Here we are, over a year later into a global pandemic that has truly shaken the world. Some of us have learned to adapt to our new environments and routines and some of us have struggled to work from home. Either way, it can be hard to maintain productivity and produce work as efficiently as you would when in the office. Our team has adapted quite well to home working so we asked the time for their top tips- hopefully, these tips will help you to be more productive and perform better whilst working from home.
(But please remember everyone is finding their own way at the moment!)
Designated workspace – Ideally having a home office with sufficient desk space, additional screens and telephone systems if required is the best way to work from home. Not everyone has a separate office in their house -or even masses of spare space – meaning workers have to make the most of the areas that they have available. Try to dedicate a desk or a table in your home solely for work and don’t work anywhere else in the house so you subconsciously know when you are at this desk, table or work area, it is time to be working. Remember to keep your desk/work area clean and tidy to boost your mood and productivity.
Some of the perks of home working our team have found are regular pet cuddles, burning candles and fresh flowers on desks – perfect!
Minimise interruptions – In an office, family and friends don’t usually stop by to talk or to hang out but when you are working from home, they may think it is different. Interruptions and people dropping by can cause you to lose focus on your work, procrastinate and even fall behind on deadlines. Try to inform your family and friends that the only thing that has changed about your job is the location and you need to remain professional when you are working. Be sure to let them know the hours you are working and when you are available to make plans.
The team recommend also turning on ‘Focus Assist’ when working on a time-sensitive project or to a deadline, and also putting the phone on ‘do not disturb’ to allow more work focus with fewer distractions.
Spend time outside – Now that you are spending so much time in your home, try to get outside as much as you can in your free time. Whether it be for a small walk on your break or reading a book in the sunshine for a few minutes on lunch, spending time outside helps to clear the mind and relax. This can give your mind to think about other things that do not include work. You can also meet friends and families for socially distanced walks outside to socialise as well as getting fresh air.
The team note it is hard to get away from your desk when you are working from home, but even a 15-minute break in the garden or outdoor areas really will reinvigorate you mentally and physically. Oh, and if you are now sitting by a window, please remember to wear SPF!
Maintain the same hours – Be sure to set a schedule that you are going to stick to. Having a clear time for when to start work and finish work can help you to remain a good home life and work balance. Try to keep your lunches and breaks at a similar time throughout the week to allow your body to get into a good routine, just as you would when you are in the office.
The team have found in general that they are working more efficiently and effectively from home, with the flexibility of starting earlier and /or finishing later.
Create a morning routine – The worst thing you can do is move from your bed to your desk 10 minutes before you start work. Try to create a morning routine of getting up at a reasonable time, getting washed, having breakfast and relaxing before you start your daily work. Switching from home mode to work mode is something you have to physically do and mentally do rather than working in your pyjamas for the day.
Exercising before work has definitely been positive for some members of the team – getting the exercise in before work means they are focused and mentally engaged, as well as feeling rejuvenated each morning. Plus there is a sense of achievement to start the day with a HIIT or Body Pump class!
Ask for help – If you are employed by a business but you’re currently in a work from home set up, make sure you have all of the necessary equipment and tools you need to do your job efficiently. It can also be difficult working from home because you are not close to other colleagues to ask for help or opinions. Make sure you set up a chat between you and your colleagues to ask any questions to help you, rather than sitting at home, stuck on a task.
Our team have switched on several collaboration tools and team management solutions to help with internal communication as well as having weekly calls to discuss clients, but also mental health and well being.
Do you work from home and have any top tips to share? Get in touch and let us know!