With the coronavirus pandemic, a policy of home-working will be new for many businesses. Which means a lot of us are dealing with an unusual challenge of, for the first time, working from home, full-time.
Even if you’ve done the odd day here and there in the past, this is different. It’s sudden. And for an undefined period of time where potentially, your whole company is involved.
These 5 tips will help ensure you’re successful both in getting through your workload and maintaining your mental wellbeing.
1. Get up like you would if you were going into the officeSet the alarm and get changed. Not just into trackies, clothes that you'd actually want to be seen in! Then start the day as you would usually; do your hair, make yourself a coffee and crack into it. Productivity starts with motivation. Treat each day as though you're actually going into work, otherwise you may just find yourself back in bed for an extra hour...
2. Structure your day
Seems simple enough but this is the number one rule to increase productivity, especially at home.
Time management is key. So set a time period for each of the tasks and plan when you're aiming on having each item completed by.
If you have a mid morning break and pop a load of washing on, use this as a timer to complete a certain work item before the wash cycle ends. And again when the load goes in the dryer.
Everyone has a certain time of day which they are more productive than others. Optimise your schedule accordingly for your prime productivity time for those more important tasks.
Take a look at our Time really is Money post.
3. Have a dedicated work space and shut the door
No, I am not talking about your bed or in front of the TV. Have a space you specifically go to work. Ideally this would of course would be in your home office but if you don't have that luxury, have a designated table, chair, a place that you can consistently call your "work space".
If you're a parent, take the time to create boundaries that when you're working, you're unfortunately not available for piggy-back rides. Shutting the door (or having an open and closed sign at your desk if you don't have designated room) will help set associate that when the door is closed, it's work time. Make it like you’ve left and gone to work elsewhere, knowing you’ll be home at the end of the day and there will be plenty of time for games and giggles then.
4. Stay off social media
Oh yes, social media, one of the biggest time killers known to man-kind (apart from small children!).
Try removing all apps from your computer and bookmarks from your tool bar, so even if you find yourself subconsciously typing in their web addresses, you don't get sucked in without even knowing it.
5. Pick a start and finish time for each day
Maintaining boundaries between your work life and personal life is hugely important when working from home. It is easy to do the odd hour here and there in the evenings or check your emails in weekends. Having a definitive start and stop time for each day (like you would in an office place) helps maintain the balance.
Finally, don't forget to reach out, connect and be kind. In these uncertain and stressful times, communication, compassion and compliance are what well help us beat Covid-19.