Working from home is now more common since Covid. With Greater Sydney going into lockdown 2.0 for the next two weeks it seems an ideal time to share strategies for making the most from working from home.
On the surface, working from home sounds ideal. You can work in your pyjamas while you talk to your dog. Zoom like a pro with business on the top and party down below. You might even have your favourite movie or music on in the background.
But working from home has its disadvantages, too. It’s not as easy to get things done from home as you might think. You can also go a little stir-crazy if you are not careful!
Be sure to consider these strategies to make working from home productive and enjoyable:
1. Stick to a schedule.
- Get up at the same time each day.
- Stick to your normal grooming routine.
- Sit down to work at the same time each day.
- Plan your lunch time.
- Stop working for the day at a set time to avoid overworking.
- Enjoy the extra time you have with no travelling to and from work and plan your spare time.
2. Dress effectively.
Some people can work effectively in their pyjamas and others might need to dress in their normal work clothes in order to get things done to a high level. Dress in a way that works for you and challenge yourself and question if you are being productive.
3. Set boundaries with the other people in your home.
Try and set boundaries for your kids, spouse, friends, other family members to ensure you have limited distractions to work effectively in blocks of time during the day. You might set the kids up for the day with fun activities or tasks and have break times eg morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea etc together. Friends and family might need to be told to visit after 5 pm to allow you to finish your day (depending on the type of covid restrictions that apply in your area). Consider adding a bit of fun if you have kids and as soon as 5 pm hits cooking dinner together or making a dessert together as a treat for the day. Alternatively, go for an afternoon walk or prepare a fun gym workout for you all to really tire the kids out!
4. Put in face time.
Use video conferencing tools like Zoom and Teams to catch up with team members to feel connected. Even schedule a daily catch up or a coffee catch up with friends to maintain a connection. It is beneficial to see your co-workers, boss, employees, and clients or customers regularly if possible so try and change phone calls to Zoom or Teams meetings. Arrange Friday night drinks or cocktail sessions via zoom with your friends or colleagues. Consider a new signature drink, play music and make it something to look forward to for the week!
5. Plan breaks.
The only way to stick to a schedule is to arrange and plan breaks for yourself. It is a good time to clear your head, check on the kids or take the dog for a walk.
6. Get out of the house at least once each day.
It helps both your mental and physical health to get out of the house for at least a little while each day. You could run to the shops for groceries, take a walk, walk the dog or do anything else that takes you out of your home for a bit in the fresh air.
7. Communicate more.
Communication can be less effective when you don’t have face-to-face contact and the usual availability to discuss things quickly with people at work. That means you will likely need to communicate more to make up for the lower quality of communication. Communicate as much as necessary to ensure that everyone knows what they need to know.
8. Have a dedicated workspace.
It can be tempting to spread out on the kitchen bench. But are your papers going to stay where you put them? Can you have a decent phone conversation? Are there too many distractions? Set yourself up somewhere to create a productive workspace that has a good desk, chair and access to all of the information you need close by. Also away from the pantry and fridge away from eating distractions!!
9. Get some exercise.
You might not think that you get a lot of exercise at work, but walking around the office going to see staff members and dropping off deliveries etc you do a lot more walking than you will at home. At work you walk from the car or train, go out to lunch, walk to meetings or another department and the kitchen maybe all the way up the hallway. At home, you will find that most things are close and convenient which limits exercise so be sure to set outside for some fresh air and go for a walk. Gyms are now quick to turn on virtual training sessions so be sure to look into your local gyms for times that suit your working day. You may even be able to include the kids!
10. Limit social media.
Plan your social media times so you don’t get caught in the vortex and find yourself still there hours later. It is natural and normal to check your social media channels as long as it isn’t affecting your productivity. Consider turning off social media notifications if you are finding yourself becoming too distracted.
Every person is different and works differently so it is important to know what works best for you to be productive at home. Most of all create a schedule, limit distractions and have regular breaks and you will be on your way to working from home success!
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Looking for more information regarding tips for working from home – Forbes article – Work from home tips to stay motivated