Many businesses have used the events of the past year as an opportunity to re-evaluate the way they operate and for many of their staff, Working from Home (WFH) will be the new norm, at least for the time being while COVID-19 is around and there is still the possibility of moving between Alert Levels. For many, this is something that takes some getting used to. We’re used to being in a busy office surrounded by people, with the phone constantly ringing. Now, you need to drown out new noises - kids, dogs, partners, lawnmowers, Netflix – and take it day by day, always adjusting to the WFH way of life.
Here are our top tips to help maintain productivity and sanity while working from home until things return to our old normal.
Go to work
Not literally, mentally. Instead of staying in your PJ’s or dressing gown, get up and go through part of your usual morning routine – shower, get dressed, have breakfast and get yourself mentally ready to work. We’re not saying put on make-up and heels if that’s what you’d do on a normal day before going in to the office, just do enough to make it feel like a work day and not a weekend day that you’re having to work.
Get some space
In an ideal world, we would all have spare rooms and offices where we could shut ourselves away from distractions but sometimes a desk in the corner of the lounge or bedroom is the best we can do. Even if you have a small home, you should set up your workspace in a dedicated area. Don’t just move yourself and your laptop from couch to bed and back again, create a space where work is to be done. Take over a table or desk that has adequate lighting and find a supportive, comfy chair. Make it familiar – if you normally have plants or photos on your desk, do that.
Do anything that is going to help you create a great working environment.
Take some time
Although we all need to get a certain number of hours of work in per day, most workplaces understand that this isn’t necessarily going to be the usual 9-5. This will especially be the case if you have kids at home that need wrangling! You need to be prepared to put in the time required but work out what this may look like. If you do have kids at home, will you have a two hours on/two hours off schedule with your partner so that you can share parenting? Will you work earlier or later so that you can fit in exercise? Taking time for yourself to walk the dog, take the kids for a bike around the block or to do some lunchtime yoga is important. It’s also important to stretch and rest your eyes from looking at the screen non-stop for the entire day. You would do this naturally when working from the office because you would walk to the printer, chat to someone for five minutes in the staff room or run errands at lunchtime. When WFH, you have to consciously make an effort.
If you find the urge to work 24/7 is too hard to fight, set yourself some boundaries on how much work is too much. Turn your computer off when you are done for the day, don’t answer emails from your phone. It’s not bad to put in overtime but remember you still have a life outside of work, even if you’re stuck inside.
Although you might be working alone right now, it doesn’t mean you have to be isolated. We are so fortunate in this day and age to be able to connect with others in so many ways from the safety and comfort of our own homes. Keep in touch with your colleagues via Skype, Zoom, FaceTime or email. Whether you’re contacting them for work purposes or just to see how they’re coping, all of the digital contact we have from others goes a long way to helping us feel connected and not so alone. Have a virtual happy hour or give your online meetings a dress up theme.
Find something that can bring you together while you’re apart.
If after all is said and done you just can't make it work in your space, get in touch with one of our salespeople to help you find the perfect place for you to work from home.