With the UK Government advising everyone who can work from home to do so, millions are going to be adapting to the new working environment for the very first time., while for some, it will be like any other day. To help keep your spirits as high as possible during this uncertain time, consider these 10 tips for working from home like a pro.
In order to limit the spread of COVID-19, many people are working from home. If you’ve never worked remotely before, it can take some getting used to. But for many businesses, it proves incredibly effective to keep them afloat during difficult times like these. To help you keep some normality to your daily routine and help you work as efficiently as possible, we’ve come up with these 10 top tips for working at home.
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1. Stick to a schedule
In order to keep a healthy work/life balance, try to stick to regular hours and switch off at a reasonable time. Of course, if you need to fit your work around caring for children who aren’t in school, the beauty of home working is it lending itself well to flexible hours. But, as a general rule, having a structure is beneficial and should help stop you from overworking.
Everyone is productive at different points of the day, not everyone is a morning person, neither are we all night owls. You can build your personalised work schedule around your most productive periods.
2. Create a morning routine
As well as starting at the same time, having a similar morning routine each day can help get you in the right mindset before you switch on your laptop. It could be getting back from a morning run, making a cup of coffee or getting dressed. Focussing on the latter, getting showered and dressed can psychologically prepare you to start work. For some people, getting dressed into formal attire like they normally would can help them get into the zone and might be more appropriate for video conferences. But for others, sitting in pyjamas all day is their idea of heaven. Just find out what works for you.
3. Pick up the phone
When you’re working from home, you could spend the whole day without speaking to anyone. While you might enjoy not getting distracted by colleagues’ conversations and other office noise, you might find it feels rather isolating.
We recommend making the time to pick up the phone and have a chat with a colleague or, if not, a friend on your break. Using emails and instant messaging is fine, but having a conversation on the phone can be more stimulating and productive.
4. Go for a walk (if you can)
If you’re not self-isolating and make sure to practise social distancing, it can do you a world of good to get some fresh air and stretch your legs. It’s proved to be particularly effective when you have a mental block and need a fresh pair of eyes on something.
If you are unable to leave the house, you could try doing some exercise inside or in the garden.
5. Choose a dedicated workspace
Even though you won’t technically be in the office, it doesn’t mean you can’t create your own office space. It’s often proven to be more successful when you dedicate a specific room or surface to doing your work, rather than lying in bed or on the sofa (two areas associated with leisure time).
6. Take breaks
Try to avoid work from becoming monotonous. Take regular breaks away from your screen and move around. Research also suggests that taking short breaks throughout the day is more beneficial than longer breaks less frequently.
It's important to stand up, stretch, move around and even go for a short walk to take a break from your work and your screen. – Co-founder of virtual assistant service, Virtalent, Ellie Wilson
7. Make sure you have what you need
If your company supports your work-from-home set-up, request any equipment that you need to be able to work comfortably, for example, a monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, chair, software etc.
8. Make the most of the perks
This is a difficult time for the UK and the rest of the globe. As being forced to self-isolate at home can be emotionally challenging, try to make the most of the perks of working from home. Maybe it’s having more time with the family, not having to spend so much time commuting or being able to bake throughout the week. You might even find that being able to load up the washing machine whenever you like is a big perk for a busy household. Try to keep things like this in mind when you feel fed up or get cabin fever.
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9. Create a rewards system
We’ve already highlighted the importance of taking regular breaks, but you can even reward yourself after completing a laborious task by eating some good food, taking your dog out or listening to your favourite music.
10. Limit your social media time
Now, more than ever, it’s important to take breaks from social media. Try to minimise your use of social media and avoid unnecessary distractions. Muting notifications on your phone is a good place to start.
Working from home like a pro – you can do it!
If you’re feeling disheartened about the prospect of working from home for a while, remember that a third of home workers felt more productive at home than in an office and 95 percent of people would encourage their friends or family to work remotely. Find out more about the advantages of running a home-based franchise.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©