As the Covid-19 virus continues to create chaos and misery around the globe, many UK businesses are asking employees to work remotely from home instead of travelling into the office.
For those who aren’t used to working at home or working remotely, this can pose its own challenges. We share top tips for employees who suddenly find themselves obliged to work from home for the first time.
Remember to register today with Ten2Two if you’re interested in finding a part time job or flexible working role that allows you to work from home.
1. Set up a suitable work space at home
The first thing to do is make sure your work space is set up for home working. Find a decent chair so your posture doesn’t suffer and make sure you have decent lighting. This can impact your productivity and your wellbeing, so it’s important to be comfortable where you work. Think about small ways you can create a calm area around your workspace.
2. Create a routine
Get dressed and try to get out for a walk or a jog before you start your day. Some people we know leave the house and come back indoors, just to feel like they’ve arrived somewhere! It can help to mentally bridge the gap between home and the ‘office’. And fresh air can stimulate the senses to lead to a better working day.
3. Set your boundaries
When you’re working from home, there are plenty of distractions but one you might not have thought of, is the rest of your family. Take time to ensure everyone who is impacted by your work from home knows expectations and ground rules. Don’t let granny call round for a chat when she feels like it, and don’t expect to be able to pick up more slack with childcare just because you’re physically at home.
4. Plan your work from home day
When you plan your day, you can have set objectives put in place which will help you to focus on what you need to achieve – and this will help you not to waiver from those objectives. Some people find it hard to get into their working rhythm when ‘nobody else is watching’, but others find it liberating to be free from the distractions of a busy office environment. Have an agenda will help you to be more effective and register your achievements.
5. Block online distractions
To stay focused and productive, you can turn your email, calls and social media notifications off for set periods of time when you need to focus on work without distractions. Log out of social media accounts so you won’t be tempted to sneak a look and waste time unnecessarily – also known as ‘cyberloafing’ and a total time drain if you’re not careful. While social media can be beneficial as you have conversational interactions with the outside world, it can be amazing how quickly time flies once you log on. Just try to keep on top of that as you would on any other working day.
6. Take breaks
You need to eat lunch at the usual time and take breaks as you would do at home. It’s easy to forget to do this when no one’s there to remind you it’s lunchtime, so make sure you take time out to do that – the break will reset your mind for the afternoon. Some people struggle to plan meals when working from home, so remember to factor that in when you’re planning your weekly food shop. Who knows, this could be the ideal time to ditch those boring supermarket sandwiches and start eating a few more salads!
7. Technology is important
When you work from home, your employer should supply equipment to facilitate this. If you need faster broadband, it’s worth asking your employer about this. Make sure you’re up to speed with latest home working apps, depending what your company uses. These include Zoom and Slack, which have, apparently seen a boost in share prices since the virus outbreak, showing how flexible (remote) working is experiencing a spike just now.
8. Have a back-up plan
Sometimes, tech goes wrong, but many larger companies will have a remote tech service on hand who can log on and fix most issues. If your laptop is running slow, make sure you have a backup on hand or ask for a replacement. When all else fails, don’t be afraid of reaching for the phone to talk through a project.
9. Don’t burn out
You won’t have the commute which means you could be putting in more hours than usual, but you’re also not paid for working overtime, so try to be strict about your workload so you don’t burn out. Work in short, sharp bursts to do your best work and take a break when you’ve completed a task. It will help you to stay fresh and break up the day.
10. Log on and off again
Log in, communicate with your fellow workers if appropriate at the start of the day so everyone knows you’re online, and remember to log off and switch your machine off at the end of your working day. This will help you to stick to your routine. Use instant messaging on Teams, Whatsapp or Skype – a great way to stay in touch informally with colleagues and help with any feelings of isolation. And pick up the phone – chat through your action plan for the week with a colleague or your boss. Research shows that once you’ve shared a commitment, you’re much more likely to see it through.
Regardless of what happens with the Covid-19 virus, we’re firm believers that life has a habit of going on and businesses will still need top talent to continue to thrive in the coming years. So, if you’d like to find a new local, professional role with flexibility, talk to Ten2Two today. Register here today.
Watch our video tips on how to work from home.