Best advice for working from home
Working from home is suddenly the new normal, and while you're probably spending some extra time in bed in the morning instead of undertaking your regular commute, we all need routine in our lives to keep us motivated.
If you're struggling to adapt, we've put together some advice to help you be as productive as possible during your working hours.
Stick to a routine
It’s vital to stick to your regular routine as much as possible. Make sure you're doing the following:
- Set your alarm as usual - this'll help you to get into work mode and make it easier to ease into office life at a later date.
- Follow your usual routine - take a shower, brush your teeth, make a coffee etc.
- Get dressed - this is so important, working in the pjs you've slept in won't help when it comes to feeling awake and refreshed. Plus, you never know when you might have to take a video call!
- Eat breakfast - it'll fuel you throughout the day and prevent you from snacking.
Set up a productive working environment
Dedicate a space in your home to do the majority of your work. A change of scenery can sometimes help, but make sure you stick to the following to make your working-from-home environment a productive one:
- Set up a separate room or segregated area you can work in - ideally, choose somewhere with a desk and plenty of light.
- Make sure you have a comfy chair to sit on and follow your workplace's usual health and safety policy. Advice on creating an ergonomic setup can be found here.
- Try to distance yourself from noise and distractions as much as possible. Make sure you don't have the TV on when your boss calls!
- Make sure there is adequate lighting for computer work and reading – the last thing you want is eye strain.
- Write a task list every single day. This will help you to prioritise your work and keep motivated.
- Stay off social media - unless you're taking a break. It can be a huge distraction!
- Listen to music. If you normally have music on in the office, put some tunes on at home (either on a speaker or through headphones if you're not alone). This will help you to mimic your usual working environment and cut through the silence.
Keep in touch with colleagues
It's easy to feel alone and isolated when working from home. Don't forget to stay in touch with your colleagues frequently throughout the day.
- Make the most of video call software - staying in touch is important, but it's even better to see familiar faces every day.
- Have headphones to hand - there's nothing worse than scrabbling around when a last-minute meeting is scheduled in.
- Avoid peak times - mobile networks and conference call providers may run into problems if their servers are too busy. Providers are most likely to be inundated with calls on the hour, so if you've been experiencing problems avoid peak times like 9am, 10am and 2pm and 3pm. Try to arrange your call for half past the hour, quarter past or even a random time (such as 12:41) to avoid problems with an overloaded network.
- Socialise with colleagues – you may not be sat in an office, but there are so many great apps out there that you can use to speak to your colleagues such as Microsoft Teams or Skype. You could even try an old-fashioned phone call! You don't just need to chat about work related matters either, schedule in a virtual lunch or a catch up with your team to see how everyone is doing - it's something we all should do more of at this time.
Staying healthy is a must, for the body and the mind. Make sure you:
- Exercise and stretch - not only will this help you maintain good posture; it'll give you a much-needed energy boost too. While we're all facing limitations at this time when it comes to exercise, slotting in a workout video or doing some yoga is still possible!
- Meal prep – you would normally do this during a regular working week, so why change a good habit?
Know when to switch off
Even though your home is your workplace, make sure you keep work and leisure separate.
- Don't forget to stick to your usual break routines and try your best not to cut breaks short; they exist for a reason. Communicate with your colleagues when you are taking a break to keep them in the loop, as you would normally at work.
- Log out, pack up and shut the (hypothetical) door behind you at the end of the day. Avoid the temptation to overwork, and know when to switch off.
Stay safe, stay in and wash your hands everyone!
The Envirofone Team