All of a sudden, our lives as we know it have changed and a lot of us are having to work from home. Some of us are very familiar with remote working and for others it’s a whole new lifestyle. But have no fear – delve into our tips and become a home-working pro.
1. Routine is key.
You’re working – so work your normal hours. This is helpful for maintaining the boundary between work life and home life. It will also help your colleagues and the company as a whole as those hours of communication will be more productive. And if like our team, you do 3pm stretches – keep doing those stretches! If you used to go to the gym in the morning or after work, keep those exercise routines going at home.
2. Take a lunch break
Take a break from your screen. Go on! You need it and you’ll come back feeling refreshed and ready to work. Don’t dine at your desk – whether you’re in an office or not, this should be a standard rule. Step away from the laptop, you don’t want soup or salad all over it, now, do you?
3. Create a dedicated workstation
No, not your sofa or your bed. You’re probably going to be working from home for a while. So, let’s get ready! A chair and surface are mandatory – and at the weekend be sure to put that work station away and transform your home back into your usual living space.
4. Don’t underestimate a video call
You usually see colleagues for most of your day and this has suddenly come to a halt, so prioritise face to face contact and make meetings into video calls, with regular team calls booked in every day. A 5–10 minute call can simply be sharing a cup of tea, brainstorming ideas or having your usual weekly meeting.
5. Get some fresh air
We’re not just talking opening the windows – get out in the garden, go out on the balcony, go for a social-distancing walk where possible.
6. Deal with distractions
Before you start work deal with your distractions. Is that dirty window going to bug you? Clean it before you start work. Don’t turn the TV on until you’ve finished working. It’s going to be tempting, but if you wouldn’t do it in the office, don’t do it at home in your work hours.
7. Work socials online
Going to the pub is off the table, so why not share a Friday drink on a video call? Take some time to relax with your colleagues. Have an online quiz together or share some news.
8. Reach out to your colleagues
We’ve got teams based all over the UK and we’re in touch more than ever. We are each other’s support network – reach out to your team and other teams in your company, no matter how small the reason.
9. Set yourself goals, achievable goals
So, you have your to-do list, but as you’re working from home, meetings and calls may have taken over. Put the most achievable thing at the top of your list and get that done.
10. Co-working from home?
Co-working from home can introduce an extra level of stress. It’s an uncertain time, and you’re going to be dealing with different work pressures. But don’t take it out on each other – invent an imaginary colleague to take it out on. When there’s a coaster that’s not been used, a light switch left on, a window open making you chilly – in comes the imaginary colleague! “Graham, it’s all your fault, why did you do that?!” Don’t underestimate the strength of having a Graham.
Bonus tips for parents working from home
To give structure to your working day, create a timetable with your children. Carve out time for school work in the morning and afternoon, time for playing (in the garden if you have one), get them making a simple art project, take a family walk and let your children help with chores around the house. Build-in time for online contact with their friends and get creative setting up a new online book club or Youtube art sessions.
Extra Bonus: Here’s some helpful content for parents and children.*
Home working is a big change for everyone so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do it all in the first week. Staying healthy and happy is key!
Author: Stella Norris
*Credit to Sean Stockmann.