Whether you’re missing the usual office buzz, wrestling with a ‘desk’ fashioned from your kitchen table, or enjoying the freedom to focus, there’s no doubt that working from home has its pros and cons.
For those people lucky enough to still be fully employed and who are now working remotely, there are some simple steps you can take to make it a positive experience.
The Personal Bit
This space is my space!
Many people don’t have a dedicated workspace in their homes but it is worth thinking about trying to create one. Your company may have provided you with new IT equipment so, where possible, set up a space that is just for work.
Get up early
Do not rock out of your bed at 8.59am and open the laptop to start working from 9am. You will not be awake and will almost immediately be distracted by – the need for coffee, the desire to eat breakfast, the postie arriving. 10am will arrive and you’ll have done nothing useful.
It might seem like the perfect opportunity to laze about in your shorts and Big Lebowski dressing gown but if you’re dressed for lazing about the house, you will tend to do just that. This isn’t a recommendation to wear a suit at your kitchen table but, if you’re dressed appropriately, you’ll focus better and those video conferences will be slightly less embarrassing.
Match your normal work pattern
Take proper breaks, lunch and so on. It’s important to try to retain an appropriate structure to your day where you can.
Communicate with your nearest and dearest
If you have children and/or other adults around distraction will go through the roof and cause more broken concentration issues than sitting next to the office gossip. Let them know you’re still at work.
Log out of your social media accounts and disable browser notifications
It’s hard to concentrate when you are alerted to your best friend posting another awesome Cat meme… Log out of social media accounts on your workstation and even your phone for the duration.
You won’t be getting some of the exercise you usually do when you’re working from home. No more trips to the deli, or back and forward on the tube or train. Whether you’re into Joe Wicks, Mr Motivator, or you can get outside, take a break to do some exercise.
Although the location has changed, you are still working so you also need to keep in touch with your company and follow relevant office and security procedures.
The Business Bit
It’s sometimes very isolating working from home so make sure you strengthen your lines of communication. Embrace the tools your employer has provided as much as you can. Share your calendar with those who need to know what your availability is. Ensure your messaging status is up to date. Get on those video calls.
Don’t forget SECURITY
It’s important to place the same emphasis on the security of your work at home as you would do when you’re in your office. Follow company guidelines and don’t be tempted to take shortcuts.
Connect to the Mothership
Make sure you are regularly connecting to your business systems in a secure way. Often your business will provide backup, anti-virus updates and patches via automated systems. Fire up the VPN and connect, even when you think you might not need to.
Ensure you close off your working day
It can be tempting to just work on endlessly when you’re at home. Make sure your work routine applies to the end of the day too. Log off and close off your day and look forward to the shorter than normal journey home.
We have put together a Top Tips for Managing Remote Workers infographic that you can download for your business and share with your managers so they can help their own teams to flourish in this new working environment.
Visit the COVID-19 resources page on our website for more information about the best solutions and strategies for remote working. Get in touch if there is anything we can do to help your business through these difficult times.