Be prepared to work from home - Top Tips
Covid-19 has wreaked havoc across the country, and across the globe. The UK has now started social distancing and a lot more of us will experience working from home, for longer. Many would have never worked from home so its important now to prepare yourself.
Working from home is amazing, when it is part of your normal routine, and for many of us modern professionals working from home is already an option. Many will often say they get more work done at home, away from the distractions of colleagues, lunch invitations and the daily conversation around the communal kettle.
This doesn’t mean that the home office doesn’t have its own unique distractions. Not having co-workers around does often mean you don’t feel the same demand to get work done. The flashing lights of Netflix demanding you watch just one more season, or maybe it’s your kids who are not used to seeing you work from home feeling the obligation to distract and annoy you.
Tips on How to Work from Home
1. Get started at your normal time
a. It may seem like an obvious point, but this is important, you need to find a natural routine that you are used to. One thing that you will find is that you will probably snooze that alarm one to many times now you can go from pillow to computer. While not having the daily commute is great, it can also be harder to start work when you start work without it.
2. Its just a normal day, you are going to been seen
a. You can work in your pants, of course that’s a choice. You often find working in an office you have your routine to prepare yourself for the day in the office. Do the same now, go get that morning shower, sort your hair out, wear your shirt. This will help in your mental preparations for work.
3. Find a dedicated work-space
a. Try to organise a place for you to work at home. Sitting on the sofa is probably going to lead to more distractions and association with your leisure time, and probably lead to a sore back from bad posture – this is very important for you not to put your health at risk by working from home. Preferably find a place where you can sit and work comfortable and free from distractions.
4. Don’t mess around social media
a. If you, like so many find it hard not to keep scrolling through pages upon pages of the next update on Twitter, then try using a different browser that doesn’t have the short cuts to these websites. Try logging out of these accounts, and not saving your log-in details. “But it’s an app on my phone, who uses there computer now anyway for that?” Fair point, but it could help in your productivity if you limited your time.
5. Take a break, take a walk
a. No matter what you might tell your boss, or what your boss expects of you. No one stays at their desk, fully focused, from 9-5. Not possible. Don’t do it at home, take breaks, make sure you stretch your legs, take five minutes outside in the garden if you can. Rather that just opening a new tab, and watching your favourite football match highlights use the time to get away from your prison, I mean desk. Spend some time with others in the house.
b. Take five now, you have earned it, this article will still be here when you get back.
6. Make a list the night before
a. This can really help. Make a list of tasks you need to complete tomorrow. This will stop you from letting distractions take over. Of course, not every part of your day can be planned the night before, but it can certainly help when you have a clear agenda when you start work.
7. Set your expectations with people in your home
a. Working from home could be difficult for several reasons. Many of us live with other humans. Make sure you set up expectations of what you expect from them with respecting your work-place. Working at home doesn’t mean it’s a day off.
8. Use the force, or technology
a. You may feel on individual projects that working from home allows you to concentrate at the task at hand. But when working on a larger cooperation project you may feel cut off. Try setting up video calls, or instant messaging with your co-workers. This will also help in your mental well-being, working alone is great, but we are sociable animals and need interactions. Which is leads to me our next point.
9. Interact when you can with other
a. Yes you’re working from home, and yes we are all being asked to social isolate to protect ourselves and others, and we should. But that doesn’t mean we should isolate ourselves from everyone. Make sure you speak to people when you can, make time to call friends and family, play FIFA online with others (Even if its just for the fix of Premier League). It will keep you sane.
10. Pick a finishing time
a. Many would assume that working from home would mean you get a better balance between work and life. But I would re-think that assumption. You can lose track of time and when your on a roll and have no transport to catch, or drive home, then you can quickly lose complete track of time. Set an alarm for the end of work to remind you that the day has ended. This does not mean you can’t finish off the work you were doing, but it will help you find the courage to press save and close down.