In these unprecedented times, working from home is fast becoming the norm. Being comfortable in your surroundings with limited distractions and a high level of productivity is key to setting yourself up so that you are able to perform your job to the best of your abilities.
Whilst the temptation might be to roll straight out of bed and log in, unfortunately this won’t help with your productivity or your overall wellbeing. It’s important to try sticking to a routine and create yourself a workspace away from any distractions for an effective remote working life.
It’s all about environment
Create a comfortable space in your home that is specifically for working. There’s no perfect location for this, but below are a few points to consider when it comes to choosing your work area.
- Will it be reasonably quiet throughout the day?
- Does it have space for a desk/table, chair and your devices?
- Could you happily spend your full working day in it?
It’s key to be comfortable and to create a space that is conducive to productivity. Make sure to communicate to anyone living with you where and when you will be working to avoid any unnecessary distractions, or awkward conversations down the line.
Keep your routine
It might not seem like much, but the act of getting up and getting ready will work wonders on your efficiency and motivation. By actively committing to continuing with your regular morning routine, you get yourself into a working mindset, and help to avoid unhealthy sleeping patterns caused by changes in your sleep cycle.
By continuing with your regular routine, you might find yourself with a bit of extra time on your hands in the morning, which would normally be taken up by your commute. Put this time to good use by taking a virtual exercise, yoga or meditation class to get your endorphins pumping and the correct mindset that benefits your wellbeing.
Know when to start and when to stop
Make sure that you set yourself definite working hours. It’s easy to let your work time slip over into your personal time, especially when it’s all under the same roof – try setting an alarm for the start and end of the day to help you stick to your hours. We’re not saying that an extra half an hour here or there is going to do any harm, but consistently working beyond your contracted hours won’t do anything for your mental wellbeing, and can also breed resentment. Also, you will be assisting your employer by being honest about the time things take so they can accurately charge the correct cost of work carried out in the future (Harvest is a great tool for time planning and tracking).
Working from home can feel quite isolating, so make sure that you set regular virtual meetings up with your team. There are so many platforms out there now that help to facilitate communications (e.g. Zoom, Skype or Gotomeeting). You can set up team video calls to keep updated on everyone’s progress – try to plan one in a day so that you stay connected to your team, even if it’s just to see how everyone’s day has been and for a general chit chat.
Setting up a group chat (WhatsApp and Slack are great tools we use) is also great for quick questions, and bouncing ideas off each other, without the need for more regular calls or lengthy email chains.
There’s no denying that we are all living in stressful times, with fears for ourselves and loved ones at the forefront, but it’s important to give yourself a break every now and then. During your daily team catch ups, try discussing something positive, and use your breaks to improve your wellbeing - take part in virtual classes, or just sit and read a really great book. Try to create and find little positives in your day to help keep your and your teams spirits up. Read our free guide with more tips for effective remote working.