Due to the coronavirus pandemic the number of people working from home is set to increase dramatically. I work from home anyway so I am already set into a working routine that allows me to work efficiently and productively. But what if you are one of the many that have been suddenly thrust into a completely new working schedule at home? To help you I have come up with my top tips to working from home. I hope they help.
GET YOURSELF A WORKSPACE
This is especially important if you live with others. You need your own space so you can work without distraction, especially if you have children! Ideally this should be a dedicated room. Perhaps you have a spare guest room or a children’s play room. Now is the time to claim that space and turn it into your home office.
If you don’t have a spare room, no problem. Simply find a corner of a room or even the end of the kitchen table and set out your work there. If you work solely from a laptop then you don’t need a lot of room.
Try not to work on the sofa or on the bed as this will be extra stress on your back, especially if you are working for a long period of time. Also try keep the sofa and bed for your relaxing time so you can have a distinct area for work and relaxation.
Try and get a suitable chair which supports your back as you will be using it for many hours every day. If you don’t have a suitable chair, then think about buying one as it will be a sound investment.
It is tempting to stay in your pyjamas all day during enforced time at home but this is not helpful into making you work productively. If you get washed and dressed as though you are going to work then this helps you get into ‘work mode.’ If you have to make any business calls you will naturally communicate better if you are dressed in day clothing. Conversely, once you have finished work for the day, it is a good idea to get changed into more comfortable, leisure style clothing as this tells your brain that you are not at work and this helps you relax better.
TAKE REGULAR BREAKS
Set regular times for breaks such as coffee, lunch and dinner. This will help you settle into a routine and make you feel like you are actually at work. It may be useful if you can set an alarm on your phone to remind you to take these breaks. Taking regular breaks helps you think clearer and work more productive anyway. Unless you are self-isolating, then use the once a day exercise rule to go out for a walk. The fresh air will help you clear your head and destress you from the pressures of work. If you are unable to go outside then at least open the windows during your working day.
KEEP DISTRACTIONS TO A MINIMUM
Inform the rest of your household that you will be working at set hours and ask them to respect this. Of course this will be difficult especially if you have children, but try and make sure you have activities to occupy your children so you can get on with your work.
USE A WORK OR WALL PLANNER
Set yourself deadlines by writing in your planner as this will provide an incentive and focus for you to work to. Setting deadlines helps increase productivity. Making ‘to do’ lists can help you achieve goals and feel more satisfied when you have completed items on your list.
It is so easy to become isolated when you are working from home, so make time to phone friends or work colleagues. It is important for our mental health to keep that social connection. Even if we live with others in the same household, it is still beneficial to keep in contact with our friends. There are many ways to keep in contact with others such as Zoom video conferencing, What’s App, Facetime and House Party, to name a few.
I hope this article gives you a few ideas of how to work successfully at home. It may be that you enjoy this time at home so much, that in future you may want to consider working from home permanently.
Until next time