In current times, working from home has become something that’s essential for us all to learn how to do effectively. As a team who have been successfully involved in home-working for a number of years, we thought we’d share a few tips for those just starting out.
This may seem like an obvious one, but the temptation to stay in your pjs and wander on into the office with your morning coffee is real.
Don’t do it!
Before you know it, lunchtime will be on the clock and you will have accomplished half of what you intended to.
Make a point of getting dressed, the same way you would if you were leaving the house and make a proper start to your day. It does amazing things for your energy levels and with the new trend of zoom meetings, can help avoid a potentially embarrassing situation with clients and colleagues.
It’s really easy when you’re working from home to get into the habit of “doing a few jobs around the house”, checking social media, playing with the dog or having the TV on.
These are all a trap!
If you have ever needed an excuse to not do housework, this is perfect for you!
Treat your home office as if it wasn’t in your house, pretend your boss has a webcam on you (even if you are your boss) and stay committed to the task.
Make Sure You Are Comfortable
Now by comfortable we’re not suggesting too comfortable (ie. Don’t work in bed), but make sure you have a decent chair and can access your computer, phone, workbook etc. easily.
This way you won’t end up with a bad back/neck/shoulder….the list is endless, and you’ll actually work way more efficiently.
Make a List
We’re a big believer in lists. We actually get excited about ticking off tasks. Even if this is not you, starting your day with direction of what you want to accomplish is so important.
At the end of the previous day, we each write down a list of jobs we need to work on the next morning so we can get started quickly. We generally take 5 minutes to reprioritize every couple of hours throughout the day so anything urgent doesn’t get missed.
Give Yourself Breaks
Working from home and being solely accountable for your time can mean never taking a break because there isn’t anyone there to tell you to, or feeling unproductive by doing so.
Don’t eat lunch in your office. Just don’t.
Get up and have a walk around the block or sit and relax for half an hour. This will help break up your day and give you something more immediate to look forward to which can boost your productivity levels.
Invest in Your Setup
You need to enjoy the space you plan on spending several hours of your day in. Make sure it’s organized and has everything you need. Think computer, head-set, webcam and phone to start with. It’s also a good idea to take some time making it feel pleasant to work in and not like you’ve just taken over the spare room!
Know The Time of Day You’re Most Productive
Are one of those annoying morning people, ready to go from about 6am? Or shocking in the morning but happy to work into the small hours of the night?
Plan your day to work to your strengths!
If you’re lucky enough to have an employer who is flexible with the hours you are actively working, take a minute to think about when you’re operating at your best. With higher levels of productivity, tasks are completed faster and to a better quality.
Interact With People
Working from home can feel pretty lonely at times (although perhaps not as lonely as we’d like during COVID lockdown!), and we can take for granted the positivity that comes from working in an office environment.
It is a good idea to check in regularly with colleagues to bounce ideas around or just to vent when you’ve had a bad moment.
Working from home can still be interactive and although you do need to work harder to keep that team vibe going, it can be done with a little more structure in place and great collaboration tools.
Define Your Working Hours
Once you have worked out your hours, it’s important to stick to them.
Working from home makes you accountable for your own time and as much as it’s vital to appreciate the trust your employer has given you to actually work, be wary of working more hours than necessary too.
It can be very tempting to just “get one more thing done” before you finish up, but overworking can lead to burn out and you’ll find it harder to switch off at the end of the day.
Focus on Work-Life Balance
In a nutshell, work hard and play hard!
Be kind to yourself.
Make time for your family.
There is a huge amount to learn from home-working personally and professionally. We believe we are on the cusp of entering a time where given the correct infrastructure, using this flexibility can be beneficial to both employers and employees.
Having the necessary I.T support in place to assist with this change is crucial. Get in touch for more details of what’s involved. We would love to be a part of growing your business!