There are many advantages to working from home: Working more efficiently, lower stress levels, a reduced impact on the environment… However, you need to set up some good habits to work from home, because it is not the same as working at the office. Here are our 3 tips to work well from home.
- Separating work and personal life
Working from home can quickly blur the line between work and personal life. It is crucial to set clear working times and areas.
- Set working hours that you will follow and share them with your co-workers.
Working from home often means potentially having children or a partner at home. In this case, it is understandable that you may be unavailable between 4 and 5 p.m. to prepare an afternoon snack or to help with homework. If this is the case, notify your manager or team that you will not be available in this time slot and that you will be available later in the evenings or earlier in the morning.
Whatever your case may be, set and share your working hours or days so that everyone knows when you are available.
- Do what you can to set aside a working space
Find a desk or work table in your home so that you can clearly separate your work space. If your computer is turned on and is on the living room table or in the dining room, you could find yourself working at all hours. When working from home becomes established over time, ask your manager or your company to provide you with the means necessary for doing this kind of work (computer, video-conferencing tools, insurance, etc.) and formalise the terms and conditions of your remote work contract to avoid any professional risks (with an individual or collective agreement).
- Set boundaries with the people around you
So that you’re not constantly being disturbed, it is also important to set boundaries with the people around you and make them understand that although you are at home, you are still at work. Explain calmly and clearly that you do not wish to be interrupted.
- Keep in touch with your contacts
Working from home often gives you a sense of freedom: No tiring journeys, no company-imposed timetable, a tailor-made organisation… But be careful not to isolate yourself. Try to talk with your co-workers at least twice a day:
- Make a phone call instead of sending an email
- Do daily or bi-weekly check-ups with your manager
- Organise a virtual coffee break
- Ask your contacts for feedback on a regular basis
- Maintaining personal effectiveness
Working from home, when organised properly, increases productivity at work. It’s becoming more and more common. According to a survey by l’Observatoire du Télétravail (French Remote Work Monitoring Centre) carried out in 2012: 77% of respondents consider that working from home increases their productivity. Another famous study conducted in 2015 by a Stanford professor in a Chinese travel agency with more than 16,000 employees showed that working from home could reduce absenteeism and increase employee productivity by more than 13%. But in order to do so, you have to know how to manage your working time. This means taking breaks and organising your schedule.
To better manage your time and schedule
- Adopt a routine by trying to set specific working hours
- Learn how to manage urgent and important tasks: When working from home, we often try to respond as quickly as possible to phone calls, emails, messages, etc. to show that we’re working. Unless a message or phone call seems urgent, continue what you are doing and answer later to avoid interruptions
- Organise your schedule using the following method
This method helps organise your weekly timetable by reserving slots for certain tasks that can be planned ahead
At the beginning, middle and end of the day, schedule 30 minutes to go through your emails
- Every day at 10am, 30 minutes for a team meeting
- Every Monday at 4pm, an update on performance indicators,
- And so on
If you are an expert or manager, keep e.g. 1 hour free every day between 4.30 pm and 5.30 pm, during which your colleagues know that you are available to discuss matters, give an opinion, make a decision, etc.
In 2015, Xerox calculated that working from home enabled its employees to drive 148 million fewer kilometres and reduce their carbon impact by 41,000 tonnes.
 Bloom, N., Liang, J., Roberts, J., & Ying, Z. J. (2015). Does working from home work? Evidence from a Chinese experiment. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 130(1), 165-218.