Remote working is becoming an increasingly popular model among workers from all over the world and, as projected long ago, its popularity will only continue to rise. For those accustomed to a full-time office job, or even those familiarized with flex work, switching to a home office situation, even if for a short period of time, can be a big transition and adjustment.

Situations that mandate people, businesses or countries to adapt to a new working model are unpredictable but, there are different ways that workers and companies can adjust to these sudden changes. Many modern tech companies have already in place the means and policies needed to allow the majority of employees to work comfortably from home in the same manner as they were at the office. This is the case of Nearshore Portugal.  In fact, the software development industry is no stranger to remote working and this is especially true to us at since we are a nearshore software outsourcing provider.

More than ever, people and businesses need to adapt to unforeseen changes. This means turning the situation into a strength, rather than a crippling blow. As expected, converting a successful working from home attitude and mindset to action has its challenges. Yet, it’s also more easy that you might think. It’s all about organization.
Following these simple home office optimization methods will make all the difference!

Cleaning Your Workspace

First things first, organization means nothing unless you arrange your workspace in the best possible way. Having a dedicated area of your house to work is the ideal way to optimize your schedule and tasks as it helps to focus on the targets ahead, providing that mindset needed to get things done in the same way as you were at the office. Organize your day and clear all unnecessary objects from your desk so everything you need is nearby.

Having the right technology

Having equipment and tools such as computers, email access, online conferencing and access to internal networks are needed not just to keep in touch, but to make sure that work procedures follow the normal flow.  Of course, it’s also important to take in consideration not just communication tools but also shared documentation tools. All of this to make sure that the work is held to the same standards and meets the same expectations regardless of the work site, home or office.

Setting Communication Processes

Ensuring daily and frequent communication between coworkers and the client is essential. When working from home, the combination of distance and lack of socializing can become a source of stress and anxiety. One way to counter this is by making sure that a normal work routine is met. Thus, it’s important that both employees and clients, besides using written communication tools like Slack, take part in video calls, ensuring that employees feel part of the meeting, can actively participate and give give feedback. This also means reviewing work together as a way to keep up to speed and equally important, maintaining high performance, engagement and the accomplishment of tasks.

Creating a To-Do list

As we said earlier, the best way to tackle the many challenges of a home office/remote working is by being organized, and having a to-do list must be a top priority. There are many ways to optimize work through a to-do list: some people prefer a paper planer, others a standard notebook. However, we advise something more trustworthy that can handle more details, bigger and more complex projects and more importantly, that can be shared between coworkers and the client.  At Nearshore Portugal, we use dependable and efficient tools. It's all about testing what works best for you. You can give Trello or Jira by Atlassian a try as they have great features, giving a helping hand in organizing work in all its different stages.

Using Focus Timers

That’s right, focus timers are a thing. Dedicating time and efforts to a project is a must but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to sit in front of your desk for hours while focusing on that specific project non-stop. From time to time we all have to push a bit harder due to unforeseen issues or because of the demanding nature of the project. However, being in front of a laptop for hours can become counterproductive. Optimization comes in many formers, and small breaks are a great way to reach greater efficiency. Taking a breather is important and so is refreshing the brain periodically, so remember to take a quick break every 45 minutes to recharge your batteries and rest. One famous method used by many is the Pomodoro Technique, which is based on a 25-minute working session, then a break for 5 minutes. After you do four 25-minute sessions, you take a 15 to 20-minute break.

As a society that plays on a global level, we can unexpectedly be faced with a situation that can change not just the way we work but the work itself. We live in an ever-changing time set in an ever-changing market defined by its sudden metamorphism. However, amidst these changes, adaptability and hard work are our biggest advantages. There are no shortage of methods that ensure an efficient approach when it comes to remote work or transforming your temporary home office to your own private HQ. At the end of the day, the more optimized your home is, the more efficient you’ll become, translating into greater productivity.