With more of us working from home than ever before, many people are getting used to a new way of working, improvising when it comes to desk setups, juggling multiple tasks and for many whilst homeschooling. For some, it is a welcome change, for others a challenge.
If working from home is new to you, the first perk you will find is the lay-in! Once you're up and fresh, have a good breakfast, take some time for yourself before setting up for the day. Remember, you don't have to rush to get to the office. Set ground rules with other people in your home so they know when they can or can’t disturb you. Create a morning routine that ends with you starting work.
While it may be tempting to sit on the sofa or in your bed, create a designated work area (a tidy space with good lighting). Also, consider your posture, try to ensure your laptop or computer screen isn’t making you hunch, the last thing you want is a bad back and neck. Set a schedule. Having a clear plan for when to work ensures a work-life balance. If you start early, be sure to finish early or take the time back the next day. Without structure, work can quickly consume your life.
Depending on your situation, your hours may already be set. If it’s not, do this yourself. If possible, split your working hours, this can work well for parents. Keep yourself hydrated and maybe have something nutritional to snack on to maintain your energy and motivation levels. (Nutritional can be a bit tricky when the biscuit tin is shouting your name!)
Communication is key when working from home, tell everyone who needs to know about your schedule and availability often. Even when you finish a project or important task, update the team. Have regular catch-ups with your colleagues. Loneliness can be a common problem in remote working, so don’t forget to socialise.
When notifications pop up on your personal phone do you automatically pick it up and have a nosey? Some recommend turning off notifications, others put the phone on silent mode and turn it face-down or even turn it off completely. Find a way that works for you, if needed. Eliminate distraction, break up your work, use a calendar or to-do list and sometimes playing background music can be a great way to stay focused.
Don’t forget to take your lunch break. Give yourself time during the day to walk away from the screen. Take advantage of the perks, make yourself something tasty, have a little walk or simply switch off and relax. Just as you start your day with a morning routine and then crack on with the work schedule, create a routine that closes off the workday. Finish off your task and communicate with your colleagues to ensure there is nothing you need to do. Leave no mark of work that will entice you to return. Log out, tidy your workspace and the day is done!