Thousands of people all over the UK are going to be working from home this week. For some, it's business as usual. For others, it's brand new!
If you're new to remote working and want help staying productive, here's some tips:
1. Identify what needs done and do it
When working from home, structure is needed more than ever in order to avoid distraction and interruption, even if normally you don’t like having a day plan. Set one for yourself.
2. Check in with the office
If you're used to working in an office environment, you're probably used to face to face support from managers or colleagues. It's important to maintain this while working from home, and it can be easily done using video and conference calls on Skype or Zoom, amongst others. If you need additional support from your line manager, whether on an individual task or to help boost your productivity, make sure they're aware of your expectation for contact. It helps to schedule calls at the beginning of the week, so you both know when to connect.
3. Get dressed for work
There is no need to wear a suit and tie in your kitchen, but keeping a regular routine and getting properly dressed is a helpful stimulant for you to mentally ‘get to work.’ It’s easy in PJs on the sofa to feel like you’re not working. Be aware that working from home shouldn’t stop you from looking professional when appropriate i.e. for video calls.
4. Create a workspace
Much like being in the office, it’s easiest to work when you have as little distraction as possible. Do what works for you, but our suggestion would be to create a comfortable and quiet workspace in the home. Enforce your own boundaries and try to set aside time with your kids or members of your household, and when it's work time, limit your contact where you can. It will help you separate personal time from work time, and enjoy both better.
6. Take regular breaks
If you can get fresh air, whether in the garden or on a walk - do so. If you can't go outside, ensure you take a break to do something you enjoy, whether cooking a nice lunch, playing with the kids or reading. Take breaks from work, but also from screens where you can.