17 Work From Home Tips You Can do Right Now
The current COVID-19 pandemic has caused more and more of us to work from home. On a regular week, flexible working arrangements is often simple and straightforward to put in place. However with kids, pets, household chores and social distancing in full force, working comfortably from your own home isn’t as simple as it sounds.
Here are some tips to help you stay positive and stay productive:
1. Working from bed – probably a bad idea. Or without getting dressed. Apart from the possible embarrassment when using Skype/Zoom with the camera accidentally on, it’s hard to feel professional or creative. Some people even put on some work clothes when working from home. Try it out and see what works for you.
2. Work Space – choose a dedicated work space in your home which is especially reserved for work, and not for relaxing, kids or distracting technology. Keeping a Work Only space separate from the rest of your home will help you feel that you are entering the mentality of work when you sit down to smash through your to-do’s.
3. Working hours – some people prefer a fixed routine, others enjoy the flexibility of taking time off during the day and working when they are at their peak. It could be a good idea to check in with your team too. If you’re working on projects with a night-owl that’s ok, as long as the early bird has what they need at 7am to get started! Know yourself, be respectful of your team and try to balance your hours accordingly.
4. Keep your responsibilities in check –with no commute or triggers to switch off, believe it or not, working from home can lead to 24 hour shifts, or at least 24 hour thinking about work. However much you love your work and want to be as productive as possible, this is never healthy. So, set some rules and try and dedicate your time to the right set of priorities.
5. Focus – If you’re an avid social media checker, or sense that you may be turning into one, try blocking all or selected social media and even emails. Newsfeed Eradicator for example, will block your facebook news feed but still enable messages, events, groups and notifications.
6. Exercise – before during or after your work day. Even a ten minute walk down the strees, some quick jumping jacks and running on the spot can leave you invigorated and ready to work much better and have more clarity of mind. Sounds a little childish but your brain will thank you for it.
7. Race yourself – some people enjoy the challenge of working in bursts and then taking a short break. This method, also known as the Pomodoro Technique ensures that you always have a target coming up and keeps a fresh and active framework for your work week. There are websites which will time your work and your breaks for you.
8. Equipment – working with the right tools, whether virtual or just using your home office staples are critical for a successful working day at home. You may have to learn how to use new technology or take on some tasks which you’re not used to doing when you’re at the office. When you finally work it out, write down the instructions for the new skills when you pick them up. This can save a lot of frustration for when you need to repeat the task at a later date.
Communication is vital..
9. Togetherness – Communicate as much as possible with your remote team. Feeling lonely and out of touch is a recipe for an unhealthy set up so don’t let them forget about you. Good communication can save work from getting duplicated or not done.
10. Styles – Teams need a certain amount of maintenance or they drift apart. Try using a mixture of communication styles with colleagues and clients, not just email. Phone calls and Skype or Zoom are both great in their different ways.
11. Objectives – When you work from home it becomes all the more important to agree outcomes with your boss, rather than activities. Rather than saying “I’ll do 4 hours of phone calls” it’s “I’ll contact 30 customers” or “I’ll get 5 accounts booked”. With agreed outcomes, you can feel productive and work at your own pace. Your boss can have peace of mind knowing what is going to be delivered and you have the incentive to get it done one time.
12. Nourish your body – Our body functions the best when we take the time to eat, rest and exercise properly. Plan healthy, nutritious meals the night before so you do not have to worry about your meals during the working hours. When meals are planned in advance, you are more likely to eat healthy food than if you choose food spontaneously. Well balanced meals will help you stay full and feel nourished longer in the working day.
13. Spend time with friends – Social contact is really important, even if it’s in the form of a phone call or chat.
14. Be creative – Write poetry, sing, paint, play music, dance, blog.. using your creativity keeps your mental energy flowing and sparks new ideas and dynamic thinking.
15. Exercise – Exercise regularly to combat a sedentary working day. In the office or at our home office, most of us work sitting down. Exercising regularly can give us a boost in our working day; exercise increases mental function and promotes calmness. Not having enough time is often the biggest reason why we don’t get enough exercise. So now you can get going on those daily press-ups, sit ups, weights (if you have a set at home), aerobics or Zumba.
16. Sleep – Create a consistent sleep schedule in order to ensure you are well-rested for your work day. Studies show that sleep consistency– going to bed and rising at the same times each day– is critical to getting a good night’s sleep. Whether you are an early bird or a night owl, be a consistent sleeper. Keeping consistent sleep schedules will help you keep a consistent work schedule.
17. Test your mind – tried a crossword or a killer Sodoku lately? Mind games can help you stay agile and alert.
Wishing you success with your home office!
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