- By Check-a-Salary
- Posted Wednesday 06
th May 2020
A vast percentage of employees have always wanted to work from home; most people will acknowledge that there are days spent working in the office when simply nothing gets done!
And when I say nothing, I don’t mean people aren’t working. In reality, a day of nothing actually means doing a lot of work. This will normally include extensive meetings, planning, strategy, phone calls and when you combine this with a commute and general chit chat with colleagues there is a chance you haven’t had time to do what you are accountable for!
Up until recently working from home was something that many managers wanted to entrust their staff with, but perhaps the company culture dictated that this wasn’t ‘a thing’ they could take seriously.
Covid19 has thrust upon us working from home, but is it here to stay? And if it is and we are to build this into our working week, what are the best practices to work to?
Below is advice about the working conditions and practices you should apply to enable you to perform effectively when working from home.
- In a normal working day, your commute gives you the chance to consider what your tasks are and generally what you are going to be doing. So, whether you are consciously aware of it, you are probably planning or at least thinking about what you are going to be doing that day on your journey into work. So, when working from home, to ensure you are productive, create a to-do list.
- Having the right frame of mind is essential, so prepare your workspace and desk to replicate your office as much possible.
- Don’t stay cooped up inside all day just because you are working from home. Make special efforts to get out!
At work, if you frequently visit coffee shops and take time off for lunch then do so when working from home. This will help you keep a clear mind; give you focus and keep you motivated.
- Prevent the internet from being a distraction. It is too easy to waste time, so avoid the distractions by logging out of social media accounts and resist visiting sites that are going to disrupt your workflow!
- Do more, or at least try to! We all know that tasks often take longer than you initially expect them to. For that reason, you'll frequently get less done than you set out to do. So, just as you're encouraged to overestimate how much time you'll spend doing one thing, you should also overestimate how many things you'll do during the day. Even if you come up short of your goal, you'll still come out of that day with a solid list of tasks filed under 'complete.'
- Choose the right jobs, for the right time. Consider when you are your most productive and manage your work accordingly. If you are constantly reliant on your colleague’s support, then maybe you are working on the wrong jobs. Consider doing the jobs you struggle to do at work from home. At home, you should have an environment where you aren’t distracted whereas at work, this may not be possible.
- Consider saving your harder tasks for when you are the most productive or consider making them a priority. Hard jobs aren’t going to go away so there is no point hoping they will. As you do at work, deal with them head-on and revisit them if you need to, but get stuck in as quickly as possible!
- Choosing suitable times to schedule calls is important because if you are organised enough to plan ahead then you should also the potential outcome of each call and what work might be required as a result. Think about setting up calls in the morning as this will help you to be productive throughout the rest of the day by giving added focus on tasks in hand and deadlines that you need to hit.
- At the start, working from home will probably feel motivating but in the longer term you might feel cut off from the workplace. Using technology like Zoom, Microsoft Team and other instant messaging and videoconferencing tools can make it easier to work with your colleagues. The feeling of working together reminds you how are contributing to the big picture and in turn, this keeps you motivated.
- If you have family or friends at home, share with them what you are doing and what tasks you intend to complete. You’ll hopefully have their interest, but you would have made a commitment to the jobs and this will mean that you are more likely to finish them.
- Taking breaks is a vital component of being more productive! Rather than surfing the net when taking a break do something that is away from desk altogether and channel your energy into relaxing! This can include shopping, walking, going to the gym or going out to grab lunch.
- Interacting with other people will enable you to be more productive. Whether it is with colleagues, the neighbour or the postman it’s a good idea to see other people whilst working from home!
- Many people believe working from home establishes a great work-life balance, but this isn’t always true. Working from home can be lonely and you can get so immersed in you work that it has a negative impact on your mental health so make sure you manage this aspect accordingly. Some actions that will help have already been mentioned but to recap, make sure you don’t work too many hours, take breaks, speak with people and get out of the house!
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