There is no doubt that we are living through one of the most uncertain periods in our history. The spread of COVID-19 disease has affected our world in ways which just a few months ago seemed impossible. Whole countries are on lockdown, we’ve temporality been stopped from travelling internationally and the way in which we live our normal, day-to-day lives has completely changed.
One of the major changes is the way in which our job roles are being carried out. If you’re one of the more fortunate people, whose work can continue largely uninterrupted from the safety of your own home, we’ve listed a few ways in which you can effectively work from home. Creating a good home office can yield many benefits, e.g. increasing your performance, business continuity and help to achieve a better work/life balance.
Although working from home can be productive, it can also be problematic if it’s not well managed. Have a read through our ideas of how to strike up the perfect balance of keeping up an office mentality in your home environment!
Build a temporary workspace
The first step in your working from home journey is to designate a specific area to get your work done. This could be a study room or even a corner in your kitchen, living room or bedroom where you can setup a desk for your laptop. Be sure this space is quiet and not located in a thoroughfare, so you can focus without any distractions. Also, make sure you have a proper, comfy chair. Your back will thank you later!
Don’t work in your PJ’s
As tempting as it is to stay and work in your comfortable pyjamas all day, don’t do it. As they say ‘dress for success’ – this really matters when you’re working from home as it will change your mindset and improve your productivity for the day. Be strict with yourself and shower and get dressed in the morning as if you were going into the office.
Set your working hours
Whilst you’re working from home every day it’s important to commit to specific hours of work. If you have the luxury of being able to alternate outside of standard 9 – 5 hours, you may want to take advantage of working from earlier or later in the day. Also add in some time for tea/coffee breaks and a longer break at lunchtime to refuel and take a brisk walk if you can.
Update your to-do list every morning
When your workload isn’t being monitored as closely as it would be in the office, it can be challenging to keep track of what you need to do by the end of each day. By creating a list of things to do that day you can keep track and avoid losing sight of your priorities, tasks and deadlines. When you’ve made the list, stick to it. Make sure you’ve got enough time in the day to complete everything and as soon as you’ve finished a task make sure you tick it off of your list – it’s very satisfying!
Exercise and eat healthily
Healthy body, healthy mind! Try and exercise in the morning before you begin work, this will boost endorphins which will boost your happiness and interest levels, which will reflect in the quality of your work for that day. Make sure you maintain a good posture whilst sat at your desk, take a walk at lunchtime if you can and stretch every so often throughout the day so your body feels better. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and make sure your cupboards are stocked with healthy snacks and lunchtime options.
Stay off social media and the news
The distraction of social media and the news is a dangerous one and most people are guilty of spending too much time on these channels this from time to time. Casual social media users will be spending a lot more time browsing on pages than they think, and this can be a massive waste of time. It also takes you out of your professional mindset, unless you want to use a platform such as Linked In where you might be able to find something useful for your work. Because the news is being constantly updated at the moment, there is a real inclination to check it every few moments. While it is important to be informed, too much of this is unproductive and can be an information-overload for many people. Allow yourself time in the morning and time again in the afternoon to check the news and refrain for the rest of the day.
Use video conferencing
Working from home, especially for longer periods of time can get lonely. Utilise apps like WhatsApp, Skype, Facetime, Microsoft Teams & Google Hangouts to chat with colleagues, clients and suppliers each day. Schedule calls in to re-connect with co-workers and chat through things which need discussion instead of firing off lengthy emails.
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