With the government now recommending home working to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we have put together our 10 top tips to help you stay sane when working from home…
If you’ve never worked from home before, it can take a little time to adjust. There are many positives: no costly and time-consuming commute, more time to spend with your family and no distracting interruptions by your colleagues. But there are a few things that you will miss, like a chat and a laugh at the coffee machine, a drink down the pub after work on a Friday and the regular routine of your workplace. We hope you find the following tips helpful in adjusting to your new way of working:
- Get up at the normal time
Don’t have a lie-in just because you no longer have your daily journey to work. Instead get up at the normal time and use those extra minutes to get ready for the day. Have a good breakfast, take a stroll round the garden or do some meditation, stretching exercises or yoga at home. You’ll be amazed at how much more alert you’ll feel once you do sit down to work.
- Look the part
You might be at home, but don’t slop around in your jim-jams or tracksuit. Instead get dressed, so that you feel as if you are really at work. This is especially important for sales staff as it makes you feel more confident when phoning customers.
- Make your own routine
At work you might have had set times for coffee and lunch breaks. Try to stick to those at home and make sure you have a proper lunch not just snacks. Start the day by planning what you will do that day, allocating times for each task. You may need to set reminders to keep yourself on track if you’re someone who gets easily distracted!
- Write a list of tasks
It’s a good idea to write the tasks on a list –there’s nothing like ticking them off to give you a sense of achievement. At the end of the day review how you’ve done and give yourself a pat on the back for what you’ve achieved (your manager won’t be around to do that), and think about what you could do differently tomorrow to improve the way you work.
- Have a dedicated workspace
If possible, make yourself a dedicated workspace with a desk away from anyone else at home. Set it up to resemble your desk at work with photos of loved ones and your favourite coffee mug, so that it feels as much like a normal day as possible. Close the door to keep distractions to a minimum.
- Change things up
If you have a virtual meeting booked, and you have the space, try moving into another room like the kitchen or lounge. After all, at work you’d meet in another room at work. It just breaks things up and adds some interest to your day. It will also give your colleagues an insight to your homelife!
- Keep moving
Don’t feel guilty about taking regular breaks to move around. It’s not good for your body to sit at your computer all day. And at work you’d have to walk longer distances to the canteen, to meetings, to the toilets and the coffee machine or to talk to someone else in the building. So, every 20 minutes or so, get up from your desk, take a little walk or do some stretching exercises. Keep a large glass of water on your desk and take regular sips, your mind and body will thank you for it.
- Set boundaries
Make sure your family know the times when you will be working and unavailable for doing chores or playing with the kids. This will be especially important now that the schools are closed for all except children of key workers – at the current time construction workers are not included in the list of key workers. If you, your partner and children are all at home, you may have to alter your work times to split childcare between you. Discuss this with your line manager and make sure they know when you will be available.
- Have regular social calls and virtual get togethers
It can feel lonely working from home. Keep in regular contact with your work colleagues. Phone them even when you don’t need to for a chat and to keep up with what else is going on in the company. Maybe organise a virtual social meeting first thing in the morning for 10 minutes whilst you have your first coffee before settling down to work. Or have a virtual pub meeting last thing on Friday, where you all have a drink and chat about how your week has been.
- Finish on time
It’s very tempting when you are working at home to just finish that report or answer those last emails, but you need a clear line between home and work time. Most people find that once they get used to it, they are much more productive when working at home because there are less distractions from colleagues. So, leave work behind on time in your dedicated room and switch your mindset to home life. A quick walk, or a game with the kids will soon help you to leave thoughts of work behind until the morning.
Many of our staff at Senior Architectural Systems are already working from home. But we aim to still provide you with our usual high level of service. You can read more about what we are doing to protect both our employees and customers and to keep things running as smoothly as possible throughout this difficult time here. We are all in this together and are trying to stay positive. Check out our #PositiveView posts on social media and we look forward to seeing yours.