Like many other companies at the moment, we have resorted to all our staff working from home to reduce the spread of Coronavirus.
We asked Ryan Keeney from our Insights Team, who have worked from home for the last 7 years, for their top 10 recommendations.
Have a Start Time
You wouldn’t get away with strolling into the office at 10 am every day, so why should it be any different working from home.
Plan Your Day
Manage your expectations and arrange tasks just as you would in the office. What is urgent, what can wait? Being at home doesn’t mean you’ll magically be able to get through piles of work in an hour or two. You’re doing the same work now as you were in the office.
Find a Working Environment
Many think to work from home you need a fully furnished office, complete with a leather chair and bookshelves stacked with up to date business savvy material. Maybe do in the movies, but you don’t. If you have an office at home, and it works for you, great. Kick your feet up on the couch or sit at the dining table – the main thing is that it works for you.
Try not to lie on the couch for too long, your back will suffer and Occupational Health will request a call when they find out.
Don’t Sit in Silence
Is your office quiet? For most of us, you’ll likely find making the switch from background noise to sitting in your house in total silence is not an easy transition.
If you want silence, then great you’re all set to have it. But if being alone with all that thinking time is too much, then stick the radio on. Make a Spotify playlist, even pop the TV on from time to time and let that be your background noise. Don’t abandon ship and start to watch the television for the rest of the day though.
Ah…Lunch, the jewel in any home worker’s day. Drinks after work will eventually pale into insignificance in comparison to this truly wonderful event that happens at 12.30 pm every day.
Give it the time and effort it deserves! It’s important that you spend ages in your head planning what you are going to eat today? A quick bite from the fridge, pop to the shops or will you succumb to finishing off last night’s takeaway?
I won’t lie, there will be days when you’ve had your head down and you work through your lunch. It happens, but try your best to make sure that’s the exception rather than the rule. Make time for lunch, you deserve it!
You Are Not Alone
In the office, you’ve got loads of support. You can talk to those around you or pick up the phone to a colleague. Let’s be honest with each other here, you’ll text your other half and your mates countless times throughout the day. Little secret… you can still do that when you’re working from home.
You can’t talk to the person next to you, but theres Skype and get your teammates on your conversations lists. These will now become the place for a good, old fashioned office chat. Try to limit your time on social media, just because you’re at home and can watch videos from Lad Bible doesn’t mean you should. Remember the whole Friday and 2 pm thing?
No Day is The Same
You’re now working from home because you can, but more importantly, because you can be trusted. We can’t dismiss the circumstances that have meant we are all now in our homes and not the office? But if your manager didn’t think you were up to it, trust me, you wouldn’t be doing it.
It takes getting used to, but your days won’t all be the same. Office life can become repetitive, if you’ve taken any notice of the tips, you’ll recognise that it’s important to get a routine. But it doesn’t always play out that way and that’s OK. You’re being trusted to manage and shift things around to make sure that you can still work. Relax, you will become comfortable with it all shortly.
Downtime & Worktime: Get to Know the Difference
Downtime means a lot of things. It can be a period when you’re a little quieter, normally that’s out of your control. It can be when you need to nip out and run an errand or making a cuppa and grabbing a biscuit. If you’ve managed your work to get some extra time away from the laptop, that’s a good thing. Don’t feel guilty about it either, most home workers can’t manage it. Typically, it’s tea runs and popping out for 10 or 15 minutes. Be tight with them, especially in the first few weeks, they can pile up and come back to haunt you.
Worktime isn’t the time when you’re in front of the laptop and working. Remember that whole trusted thing? Well, it kind of assumes that you know how to sit and work. This is the time when you need to do a bit more. Like times when you’re in the office with a deadline to meet, you’ll stay a few hours later and push your distractions away. This will also happen when you’re working from home too.