Are you new to working from home? More and more of us are taking the plunge and are taking our work home with us. Not only that, but current events are forcing millions of people to work from their kitchens, bedrooms and conservatories!
Therefore, it’s likely to be a bit of a shock, at least to begin with. How do you stay motivated to work at home? How can you be sure you have all the best tools and software to hand? Working from home takes a lot of nerve and a lot of resolve. However, if you feel as though you are wading into the deep end pretty quickly, you really are not alone.
We’ve put together a quick guide below on what you should do when working from home for the first time. The work you do may well vary compared to other people, of course. However, there are still a few universal rules you should stick to – for mental wellbeing and morale if nothing else! Let’s get started.
Set Yourself a Schedule
Now you don’t have a fixed break schedule in place, you are going to need to self-organise. This means that you’re going to need to show quite a bit of discipline! We’ll get into this a little more shortly.
To begin with, however, you should be careful to plan your timetable out. Stick to the same working hours and breaks you’d expect from the office. It’s tempting to continue working through if you are getting into a project. However, you are going to risk burning out very quickly, and that’s going to risk the quality of your work.
Not only that, but it will impact your mental and physical wellbeing, too. Break regularly and set clear schedule you intend to stick to. Adapting, at least at first, may be tricky. However, the sooner you set up good habits, the sooner you’ll get used to them.
Dress For Your Job
Just because you’re working from home now, doesn’t mean that you should necessarily slum it in your pyjamas. If anything, working in home clothes and comfy outfits is likely to make things too comfortable. This might be beneficial for your morale, but it might mean you end up slipping in terms of productivity. There’s a genuine risk you’re going to earn the ire of your manager if you get too comfy!
What’s more, it can be difficult to separate work and life once you are working from home. Therefore, try not to blend the two too much. Dress as you normally might for your office job. Head to your desk for 9am, clock off at 5pm, and change once you finish for the day. This will help you stick to a routine that you can easily manage.
Use Your Workspace… For Work
This might seem obvious, but it ties in a little to our point above. You should always make sure to keep your work area available for work only. Don’t give into the temptation to eat at your desk, for example. Keep your work area clean and clear, and once again, you’ll find it easier to achieve that work-life balance. This is going to be difficult to do at first.
This might be tricky, too, if you don’t have a dedicated desk. If you are on homeworking leave as a result of an immediate emergency, you might not have a complete home office to hand. Not everyone is so lucky! Therefore, try to find a spot or corner in your home which you can solely use for working. Try not to make it your bed or anywhere you’re likely to head to for comfort.
Seek Comfort Away From the Screen
With all your various gadgets and entertainment devices ready to use at home, it might be a struggle for you to avoid distractions. Therefore, when you do take breaks and lunches, avoid all screens. Check your phone only in case of emergent texts or calls. Be sure to take short walks outside where possible, in line with government advice during COVID-19.
Take time to give your head some space. Working from home means you are going to spend most of your time here looking at a screen – unless, of course, you work in a physical trade or other means. In any case, too much screen time is going to lead to fatigue, and fatigue is going to lead to low morale and poor quality work. Your manager’s certainly not going to like that much.
Stock Up on the Best Technology
Working from home means you’re going to need to have access to various new systems and gadgets. Your manager may supply you with an online portal or program you can log into. However, it is also worth using services to stay in touch with colleagues and clients, where appropriate.
For example, you may wish to set up conferencing and collaboration through programs such as Microsoft Teams, or Zoom. Skype, of course, is a long-preferred standard. It pays to keep in touch when working from home, and therefore, it makes sense to line up the best technology available.
What’s more, it makes sense to look for help with international calling, and call handling of all natures. Why spend more of your time at home handling calls, when a service such as Planet Numbers can help you to refine this side of the process?
Working from home doesn’t mean you have to cut yourself off from the world. Far from it, in fact. Download leading software and keep in touch with the people in your life who are important to you.
Adjusting to working from home is going to take time. It might seem exciting at first, but remember that there are going to be plenty of challenges ahead. What if you have children at home? Can you beat the daily distractions of Netflix and Amazon Prime?
We’re sure you can do it – millions do – and in no time, you’ll be as productive as you are in the office normally. Believe in yourself!