From the boardroom to the spare room is where most of us that were lucky enough to have remained in our fulltime jobs will have had to retreat to over the past month after having been instructed to work from home.
For some, this will have been a smooth and familiar transition, however for others this will have been a step into the unknown.
But whether you have always had the ability to work from home, or that this is now a new way of working for you, there are a solid set of rules and good practices that will ensure you continue to be as productive as possible in a home environment.
Where Focus goes, Energy flows.
1. Continue to represent your company well
Even though you may now be operating in a different work environment, don’t neglect your companies values, ethics or standards. This is easily done when you are not immersed in your usual day to day office activities or surrounded by your likeminded colleagues. Just remember that whatever you do or say during your work hours, still represent your company.
Just because you are at home, doesn’t mean you can’t ‘act’ like you’re going to work. Set an alarm, get up at your usual working time, get washed, dressed, have breakfast and be ready at your desk or workstation at the same time as you would be during a normal working day ready to kick the day off.
2. Create the right environment setting
The home is usually a very different environment from your work environment and so it should be. The home is a reprieve from the day to day workplace setting and allows you to unwind, relax and reenergise yourself. There are also distractions within the home that can easily lead to prevarication and regular interruptions.
This is why it’s essential to create a small portion of the home that is set-up and tailored to getting you in the right frame of mind to work. As soon as you enter that cove of your home dedicated to your work this is where you can focus on the job at hand.
It may be that this area is not a permanent area, but a makeshift part of the home that becomes your work area during designated parts of the day.
Creating this designated work area, will allow you also to detach yourself when required, even when not being able to move location, just by retreating to another part of the home not associated with your work.
3. Set some boundaries
When working from home, when you’re in the zone, sometimes boundaries are very much blurred. Unlike the normal working day, there are no time boundaries in place unless you put a framework together to help guide you on when you should and shouldn’t be dedicating time towards getting your work done.
We would suggest trying to stick to the normal timeframes of your usual working day, even though you may be tempted to work right through the day without a break.
Be realistic with what you think is possible too, if your home environment is not conducive of a full day’s work without any interruptions, then take breaks or work your timetable around these other commitments.
4. Maintain good communication
Working from home can sometimes seem like a lonely existence, especially if you live alone. This is why it is essential to remain, where possible, in regular contact with your colleagues and customers.
Over the past few weeks, we have all become more familiar with technologies that allow us to connect quickly and easily such as FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, Google Duo, JustTalk, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and many more solutions.
The ability to utilise these technologies has never been so relevant. To be able to communicate on a day to day basis is the lynchpin upon which you can rely to structure your day and allow you to touch base with colleagues.
It is also nothing more than curtesy to let work colleagues and customers know what’s going on and where you are with things.
5. Productivity sweet spot
If you are not familiar with working from home, it may take some time to find that ‘sweet spot’ with regards to productivity.
Don’t be too harsh on yourself if you find things don’t work a certain way for you, try other ways of working, alter your work areas, your time boundaries and maybe hit the reset button if required and start again.
One way or another you will gradually find that productivity sweet spot that suits you, your environment and your work style.
In these trying times it is important not to be too hard on yourself, we all know there is a lot going on at the moment in and out of work and there may be a multitude of other things that need your time at present. So be realistic with what you think is achievable during your working day and realise that these are not normal times.
If you would like to reach out to us and share your thoughts or need some advice on anything raised in this article, then please do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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