Tips for Working from Home
The recent coronavirus outbreak has seen large numbers of us having to work from home, in many cases for the first time.
New distractions are everywhere, and can easily wreck havoc on your level of productivity and your mental health. Additionally, working from home in the face of a pandemic comes with its own set of challenges. Maybe you’re also having to adjust to home-schooling your children, or maybe you live with roommates, and have had to carve a work space out of your bedroom dressing table.
Whatever your current situation, if you’re struggling to adjust to working at home we can assure you that you’re not alone. So, to help you out in this difficult time, we’ve put together our complete guide to working from home.
Get out of bed!
We don’t just mean waking up on time in the morning - although that is a good point - we mean get out of bed when you start working!
It’s likely that you’ve been given a laptop to work from while at home, and the temptation to make yourself a comfy and cosy set up can be strong. However, not having an ergonomic set up to work from will eventually give you chronic neck and back pain.
No matter where it is, try to create a work space that is at a table or desk - avoid working from your bed or sofa at all costs. Having a specific working area is also far more likely to see you be more productive each day when you sit down to work.
Brush your teeth. Get dressed. Put on makeup
Keeping up your ‘normal’ daily routine (such as showering, and generally taking care of yourself and appearance) as much as possible has 2 different but important benefits.
One of the most important is the positive effect it can have on your mental health. Maintaining a daily routine helps you preserve a sense of order and purpose in your life, something that is even more important when faced with the added pressures of social distancing, isolation and even quarantine.
The other is a little more basic, but the best way to show your bosses that you’re still a productive member of the team is by looking like one when you’re on video meetings. Even though we are all living through unprecedented times, it’s important to look as professional as possible when at work. Working from home isn’t an excuse to slack off, and you want the rest of your colleagues to know you’re getting work done, rather than just taking naps.
Take a break
Although I just said you shouldn’t be napping throughout the day, that doesn’t mean you should be sat at your laptop for 8 hours a day. Give yourself time to step away from the screen every hour, and refresh your brain. Even if it’s just to make a cup of tea, or to do a few stretches, it’s important to give your body a break.
Check in with your boss often
Ensuring effective communication and workflow can be extremely difficult without face-to-face meetings, or the ability to quickly pop over to someone's desk to clarify something. In order to make sure nothing is getting lost in translation, don’t be afraid to check in with your boss throughout the day.
Simple questions such as ‘What do you need from me?’ and ‘When do you need this actioned by?’ will go a long way to making sure that your company runs as smoothly as possible in these confusing times.
Clean your technology
Portable digital devices (smart phones, tablets, laptops) are the bread and butter for every company right now, and are in over use. While they’re great to make remote working a success, they are also a great place for germs to thrive. Don’t forget to give them a quick wipe down with anti-bacterial wipes and spray!
Set clear boundaries with others (kids, partners, housemates)
If you’re in a household with others who aren’t working from home - or who aren’t in school - it will probably be difficult to get them to leave you alone in order to work. Set up clear rules and boundaries from the start, and clearly explain that you need to work in order to enjoy down time with them later.
The clearer you are, and the more you stick to your guns, the more productive you’ll be throughout the day.
Don’t forget to look after yourself
Working from home may give you some sort of semblance to a routine, but it won’t go all the way to helping to balance out the isolation. Make sure you put the laptop away at 5pm, and make time for yourself. Exercise, video call family and friends, watch a film, or even have a glass of wine in the bath. It’s important to take time out for yourself during this time, not just your work.
About Century Office
Century Office are a leading UK office and contract furniture supplier, with over 40 years’ experience in the industry. They provide workplace solutions and offer a tailored approach for architects, interior designers & facility managers for small offices to large corporations as well as educational facilities.
Please contact Century Office on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 08000 929301 for more information.