Working from home has become increasingly common in recent years and seems set to continue to increase with improvements in communication technology. The recent coronavirus crisis has suddenly caused a large jump in the number of people whose employment is now home-based. You might have had no intention or idea that you would be in such a situation just a few weeks ago. Now you have to adjust the way you work with no time to prepare. Here are a few tips for maintaining your productivity and your sanity while working from home.
Stick to Your Morning Routine
It can be tempting to try to work from your bed without ever getting washed or dressed, but it’s not actually a good idea. By staying in bed all day things can become monotonous quickly. You should maintain your morning routine. By getting dressed and being presentable as if you’re at work, you’ll feel better about yourself and maintain your professionalism. It’s also good if you get an unexpected video call from your boss!
Create a Home Office
You probably don’t have space to set up an entire room as your office but try to carve out a small, dedicated work area. Doing so will help you focus and be productive throughout the day. It also means that in the evening or when taking a break you can leave your work at the ‘office’ so you can properly switch off and relax.
Get Some Fresh Air
The most important thing to do to get good reviews is to be a good employer. When you get bad reviews, try not to be automatically defensive, but see if there are any legitimate complaints that you can learn from. The other way to get good reviews is to ask your current staff members to write them. Choose employees who you know enjoy their work or who have been with you a long time. If you explain how it helps the company and give them some guidance for writing the reviews, most will be happy to do so. Don’t post all these reviews at once as that can look suspicious and means that after a while they can get buried under poor reviews. Create a schedule to put the reviews up monthly.
How to Respond to Reviews
Whilst your morning commute might be a nightmare most days, it has some benefits. It gets you moving and allows you some fresh air. When working at home, take a break to get outside, go for a walk, and soak up some vitamin D from the sun.
Get Daily Exercise
Spending all day sitting still can be bad for your health. This is a concern for office workers in normal times. When you have to work from home, it’s easy to move from bed, to an office chair, to the couch in the evening, and then back to bed. A regular exercise routine is not only be good for your physical health, but also your mental health. Remembering to get regular exercise is probably one of the most important tips for working at home.
Keep in Touch with Colleagues
Working from home means no chats at the water cooler with your fellow employees and no spontaneous after work hangouts. Maintaining good relationships with your colleagues helps the team to be on the same page. Make time to send them friendly emails and texts and even the occasional phone call.
You might think watching one episode of Netflix while having your lunch won’t hurt, but one episode can easily become two and then next thing you know you’ve watched an entire series. Approach the day as if you’re at the office, no TV until your ‘home’. Keep computer games, novels, and other distraction out of sight and out of mind during the working day.
Have the right Equipment
Make sure you have all the equipment you need, a headset, webcam, and any industry specific tools you require. There is nothing more frustrating that getting ready for a productive day than realising you cannot complete even simple tasks because you don’t have the right tools.
Avoid the temptation to snack every time you get bored. You won’t always be able to resist the temptation, so make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks to hand. Working from home should mean you have more time to cook, so make use of that and prepare a healthy, tasty lunch for yourself every day.
Remember to Clock Out
When working from home, it’s hard to switch off. You can always just grab your laptop and finish that report your employer wanted. Or you might be tempted to check if that client emailed you back at 9pm. Don’t. Determine when you will finish for the day and then leave it.
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