If you’re one of the many starting to work at home for the first time or engaging in full-time remote work for the first time, you may be discovering that it’s not as easy as you would have thought!
For many, doing their job without the support and camaraderie an office environment can provide is a tricky business – distractions such as kids, fridge-snacks and ‘unsupervised’ internet surfing are all too easily at hand. So, what can you do to help maximise your work at home productivity?
Here are nine top tips for success whilst working from home:
Ditch the pyjamas and move around
Even if it’s just showering and getting into your usual work clothes, psychologists recommend putting down a physical marker to start the working day at home. You could also walk around the garden or do a quick work-out.
Define your office space
The feeling of ‘going to work’, while still being at home, can help hugely. Whether it’s a shed, spare bedroom or attic hideaway, try and set up a clear workspace you can ‘commute’ to.
You might think you’re going to get loads done in a quiet home environment. But don’t be fooled! Make a daily ‘to-do list’, but don’t be over-ambitious.
Sort out the family
If you have a partner and kids, agree times you’ll be available to share domestic tasks and chat. You could also schedule a time to eat a meal together as a family, giving you the time to talk and connect.
Don’t miss the trip out
If you’re finding working from home tough and surprisingly tiring, it can be tempting to simply slob out at the end of the day. Don’t do it! For your mental and physical well-being, it’s important to continue with your daily lock down walking/cycling/running routine.
Avoid feeling isolated
It almost goes without saying but communicating with the people you work with can be crucial. Suggest a morning call with your team or manager, and a lunchtime face-time with work friends – don’t just hide behind email. Feelings of isolation are common for homeworkers but can and should be countered.
Take those screen breaks
A ‘break’ shouldn’t really involve continuing to sit at your desk while surfing the internet and looking at the news. Get up and make a cup of tea and sit somewhere else in your house or flat. If possible, do some stretches.
Decent office equipment
Even just a few weeks with bad posture on a cheap chair which wasn’t designed for ‘office’ life can give you back, shoulder and neck problems. If you’re able to, buy a decent office chair, get an ergonomic keyboard and don’t slouch. And, as above, take regular breaks.
Work socials and that Friday feeling
Lots of people say one of the things they miss most about going to work is the social side. However, you can still create social events with colleagues through video channels such as Zoom, WhatsApp and Skype. Even if it’s not quite the same, you might get some feel of the usual Friday buzz.