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How to embrace working from home.

We understand that many people are having to adjust to new routines and that working from home has become the new normal for the foreseeable future. As much as working from home can definitely have its benefits with many industries having long since embraced the option, it can be challenging to get set-up ensuring that productivity remains high but the workday doesn’t feel like house-arrest.

We’ve pulled together some advice on how to make the most of your new working situation.

Get ready to show up for work

  • Wake up with plenty of time
  • Have a shower
  • Get dressed

It may sound obvious but it can be very easy to slip into bad habits when working from home. And although a benefit of WFH is that every day can be dress-down Friday, it’s best to keep it smart-casual as working in your PJ’s is unlikely to make you feel the most productive! 

Find a practical space

If you haven’t already got a home study you can call your own, it’s vital to find a bit of space where you can set yourself up that will be quiet and as free from distractions (kids, pets, etc) as possible.

It’s understandable that if you have young children at home as well then this in itself can be a challenge, but if you’re able to find a room with lower footfall which you can call your ‘office’ you’re likely to be more productive than with a laptop on the bed or the temptation of Netflix in the lounge. Get creative with what could double-up as your workplace:

  • Dining table or breakfast bar – preferably if you’re able to take over one end permanently
  • Guest room
  • Could you repurpose a section of the garage?
  • Conservatory
  • Attic room
  • Utility room 

We don’t recommend trying the bathroom!

Get organised & set goals

Making sure you have a plan for the day will help you stay focussed instead of getting distracted.

Plan your day’s activities and assign them to either before or after lunch.

Setting productivity alarms every 30 minutes means you can focus on the task at hand and then take a short break, perhaps grab a cup of tea then get back to the task.

Staying connected with your teams will also help keep you on-task.

Keep in touch

Speaking of staying connected, the best way to prevent working-from-home-cabin-fever is to ensure you are frequently communicating with the rest of your team as though you were in the office next to each other. It can be very isolating working from home, even more given the current social distancing in effect, but make sure you keep talking. Email is great but utilising tools such as:

  • WhatsApp groups
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Slack
  • Zoom
  • Other video calling apps 

These will really allow you to feel more connected to the rest of the world.

Even less work-related social groups can be really helpful for relieving the intensity of home-working. Perhaps set up a group with your close team about what tricks are working for them with their new set up? Or the biggest things they miss about the office – perhaps you could simulate a water-cooler coffee break chat?

Staying in contact with your teams and managers is also a great opportunity, to be honest, and flag any concerns. If you’re struggling with anything or feel your productivity slipping, being open about how you are feeling is so important! It might only take a little tweak to your routine or some advice from someone else to help turn around challenges.

Look after yourself – Take breaks and get moving

When working from home it can be all too easy to find that you’ve gone several hours without having moved. Making sure you move regularly and get away from the screen is vital when working in an office but even more so when you are confined to the house.

Take regular coffee breaks – grab a drink and have a stretch. Perhaps even take your drink into the garden and get a little fresh air.

Take a proper lunch (or break it into a couple of 30 minute breaks throughout the day). Use this time to do something completely different;

  • Mow the lawn
  • Put some laundry on
  • Do a bit of exercise 
  • Read a book.
  • Play with the kids
  • Try some yoga or meditation
  • Walk the dog 

Utilising your breaks to do other productive (if not work-related) tasks will help strike them off your mental to-do-list, get you away from the PC for a while and you will return refreshed and ready to carry on with the working day.

Whilst one of the benefits of WFH is that you can get other jobs done which may have otherwise had to wait until you got back from a hard day's work, it’s important to make sure you don’t get too distracted by these – those goals you set at the start of the day still need to get done!

Avoid burning out

One thing WFH-veterans like is the flexibility that being home-based can allow.

Need to pick up the kids? No problem. Or perhaps you just work best at night – fine!

But be careful, it can be all too tempting to dip back into work or be determined to finish that project tonight – just one more hour! But make sure you switch off and find time for yourself and your family. Checking emails at all hours will make it harder to truly switch off from work and refresh for the next day.

Make sure you set yourself a deadline to finish the working day by, and if you are a night owl, make sure you allow yourself a few hours break before the evening session begins.

Of course, also make sure that your boss is happy with that kind of flexibility first!

More creative, flexible working options have been becoming more and more popular in recent years, however, the Coronavirus has forced thousands into a home-working situation rather abruptly, and with the additional social-distancing protocols preventing much external interaction, it’s vital to make sure you find a working set-up which suits you, enables you to be productive and protects your mental wellbeing.

Hopefully, some of the tips above will help in these uncertain times, but the most important thing of all is to stay connected. Make sure you’re talking to your teams, your manager, friends and family to limit the inevitable isolation of working from home during social distancing.

For more information contact us or practice keeping connected and speak to someone who has been home-based for a while.


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