There was talk about it, now, action has been taken. We are officially on lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. The UK government has ordered the closure of schools, pubs, restaurants, and other businesses in order to reduce the spread. People can only leave their homes for very limited purposes. This change has, of course affected many leaving employers with no choice but to set up teams remotely, working from home to keep things ticking. For some, this will be something they are used to and for others, this will be completely new territory and will take some adjusting to.
Initially, the idea of working from home sounds exciting and appealing. Imagine having hot lunches, not commuting, and getting to wear what you want.
Before you say “Hurray!” it’s important to consider the responsibility that comes with working from home. If a good working environment and good working habits are not established, you might find yourself not meeting deadlines.
Not to worry, we have the perfect tips to assist you as you adjust to your new workplace.
Working from home doesn’t mean dressing down. Dress up
Most employers don’t care what you wear at home as long as you get the job done.
You might be excited at the thought of not dressing up for work, but working while wearing your favourite pyjamas may not be such a good idea. While it’s important to work in a relaxed atmosphere, wearing what you would normally wear at work helps in setting the tone of the day. Research shows that what you wear helps in maintaining a sense of control and routine in times where normality has been disrupted. If you want the best from both worlds, wear smart casual attire that makes you look professional and comfortable at the same time.
The last thing you want is an unexpected video conference looking like this.
Start your day with a routine
Human beings crave routine. Doing the same thing each day at the same time makes you feel comfortable, allows you to do more, and makes you feel safe in times of uncertainty. Working from home is no different. Carve your day to work around you and your work commitments but also try to keep to as many of the routines you already had in place. Here are some ways to start your day right.
- Wake up early
- Dedicate time to reflect about your day and what you’d like to accomplish
- Make your bed
- Eat a healthy breakfast
- Take a walk or a run
- Check important mails and read the newspaper
- Think positively
- Review your to-do list
- Plan how you’ll achieve the day’s tasks
Make time for a work Out
If you are used to having physical exercises in the morning, you are aware of the benefits that come with them. Exercise boosts your energy and makes you feel as though you have accomplished something before the day starts. Being on lockdown means no access to gyms or their equipment so may feel more difficult, especially for those who already have this implemented into their daily routine like clockwork. Make the most of what you have, and utilise exercise apps and youtube videos, there is plenty out there. If you’re not a fan of exercise you don’t have to go crazy, taking a walk every day is just fine it gives your body the break and stretch it needs.
Have Regular Working Hours
Working at home allows you to binge-watch Netflix the whole day and work at night. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Maintain regular working hours to boost productivity. Set boundaries. Having erratic working hours might cause a major productivity nosedive.
If you’re employed, you may be used to having well-defined break times. Working from home is a different ball game as there are no specific set times. Even when you think you don’t need it, have a break in between your work segments. Set a timer to remind you when to take breaks and when to resume work so you don’t forget.
Set Ground Rules When Working From Home
If you have children, then you understand how hard it is to focus on your work while engaging in a playful tussle with them. Children need clear rules on what they can and can’t do when you’re working. Ground rules also apply to family members. Just because you’re home does not mean that friends and family can call anytime. To avoid work disruptions, you should inform people about your working hours. If not, your productivity will suffer.
Communicate With Your Colleagues
Working at home can feel isolating at times, but try to have regular interactions with your colleagues. A good way to stay connected is via video chat, you can still have your team meetings and more. The conversations need not be work-related, you can even utilise these digital tools to use with family and friends. Remember, most people may be finding it difficult to adjust to being isolated and working from home. Seeing a familiar face and hearing stories of how they are coping may give you the motivation you need to keep going.
Plan Your Work
This is easier said than done. Working from home is different from working at the office as the latter has strict schedules on when to get to the office, complete various tasks, and leave for home. Try to start and end work at the same time each day. Have specific goals for each day and try as much as possible to achieve them by breaking them down into a bite-sized to-do list. Nothing is as dreary as starting your day with yesterday’s unfinished work. If you keep procrastinating, you might find that work has accumulated to the extent that you have to burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines. If you want to take time off from work, start work early as opposed to rescheduling it for another day.
End Your Day With A Routine
How you end your day has so much to do with how you started it. Likewise, the end of your day determines how you’ll start your day tomorrow. Here is a list of things you should do at the end of each workday.
- Evaluate your to-do list
- Check your schedule for the next day
- Check in with your boss and coworkers if need be
- Reflect on your day
- Disengage from work and have quality time with friends and family
- Close your day in a positive way
- Sleep early
Your Working From Home. Enjoy The Perks
Working from home can be enjoyable. Cutting out your commute has certainly given you some time back, use it. As well as scheduling your work time, schedule some time to do something you have been meaning to do or love. Enjoy a lay-in, try out the new recipe you’ve had your eye on for ages, you have more time to prep meals. Spend quality time with your loved ones within your household. Repair the door that has been squeaking every time you open it.
We all face unique challenges just because we have different personalities and different work styles. Nonetheless, it is up to you to determine the best way to start work, where to work, and how to remain productive without getting distracted. Do what works for you.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by this change contact us. We would love to give you the support and direction you need.