I love working from home and find I get far more done than I do in the office. However, I am told I may be in the minority and it takes a certain mindset to get the most out of your day. With the Coronavirus spreading, so many of us have just started working from home, or are about to. I therefore thought I would share some of my top tips!
Set up for Comfort and Success
Firstly, try and set up your desk layout as practically and comfortably as possible. I realise this may be a challenge if you have suddenly been thrown into working from home with little notice, however it is worth giving thought and time to the set up.
Desk Layout – On the assumption you have a desk job, see if you can replicate the layout you have in the office or even improve on it. The chair and lighting are most important. Try and get a chair set up that allows you to sit upright, you don’t want to get a bad back! Make sure the lighting is adequate so you are not squinting or straining your eyes in anyway.
Technology – If you are short of space, or power points, I recommend a cordless keyboard and mouse. I have also installed a docking station at home that means if I move my lap top all I have to do is plug back in 1 connection and it is linked to power, 2 screens, mouse, keyboard, headphones and printer.
If you do use video conferencing, try aps like Zoom where you can even add a background so people don’t see you home background. Or Microsoft Teams is good for internal communication for many users were the video pops up of the person speaking. These, Skype and other web based phone systems are also good for setting up calls if you don’t have access to your companies phone system.
As a bonus, you can design your own working environment. It is your home so you can add things you might not be able to in the office. I like music in the background and use a diffuser with Lemon essence for success or change this according to my mood. I also have an electronic foot massager under my desk.
Top Tips For Working From Home
So you are set up and ready to work. How do you get yourself into work mode and stay focussed?
- Keep your usual waking time. Get up at the time you would normally get up to go to the office and aim to be at your desk earlier than would if you had to travel to the office. This is a bonus, you may even get to finish earlier
- Get dressed to work. It doesn’t have to be a suit (another perk of working from home), but don’t work in your PJs, you may find it makes you want to climb back into bed mid morning for a siesta, or not take your work seriously
- Use a To Do Lists. Make a daily to do list of things you must finished before your work day is over. Be disciplined with this and it means when you get ‘home distractions’ you get back in to work asap, otherwise you know you will be working all night
- Minimise External Distractions.
- Turn off social media and other alerts that are not necessary and will distract you
- If you listen to music try listening to play lists rather than the radio, which can be distracting
- Do talk to others in the house about how, although it might be convenient to have you at home, you would really appreciate no distractions during working hours/ when you head to your work space
- Take regular breaks (as many as you would in the office) maybe even set an alarm for them. In breaks leave your desk and walk around and stretch your legs. Look into the distance to rest your eyes. You can even try things like meditation, which is much harder to do in a busy office.
- Eat Healthy. Either prepare a packed lunch like you would when you are going to the office, or, another bonus of working from home, I cook a healthy lunch. This breaks up my day and gets me away from the desk and gives my mind a break from work whilst I concentrate on what I am cooking. Healthy food helps concentration in the afternoon.
- Use your Phone and Video. The world seems to be moving more and more towards almost exclusively using written communication these days. However, especially in times like this, try and phone or video chat to your work connections so you and they don’t feel isolated.
I wish everyone all the best in making the most of this situation. Stay safe all. Abigail Stevens, Managing Director Think Global Recruitment