Working from Home, for some of us this is our new normal, for others this will be tips and tricks on how to become more productive for their own businesses at home.
From personal experience working from home is hard, there are so many distractions and you don’t have any form of authority around to control what you are doing.
Staying home and making sure we self isolate and social distance is going to be the key to successfully fighting this virus.
To make sure you stay focused throughout the work day when working from home here are my tips.
Work the same hours
Working the same hours and keeping your normal routine the same. This includes ‘Leaving for work’ listen to your normal radio station or podcast, make your morning coffee, put your lunch in the work fridge.
This is very important to keep your normal routine, it will set your day up. Break for lunch when you normally would and if you go for a walk to get out of the office do that , either in your back yard or around your block (depending on the type of isolation and the governing bodies).
If you normally start packing up 10 minutes before the day is out then do that too. So that when 5 rolls around you are able to leave on time and listen to that podcast, radio or music for your typical commute home, this will be your wind down time before returning to home life.
Having a dedicated space doesn't mean that for the next few weeks you have to sit in the same spot to work. It means you have a spot that you are comfortable in, with all of the necessary tools to get the job done. This may be on the Kitchen island bench, or the table that you have outside if it's a nice day, change it up every few days. You also don’t want to have to find everything that you may need for work every day. I would recommend having a spot that you can place all of your work items daily, without them being disturbed between each work day.
Staying on task
I find when working from Home the best way to make sure I am efficient is making sure that I am held accountable for my time as I would in the office.
Use your email calendar to start scheduling events like when to respond to emails, admin work and your general tasks. If you start time blocking and working on only one task at a time, you will be able to remain more focused. This includes over estimating how long things will take.
Once you have finished the task adjust your finish time in the calendar to show the actual time taken and move on to the next task. This will help you be able to time plan better for all of your tasks.
Others working at home
You might be working from home alone or with others. Depending on the relationship and living arrangements you have with your family or housemates. It might be a discussion point to let them know, what your need to successfully work from home, as well as what they need from you also.
It is a good point the remember for all of those just because you are working from home you are still going to work, just in a different setting.
Depending on how you communicate in your Office now to how you will at home will be very different. You don’t have desk phones and everything will be communicated through email and video chat. Just remember that you will need to make sure that emails are clear stating the point that you are wanting to get across to the recipient. At the best of times tone can be misinterpreted in an email. If it is to a colleague maybe drop a smile emoji in there for them to see that it is a positive email. That was the entire reason that emojis were invented.
You want to be able to effectively communicate with your team so that you can all achieve your work.
For all of those meetings that you need to attend, try using video chat like Microsoft teams, FaceTime and Skype or audio calls. I try to keep meetings at a maximum time of 30 minutes, an make sure that an agenda is set. If meetings go over 25 minutes you tend to loose interest easily.
Alternatively don’t discuss a large amount of different items. Schedule seperate meetings to go through each subject if you need to have discussions about them, this will be more counter productive for you.
Do what you normally would at work
I think if you normally work in silence, try and find it. If you work. Better with noise listen to music. If you normally find you work your best when your walking round the office do it . There is no right and wrong on how you will work whilst at home and while some other these things won’t work for you.
Our Final tip
If you are using your personal laptop to do work and once the work day ends as such. Close the laptop. Close the work applications . Shut it the lid.
This is the same feeling leaving the office after a long day at the office. You are on your time.
Even if once you shut the lid a few minutes later you re open it, this will give you the feeling that you are home doing what you normally do.
If you don’t shut the lid you will get the sense that you are constantly working
Even if you want to go on and read personal emails afterwards, watch videos or do anything else. Mentally you will need to do this, otherwise you will feel like you are constantly working when
Remember this period is not forever it is just temporary.