“Working from Home” is a phrase we have all suddenly become very accustom to, however if its not something you’ve ever had to do before then it can seem a bit daunting. No more nattering with your colleagues, no more de-icing the car in the morning and no micro-managers to nag you!
So how do we work from home? Below are our tips on keeping yourself proactive and productive during a period of such unrest until you go back to sitting in your office wishing you were at home again!
As much as possible, avoid answering personal phone calls or doing your laundry during the workday. Ask yourself if you would do this activity if you worked in an office. If not, then don’t do it while working at home. If a friend calls for a chat, let it go to voicemail and call them back in a break or after your ‘working day’. These are just some tips to help you keep the feeling of the office and keep you focused on the task at your desk.
Keep your mind focused
Covid – 19 has meant a lot of day to day work has quietened for companies, if you are finding your desk is a lot quieter than normal, create your own work where possible. Perhaps a tidy up of your emails, filing the paperwork you have been putting off, or learn a new skill that can benefit your job. Take advantage of some of the free online tutorials and online courses covering a variety of subjects and sectors. Active minds are productive minds.
Take a lunch break.
Step away from your computer, enjoy some fresh air in the garden or complete a few basic chores around the house. Phone a friend or family member. Make yourself a healthy nutritious lunch to keep your energy levels up and keep you from snacking at ‘your desk’. It’s important you come back to your work feeling re-energized.
Dress for the job.
Your office may only be steps away from your bedroom, but that doesn’t mean you should show up to your desk in the same clothes you wore to bed. A survey showed that those who work in their pyjamas feel less productive and less serious about the work days. It’s easier to get distracted because there’s not a mental separation between working and just being at home relaxing. This doesn’t mean you need to wear your usual suit and tie (unless you are making video calls) but making sure you are wearing clean clothes and following your morning bathroom routine is important to feeling your usual professional self.
Have a routine.
Create a workday routine just as you would in an office. Coffee at your desk whilst checking your emails, re grouping as a team virtually and prioritising workload as you usually would. Try to stick roughly to your usual working hours, for example 9.00am – 5.00pm if this is what you usually do. Dedicate certain tasks to certain times, you may find this especially beneficial if you have a noisy household but there are times in the day when the house is quieter, use these times to make your calls and the tasks that need the most concentration.
Remove home distractions.
With lots of us currently working from home and schools closing it may be that you find your home is busier than usual. Where possible (and we appreciate this is easier said than done) find a place for your temporary home office that is removed from family distractions and surround your work-space with work-related items. If possible, dedicate a separate room in your house to be your home office and shut the door while you’re working so everyone else in the household knows not to disturb you.
Get out of the ‘office.’
Working from home can get lonely. When you live and work within the same four walls, you can easily get bored of your surroundings. Use lunch hours and before and after work time to take in a change of scenery. This is a little trickier with most of the UK workers under lock down, but this could be a peaceful moment on your balcony, using your allowed hour of exercise to leave your home and sprucing up the garden or participating in an online exercise class.