Working from home: Our 10 tips
For many of us, working from home is a new experience and can be a difficult transition during this time of social distancing.
Check out our 10 tips for making your remote working life as productive and pain-free as possible.
1. Pick a workspace
Try to find yourself a dedicated and comfortable spot where you can work and can associate that spot with your job only. That means leaving that spot when you’re off the clock.
2. Know when to log off
Surprisingly, actually logging off and finishing work for the day can be one of the most challenging aspects when it comes to working from home as you’re not technically “leaving” work. Work your “in office” hours as normal and communicate these hours with your fellow colleagues.
3. Cut yourself some slack
Working from home can be a big transition if it’s not something you have done before on a long-term basis. It can feel lonely, isolated and stressful. But you will also at times feel calm, productive and motivated. It’s a process of adaptation.
4. Make a plan
When working alone, outside of your usual office environment with your team to remind you of certain things, it is helpful to write down a structured daily plan of what you need to get done and when.
5. Take breaks
Stay committed to scheduling in time in your day for some exercise, fresh air, a cup of tea and to eat healthy, nutritious meals (away from your workspace).
As important as it is to schedule your work, it is equally as important to schedule breaks into your day. This not only helps your productivity levels, but also looks after your mental health.
6. Get practical
Consider the practical aspects of working from home: do you have a chair you can work in that gives you optimal back support? Do you own a hands-free headset for ease on long calls, or at least have some earphones you can pop in? Are you up to date on your employer’s remote working policy?
Communication is key in any workplace, but it is even more important when you are working remotely. It is much easier to communicate on small things when someone is sitting opposite you.
This is why it’s important to almost overcommunicate – if you wonder whether your colleague would want to know something, share it. Send your team updates on your progress on certain projects or tasks so you are all on the same page.
8. Check in
In terms of communication, it is equally important to keep up the casual communication habits you would have in the office, whether this is a catch up at the water cooler or in the canteen. This will help maintain a sense of normalcy.
You can do this by having a quick video chat to check in on your colleagues whom you would usually get to chat to in person, to replicate the normal in-person office experience.
9. Video call
Although you may feel uncomfortable on a video call seeing your own face, it helps hugely with feeling isolated or disconnected. Have your team/work meetings on video call so you can see other people’s faces.
Human interaction makes a huge difference in terms of both productivity and mental/emotional well-being.
10. Setting boundaries with little ones
Working from home when you have little ones running around is challenging to say the least. If that means you have to bribe them with TV or video games to get an important meeting done in peace, then so be it.
Even better, get them to exercise their creativity by making a system for your work area. This way, they understand that when they see the big thumbs up that they’ve made stuck on the door, it’s ok to come in but if the thumbs down sign is up, that you are working and cannot be disturbed unless there is an emergency.