga pose or two? — or enjoy a brief chat with a housemate. Since you’re no longer getting the mental stimulation of talking to co-workers, or the physical exertion of going to work, these ‘reset’ moments can be a chance to keep your mind, body, and spirits in shape.
Get everyone on board
To avoid distractions or disagreements as a result of your work, talk the rules over with your family members or other housemates. Let them know your work hours and break times, so they’re aware of when you are and aren’t available – and when it is and isn’t okay for them to be wandering around your station in their pajamas! Explain that you’ll often be monitored remotely, so respecting your work space — and devices — will safeguard not just your company’s privacy, but their own.
Work-life balance is just as important at home as when you’re working at an office. The only difference is that being able to give 100% in both work life and home life is now entirely in each WFH employee’s hands.