5 things you have to do when working from home
“Home used to be where the heart is. Now, for most of us, it is also where the work is. But remote working doesn’t have to be a heartache!”
Having to suddenly work from home can be a large upheaval and challenge at the best of times. In times of crisis, isolation and anxiety it can be a nightmare – especially if you are just not used to it and haven’t done it for any length of time before.
So here is our five-point guide to bring some sanity to an insane situation and some home help in an uncertain world.
1. Start with a positive mindset
Yes, we know this is easier said than done given everything that is going on. But research has consistently shown there are proven advantages to working from home that you can really try and take to heart. Regular surveys have shown that home workers tend to be much happier and healthier than their colleagues. The frustration of the daily commute, the pointless meetings, the wasted time, a stressed workplace environment – gone! Embrace change by focusing on the positives.
2. Getting things done (yes, it can be a lot easier than at work)
Four in five workers said they actually improved their productivity when they were working from home according to recent research. Avoiding annoying distractions at work, having more space to think about, and create solutions to problems, having greater flexibility – all key remote working advantages. By setting yourself realistic daily goals and tasks and ticking these off by the end of the day you get a sense of achievement and satisfaction from a job well done – even in difficult circumstances. A structured and planned day based on prioritising tasks and work can really help. For example, daily virtual team huddles can help you agree and focus on key priorities and actions.
3. Method in the madness
Adapting to working at home can, of course, present practical challenges like where to work, how to structure your day, how to look after and share space with your family…If social media is to be believed, newly found home workers are already coming up with innovative solutions – creating new work stations using anything from the bathtubs to baby chairs.
The experts’ advice is to try and create a routine. Get up at a normal time, get dressed for work, choose a dedicated space, structure your day with blocks of work that allow you to strike the right work-life balance. Remember to try and have dedicated time to switch off after work – rather than work becoming a constant. In other words, try and simulate a normal day at work as much as you can – just at home.
4. Stay connected
Humans are social animals that thrive on social interaction and communication. That is why the World Health Organisation has recommended that in the current COVID-19 crisis staying connected and engaged with colleagues in times of isolation is vital for mental health.
Regular phone calls, video calls, conference calls – virtual interaction – is very important for your team and colleagues. That is also why we have changed our whole approach to help support remote workers and companies with a range of virtual team building, energisers, quizzes, challenges all designed to help colleagues stay connected in difficult times.
5. Stay well – as well as staying safe
Have regular breaks and fit these into your daily routine. Short, regular breaks to stretch, make a cup of tea, talk to the family or flatmates – can stop you being glued to your computer all day. Try your best to keep fit and exercise – even if you have to do this at home (there are plenty of online programmes and suggestions). If you are not under isolation then getting outside for some fresh air and a change of scene can be really refreshing.
Home used to be where the heart is. Now, for most of us, it is also where the work is. But remote working doesn’t have to be a heartache!
You can find out more about our remote-working team experiences here