OUR TOP TEN TIPS
As a response to the Coronavirus situation, many employees will now be working from home for the first time. From assigning a dedicated working area to remaining connected to your colleagues and keeping track of your time, our top ten tips will help ensure that your time spent working at home remains productive whilst prioritising your wellbeing.
|TOP TIP #1: ASSIGN A DEDICATED WORK AREA
With so many people working on laptops, tablets and even phones it can be all too easy to work from anywhere in the home. However, to keep your productivity in tact we recommend taking the time to set up a proper designated working area. Pick your chosen work space carefully as you'll need to be able to work from a proper desk or table to replicate your normal working environment. Ideally you'll want to work from a room in the house that avoids other family members of housemates and is free from distractions and other devices. Look after your wellbeing by choosing a room with as much natural light as possible and use a chair that encourages the best possible posture for your back and neck.
|TOP TIP #2: KEEP YOUR MORNING ROUTINE
This is another essential way of maintaining a sense of routine which will help boost your productivity and focus. While it isn't necessary to wear full, formal work attire it's important to still stick to your morning routine by getting dressed and feeling ready and prepared for the day ahead... Sitting at your desk in pyjamas is unlikely to inspire a sense of motivation! Try to get up at your normal time, or at least with plenty of time to feel fully prepared to begin a day's work.
|TOP TIP #3: SET RULES WITH THOSE YOU LIVE WITH
It's a good idea to be as clear as possible with everyone you live with as to what the rules and expectations should be when working from home. If you need quiet or to be left alone then communicate this with everyone you live with. Similarly, make people aware that you may be receiving video calls or conference phone calls. Also, encourage those you live with who are also working from home to discuss their requirements and preferences.
|TOP TIP #4: TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS
Taking frequent, short breaks can be vital in protecting against fatigue and ensuring a positive sense of wellbeing. Making a cup of tea or coffee, having a quick chat with someone you live with or even taking the time to focus on something in the distance is important to break up too much time spent staring at a computer screen. Feeling refreshed after a quick break can also boost your overall productivity.
|TOP TIP #5: STAY CONNECTED TO YOUR COLLEAGUES
With the huge range of technology available, it's never been easier to stay connected with our colleagues while working from home. Keeping a strong emphasis on this communication offers a range of benefits. Employees can proactivity update their managers and teams on their completed projects and managers can easily check-in with their team. Frequent communication can also be beneficial for your team's wellbeing, promoting a sense of collaboration and inclusion in an environment that at times can feel lonely. Communication channels can also help replicate a sense of normality by facilitating familiar conversations and group dynamics.
|TOP TIP #6: COMMUNICATE CLEARLY
When working in an office, we rely massively on quick face-to-face communication as well as body language and tone-of-voice when talking to those around us. When working from home, all of these communication methods are removed. Therefore, it's best to be proactive in providing frequent and clear communication with your team. Make sure your manager or team know what projects you are working on, what your priority tasks are and roughly how long you are spending on each project. It is also a good idea to take extra care in your emails, text messages and online chat platforms to try to convey the tone and context of your message. People may interpret neutral or straightforward messages as negative or even rude. Friendly language and even a few emojis can help ensure your messages are perceived as positive.
|TOP TIP #7: KEEP SOCIAL MEDIA BROWSING TO A MINIMUM
Many jobs require working frequently with social media, but even for those that need to log-in to their social media accounts it can be tempting to slip into endless instagram scrolling, facebook browsing or youtube binge watching at the expense of productivity. If you find yourself easily falling into this habit then take steps to safeguard against this. Try logging out of each account so you won't automatically be logged in each time you access the site. It's also a good idea to turn off social media notification settings on your phone and other devices.
|TOP TIP #8: CREATE THE OPTIMUM LEVEL OF NOISE
Some people work best with prominent background music while others focus best in complete silence. Try to create an environment that works best for you. If you prefer loud background music then it can be a good idea to use headphones to avoid distracting others who may also be working. Similarly, if you work best in a quieter environment then try to set up your work area in a quieter area of the home away from televisions, music and other sources of noise.
|TOP TIP #9: KEEP TRACK OF YOUR TIME
There are a huge number of tools available to help you track your time and organise your work. Time tracking apps can provide two main benefits; providing complete transparency over how how long each project or piece of takes to complete as well as helping you stay focussed on the task itself and boosting productivity.
|TOP TIP #10: LEAVE YOUR WORK ALONE WHEN YOU'RE FINISHED FOR THE DAY
Just as it's important to begin your day as you normally would, it's also important to finish work at the normal time. Stick to a clearly defined set of hours. This will ensure you don't overwork and suffer burnout as well as helping to boost your productivity for the hours you are working. When you've finished, turn your computer off and try to remove yourself from work related email accounts and other messages that can easily have a habit of continuing long into the evening.
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