A home office can be significant: no time wasted on commuting, a chance to work uninterrupted on projects, and a change of environment. However, not having access to physical tools and infrastructure is one obvious challenge. You might struggle even if you have everything you need. It can be hard to stay focused, it can be challenging to separate work from free time, and it can be challenging to maintain relationships. Here are some pointers that have helped the me during the home office time.
Organized communication opportunities are more important than ever; now that we have less face-to-face contact, we should find other ways to communicate even more often. There are plenty of tools out there (some even free of charge) to conduct teleconferences: Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype, Slack… The home office is not an excuse to isolate yourself from your team. Meetings are great for maintaining relationships, and they are an excellent opportunity to apply some peer pressure in case you find it challenging to get things done at home. Some of our teams introduced a daily 15-minute catch-up-meeting to share their goals for the day briefly and to check if anyone needs support.
Your colleagues need to know how you organize your time. Keeping your calendar up to date is definitely a good idea. Your scheduled meetings and calls are probably already there, but you might consider adding time blocks for tasks you are working on, especially if you prefer not to be interrupted during that time.
Keeping your tasks organized is a must, so start your day by listing the goals you want to achieve. Prioritize them and if necessary, move some of them to the next day. A concise to-do list will help you focus on your tasks. So far I used the beta C9 Companion (Intelligent assistant), that helped me schedules and take all my notes and to-do list without the need for me to juggle through 10 different apps such as Google Tasks, Todoist and Trello, or Jira. It has helped me to be 100 times more productive and focused with such ease.
You might also want to mark the time when you are planning to stop working because many of us adopt a slightly different timetable in-home office. This will help you separate work from home.