Key Tips for Working from Home
24 Mar 20 by Sourced
The ongoing COVID-19 situation has led many businesses to enable their employees to work from home, but there is usually some level of adjustment. Taking the time to prepare will help ensure you have the best set up to allow for the same efficiency, comfort and capabilities as you would have in the office.
Here are our top tips for working from home and advice on making the most of it.
Create Your Ideal Environment
If you haven’t worked from home in the past or have done so ad hoc, you may not have a home office set up. However, you can create one easily by finding a quiet area of the house and making it your own for the time being. We often find ourselves more productive if we like our work environment, so try to replicate the office as much as you can.
Look for the following:
- Natural light – this helps to reduce eye strain.
- Plenty of space for a desk and some room to stretch your legs.
- Minimal distractions from family – try to find a room that isn’t used as much so people aren’t coming in and out, particularly if you have children off school.
- Remove distractions – take out the TV and other unnecessary devices that might tempt you away from the tasks at hand.
Get Your Supplies Together
First, though we know it’s fairly obvious, it’s important to mention that having the right tech set up is essential for working from home. You’ll know that high-speed internet is, of course, a must – but try to replicate the other things you have at the office that help you stay on track. Multiple wide computer screens are always ideal, but even just one decent-sized screen will do.
Another simple but often overlooked component of working from home is communicating with everyone when you’re not in the same space. Sure, you’ve got your phone and email, but what about those team meetings or catch-ups with your manager? That’s where video conferencing platforms such as Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting or Facetime can bridge the gap. And don’t forget about the option of using live chat apps such as Microsoft Teams, Slack and Facebook’s Workplace to quickly update each other on events.
Aside from technology, put together any stationery you might need, and don’t forget to look after your own needs. That may mean having an adjustable chair, a standing desk or any other equipment you might require. Whatever your preference, ensure you have everything to keep yourself comfortable and your output at regular levels.
Set Boundaries and Stick to Them
Working from home can make it difficult to separate your personal and working life, and can easily lead to you taking breaks at odd times and checking emails late at night.
Without your daily commute or structured lunchbreaks to guide you, it’s important to set your hours and create a routine for yourself. Get up and dressed (rather than staying in your pyjamas) as this switches you into the “work mode” mindset, take the same number and duration of breaks that you normally would, and switch off when it’s “home time” by moving away from your office space and silencing work-related notifications for the evening. This structure is vital for productivity and helps you tell your brain when it’s time to switch on and when you can relax again.
Consider the Emotional Impact
It’s okay to feel a little down while working remotely; if you’re not used to it (and especially if you live alone), working from home can lead to feelings of isolation and mental fatigue.
Here are some easy solutions:
- Take your scheduled breaks and use them to communicate with others – even if it’s just calling a family member or sending a message to a friend.
- Get outside for some fresh air and sunshine if possible, even if it’s a walk around the backyard or patio.
- Reward yourself for a job well done. When you’re not interacting with your team as often as you used to, it may feel like your work is not being acknowledged. Take the time to reflect on the progress you’ve made and celebrate the small victories.
Adjusting to working from home may take a little time, but once you’re into it you should find yourself as productive as ever.
For more advice on preparing to work from home or support with your job search during this challenging time, contact our friendly team at Sourced. We’re here to find you that dream IT role, so don’t hesitate to reach out.