Home office can solve many problems, but also create new ones. But if you are aware of the challenge and know how to deal with it, you can really take the benefits of remote work. Avoid typical mistakes and use all the possibilities and tools that Inloox offers to make working from home easier.
Mistakes you really should avoid to stay productive:
#5: Blurred boundaries between job and private life
Private calls, WhatsApp messages and the latest posts on Instagram play a minor roll during your workday in the office. At home, in an environment where you normally spend your free time, it may not be as easy to ignore these little distractions. For this reason, you need to reduce or avoid all private disturbance factors as much as possible. This also includes your own children as well as pets and the household. Self-discipline and strength of will are the key to success. Set rules and boundaries for yourself and all other inhabitants at your home. Spatial separation is highly recommended in order to create a distance to any kinds of sources of distraction. At home, the lines between work and private life blur very easily. After you finished your workday, avoid going straight to bed. Find another activity, to create a healthy work-life balance at home as well.
InLoox tip: Use the working time calendar for strict boundaries
You can define individual working time calendars for each activity in the InLoox planning to reflect different working models such as part-time, weekend work or - now particularly relevant - short-time work. The working time calendar is useful to set a timeframe for planning elements in which they can move. This ensures automatically that tasks are only assigned to your actual working hours. This way your team members know that they have enough time to complete tasks and can set clear boundaries between work and private life. The integration with the Microsoft Exchange calendar enables InLoox to also consider holidays and other absences that team members have entered in their calendars. This gives you a full overview of your employees’ real capacity. You can easily distribute tasks in an effective way to avoid under- or overworking and to achieve a healthy work-life balance for all members of the team.
Picture: InLoox for Outlook: working time calendar
#6: Insufficient time management
Another major problem when working from home is maintaining regular working hours. Working from home (WFH) your coworkers will hardly notice whether you start working at 9.15am or at 8.30am. There are advantages for both sides, employer and employee, by using time tracking systems. Working from home you might forget the little breaks in between. There are no coworkers who encourage you to take a coffee break or go for a walk together during lunchtime. If you do not establish these little breaks at home, your body and mind won’t be able to regenerate. Don’t forget to check on time regularly and plan fixed breaks. Once again address your own self-discipline and protect yourself from a burn-out. Your employer also carries a high risk. Not knowing when his employees are actually working, it is very difficult to know their work progress. When is which employee online and which tasks are currently in progress? Offer your boss and your coworkers transparency about your working hours. A morning check-in and a short check-out in the evening, by phone or in writing, helps the team to set a time frame when you are available. Also announce shorter breaks to reduce unnecessary attempts to contact you and to provide maximum overview for your supervisor. It’s not about control, it’s about transparency.
InLoox tip: Use the time tracking feature
Once you have started a task, you can start the stopwatch. It’s possible to pause the watch in between – for example when taking a break. When you are done, you can book the recorded time directly to the respective task. This way it is always clear how much effort has already been put into a task and you also reach a high level of transparency.
Picture: InLoox for Outlook: Time tracking with stopwatch
In summary, here are some points that you should always keep in mind:
- Working from home is not equal to a day off! Work at home as productively as you would work in the office.
- Keep to your usual working and core hours.
- Avoid the challenges of working from home by following all processes and routines as usual.
- Run meetings as usual.
- Don’t forget to communicate often.
- Introduce new rules to ensure that the communication flow doesn’t stop.
- Separate work and private life as strictly as possible
- Maintain your InLoox projects even more carefully
- Use the InLoox note feature and the integrated chat to keep your coworkers up to date