Work from home is a relatively new concept and a buzzword in the world going through Covid-19 pandemics and constant lockdowns. While the business is learning how to function remotely, employees are adjusting to their home office environments.
Working at home sounds awesome, doesn’t it? You get to wear what you want, change your routine at will and save time on the commute to work and back.
But here’s the thing. If you want to achieve peak productivity, you need a planned workspace, structured working day, clear breaks, and time set aside to liaise with colleagues.
So, are you ready? This is how it’s done!
- Set yourself up for success
- Increase your productivity
- Take care of yourself
Set yourself up for success
Once you get the fundamentals of home-working right, every function will run more smoothly.
Prepare your workspace
The ideal is an ergonomic workstation, with plenty of space, natural light and comfort. If you’re lucky, you may have a standing desk and stool, or adjustable office chair at the right height for your desk or table.
Otherwise, choose a dedicated spot in a quiet area, with all your workplace tools and equipment at hand. Try to use the same space each day.
Manage your electronics
Pay attention to device security and protect your passwords. Use secure Wi-Fi networks to access the company network, and don’t save data to removable flash drives or USB sticks.
Lock your computer when it’s unattended, to protect confidential data – even if it’s usually only family members around.
Structure your day
Aim for a clear demarcation between work and home. Complete essential home duties early, so you can sit down for a ‘normal’ day in the office.
Keep regular hours, starting each day by planning your workflow. You can use time more effectively when you prioritise key tasks, ensuring the most important jobs and projects always get done.
You may find it easier to do your planning the night before, so you hit the ground running in the morning (and reduce the temptation to worry about it when you should be asleep!)
Increase your productivity
Once you’ve got your workspace, tech and planning sorted, it’s time to look at ways to keep you focused and firing.
Encourage others to leave you alone during your working hours. Maybe allocate specific times for domestic chores or family members, then focus on your own work for the rest of the day. Keep firm work-personal boundaries to minimise distractions.
Look and feel the part
Wear a reasonable standard of clothing, even if none of your work colleagues or bosses are scheduled to see you. You’ll feel better!
Take breaks, eat well
Schedule in regular – but not excessive – breaks, as you would in the office. Take your breaks away from the desk (a walk, time in the garden) for optimum refreshment. Keep up a healthy diet and don’t be tempted to raid the pantry – it won’t be good for work performance.
One of the hardest things to find in the home office is motivation. So many distractions, so little time, and no one there to crack the whip or encourage you. Schedule in rewards so you have something to aim for. Treat yourself to a special coffee, snack or piece of music when you complete a tough task.
Maintain work relationships
Effective collaboration is essential to build remote work teams, so be sure to maintain good contact with your colleagues and employer. Follow all work directives, respond to requests quickly and keep your calendar updated. Be visible throughout the day and contribute as much as possible to online meetings.
Take care of yourself
With so much uncertainty around, it is critical to look after yourself in all possible ways. Always make sure you get enough rest at night and eat a healthy diet. Exercise or any type of physical activity – preferably outdoors – should be incorporated in your daily routine. And don’t forget to spoil yourself with social interactions with your favourite people, even though some of them are online for now.
No doubt, your productivity at work will only benefit, if you are happy and healthy. You can greatly improve your career prospects by consistently turning in great remote work. If you require more advice on how to stay on track with your career goals and WFH performance, reach out to Gough! Always happy to help!