As the UK government attempts to curb the spread of coronavirus, businesses and employees have been asked to work from home where possible. Working from home isn’t a new phenomenon, but it’s never been done on this scale before. With so many of us bound to our kitchen tables, here are the best ways to stay productive (and sane) while working from home.
Stick to your normal routine
It’s easy to fall into bad habits when working from home – the best way to avoid this is by sticking to your normal routine. Wake up at the same time (why not use the time you’d usually spend commuting to read a book or do a workout?), get dressed (try to avoid working in your PJs!) and be at your laptop at the time you’d normally start the working day. This mentally prepares you for work and stands you in good stead for the day ahead.
Create a dedicated workspace
The lines between your work and home life are going to be blurred, so it’s important to try to create some kind of separation to help prevent distractions. If you can, avoid spaces that are associated with relaxing, such as your sofa or bed, and create a dedicated space to work from – ideally with a table and comfortable chair to help your posture.
Stay connected to your colleagues
Just because you’re working from home, it doesn’t mean you can’t communicate with your colleagues. At times like these, social contact is key, so make the most of technology and stay connected via video or phone – a friendly face or voice will keep you sane! Several workplace software companies, including Zoom, Microsoft and Google, are currently offering their software for free to enable businesses to continue to operate remotely.
Work when you’re most productive
This is your opportunity to manage your own time and capitalise on your most productive periods. It’s impossible to stay focused for eight hours straight, so do tasks based on your mood and motivation levels. If you tend to flag after lunch, use this time to carry out more mundane, methodical tasks or if you’re one of those people who gets a second wind later in the day, maximise this time to do activities that require more thought or creativity.
Take regular breaks
Regular breaks are vital wherever you’re working from, but they’re even more important for homeworkers. By ‘break’, we don’t mean scrolling through Instagram and looking at the latest COVID-19 memes, but proper breaks where you get away from your desk to stretch your legs and switch off. It’s a good idea to spend time with family or friends who may also be at home, take the dog for a walk or get some laundry done – you should reap the benefits of working from home after all!
The thing that most people will struggle with is distractions. It’s easy to find any excuse not to work and for some people that will go as far as cleaning the house top to bottom before even sitting at their desks! If you’re easily distracted, try simple techniques like putting your phone in a different room, logging out of all your social media accounts, working in your browser’s private mode and setting dedicated times of the day to do household tasks.
End the day on time
As you’re sticking to your normal routine, you should end your working day at the same time you normally would. Overworking is a real risk with homeworkers, so be firm with yourself. And once the working day is over, spend your time doing what you enjoy – whether it’s hanging out with your kids, chatting to friends, cooking, exercising or catching up on your latest Netflix boxset.
With many parts of our lives affected and the advice on coronavirus changing by the hour, it’s important to keep a sense of normality, look after ourselves and support each other – if you know someone who is working from home or self-isolating, check in with them!Category - Blog
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