Tips for Working from Home
In an effort to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, many workers across the world are now finding themselves in an unfamiliar situation: working from home.
We have compiled some tips for first time remote workers on how to make the most of this opportunity, maintain a positive work/life balance and stay productive.
Maintain Regular Hours
When working from home for the first time, it’s important to stick to a schedule. Do you work a 9-5 job normally? At home, working should be the same. This goes for both maximizing your productivity during work hours and sticking to logging out on time when it would usually be time to finish your day. Sticking to a schedule helps you to stay focussed and maintains a barrier between work and personal time.
Create a Morning Routine
For the majority of people, working from home offers the added benefit of freeing up time they would usually spend commuting. For first time remote workers, the temptation may be to use this time for unproductive purposes! However, this might not be the best for mental
health or productivity. Using this time for exercising, meditating or hobbies can help keep your mind sharp and positivity up.
Set Ground Rules with the People in Your Space
It’s important for remote workers to set some ground rules with co-habitants . This is especially true if you are working in a shared space, as not everyone will have a designated work area in their home. Let those you live with know your work situation has changed and what you need, while also being respectful of their space. If you have children setting rules for what they can and can’t do during your work hours is essential. If kids return from school while you are still working, make sure they are not disruptive or distracting. This will help you remain productive and reduce any friction that could occur.
Ensure that you stick to a regular break schedule. If you would usually take an hour lunch break at the office, you should also do this while remote working. Do not cut off or extend the lunch you would take in the office. Keeping a disciplined schedule will help you to stay productive and positive. In addition, if you would usually go to the staff kitchen to get a coffee at 11am, you should allow this at home, just be aware of how often you are getting up for breaks, is it more than you would in the office? Recognise the difference between taking a break and procrastination.
Keep up with Meetings
Keep relationships with clients and colleagues strong by utilizing video conferences and conference calls while remote working. Email can feel impersonal sometimes, so a face to face talk over video will go a long way in maintaining relationships and reducing isolation. Team meetings can be hosted over platforms like Skype and Zoom. Communicating effectively will help everything move as smoothly as possible.
Overcommunication is key while remote working. Make sure everyone knows your work schedule and do not be afraid to remind colleagues. Make sure to keep managers or colleagues up to date on where you are with tasks or if you have completed projects. This does not mean letting your boss know about every mundane task or constant updates, but strong communication and information flow is essential.