According to the research conducted before the Covid-19 outbreak in 2019, the number of homeworkers has increased by 115% worldwide over the past decade. In this sense, not only today due to the outbreak; the functioning model and working model of business life have changed significantly in recent years. Therefore, this change has forced business professionals to acquire new working habits.
Since our habits have triggers, it has become necessary to create new habit sets because the triggers at work and at home are different.
In addition to having advantages such as working at home, working in a healthy, isolated environment, flexibility, time and energy-saving, low cost; there are also disadvantages such as lack of socialization, distraction, poor performance, end of the workday, loss of work-private life balance.
We explained what should be considered when working from home with the following titles. We hope that these methods, which are fixed with our experience, make your life easier, and increase your working efficiency.
Keep your starting and working hours fixed. Fixed timing prepares us for action, both mentally and physically.
Having a Shower
If we have a habit of taking a shower every day before going to work, maintaining this habit at home also enables us to start the day with a strong mood. It also has a trigger effect to start work, and after the shower, the brain prepares itself to go to work and get started.
Since we are at home, the motivation to do housework may pop up. Housework should be done after work, and if there are urgent works, the time to be allocated for them should be determined in advance.
As another method; you can bring the housework that will not take long to match your work breaks. For example, when you take a break, you can listen to music with headphones and rest your mind while emptying the laundry basket, filling your washing machine and running it. As another method, you can do this type of work while making phone calls with headphones.
Do not start to work with the clothes you wear in the bed. The brain does not understand that we start working because it is exposed to pajamas and tracksuits, which symbolize sleep, it becomes difficult for us to leave the sleeping or comfortable mode.
Wear your clothes in the daily workplace, but also avoid clothing that will force you in a home environment, such as a suit. You can wear something comfortable but the important point is that you should not prefer the clothes you wear when you sleep.
Ventilating the House
When you ventilate the house in the morning, you clean the heavy, flat air remaining from the previous day or night and fill in the fresh air. Having the work environment ventilated will help you to work longer without getting tired.
It may not be possible to do this while working in cold weather. For this reason, we recommend that you do this ventilation while having breakfast in the kitchen and close the windows when you start to work.
Mild, relaxing smells can also be used in the working environment. The goal is to make the working environment as enjoyable as possible.
Work at the same place every day. Sometimes working on a sofa, sometimes in a bed, sometimes in a single chair may disrupt your working habits and attention. A fixed place is also a trigger. For example, if you always work at the same table, when you sit at that table, your brain will perceive that you will start working soon and prepare itself accordingly.
If your workplace is a desk in the room where you sleep, make your bed. An untidy bed can distract you as well as bring you sleep and tiredness.
The working table should be tidy. A messy desk reduces working motivation and makes you feel tired earlier with its messy and seedy appearance.
We recommend you to have a large glass of water instead of having a carafe on your table. When you run out of the water, you create an excuse to go to the kitchen and move.
Use a comfortable work chair if possible. Some chairs may not allow you to work longer.
You may remember that in the “Inception” movie, totems were used to remind and point out. You can code your mind and increase your focus with a special mark on the size you will find at your desk during working hours. It is much more useful for this sign to have a special meaning for you to remind you of your goals.
When your working time is finished, you may watch a TV series on the same computer. This way, by removing the totem in an invisible place, you can complete the coding.
It is much easier to get lost in the different jobs that we are responsible for while working at home. Therefore, we should need to do more than one job at the same time, shouldn’t we?
Multitasking is a big illusion!
In fact, “following different jobs” and “doing more than one job at the same time” are being confused many times. According to neuroscientists, when you try to do two jobs at the same time, they determined that the maximum number of jobs that could be done was 1,8. Because you are not able to do both jobs with full efficiency.
There is a cost of changing focus before going to another job and returning to the first job without finishing one job. For this reason, it is the most efficient method to prioritize and take turns in order.
On the other hand, if you have more than one job you follow, we recommend you to take advantage of digital solutions and reminders. Our brains have a capacity, and when we begin to exceed this capacity, our stress level decreases.
It is a technique that works as “25 minutes working, 5 minutes taking a break” and it is called “1 Pomodoro” in every 25 + 5 period. After a study of 4 Pomodoro, a 20-minute long break is taken.
Throughout the 25-minute work, nothing else is dealt with except for the work we are interested in.
We can say that it will be a very effective method for you if you have a focusing problem or if your day will be very busy.
Since we become less mobile when we work at home, we can do exercises like stretching exercises, sit-ups, weight training, etc. at home in the morning which will help us to start the day more fit.
Also, some stretching movements that we perform in our work chair will reduce the pain of the joints, neck, and back.
If you are preparing the meal, prepare your lunch in the evening so that you can take the time to eat only during lunch, and manage your time better.
It can be the opposite of practical meals. You can free your mind while preparing less time-consuming foods.
Other People at Home
The people at home are not used to seeing you during business hours and they may have trouble adapting to it. They can behave in a very innocent way as if you are not working because you are at home and accessible.
Tell them about your working system. Ask them to communicate in your breaks, except in an emergency.
Set Your Limits
When your co-workers request something from you in the evening, after your working hours, mention that you stopped working, you can look in the morning. On the other hand, of course, you can show flexibility for emergencies.
Your colleague may not have planned or managed their time. They may have started working late and continuing working at late hours. Therefore, rather than keeping up with them, you can help them to keep up with you and finish the work at specified times.
You can reward yourself during the breaks or at the end of the day.
This award can be a phone call with a friend every time you take a break, playing games with your child waiting for you in the hall or anything that gives you pleasure.
Charles Duhigg talks about the “Cue-Routine-Reward” system in his book “The Power of Habits”. Prepare the sentence “When I have X, I will make Y, to get Z”
For example; “Every morning at 08.55, just after breakfast, I will work for 25 minutes, for playing a short game on the mobile phone during the break” or to clack on the phone with a friend that I love, to gossip…
You are the person who knows yourself the best and knows your motivations the best. Therefore, you can also develop your own techniques that will enable you to work efficiently.
Prepared by Emrah Tezcan | Corporate Trainer | Indus Consulting for Oruba Medical Technology