Due to Covid-19, many people throughout the world are likely to be working from home for the very first time this week. With many companies rolling out contingency plans to their staff that includes compulsory working from home, we have put together a guide to home working.
1. Set a Designated Work Area
Though this may seem trivial, choosing a spot in your home that is designated for working is an important step you can take to set yourself up for success. Choose a spot that you can work from every workday. This could be a spare bedroom that you’ve turned into a home office, a desk located in the corner of the living room or even the dining room table. However, you should try to stay away from working in your bed or on the sofa, as these areas are associated with relaxation in your brain, which could negatively impact your productivity.
Make sure your workspace functions efficiently for you and your work style. Treat your home work area as you would an office cubicle. Make your workspace a place you enjoy going to each day, an area where you can focus and do your best work.
2. Plan and Test Communications
To ensure that you aren’t left out of the loop, make sure to schedule regular meetings and communications with your team, supervisors and managers. It can be easy to feel disconnected with what’s going on in the office, so remaining engaged with your colleagues is key. Communications can include the following:
Of course, make sure that your communication method of choice functions properly before you consistently telework.
3. Dress Like You Are Going into the Office
The way you dress has been proven to affect you psychologically. This means that, although it may sound like a great idea to work from home in your pyjamas, it isn’t in reality. While you do not need to dress up in business formal attire if you are working from home, you should take the time to shower, brush your teeth and get ready for the day. Aim to dress in casual—not sloppy—attire.
4. Avoid Distractions and Stay on Task
Remember that working from home can be a benefit, and that it will become apparent if you are not putting in the same effort into your work at home as you did in the office.
Stay focused on work throughout the day to maintain consistent productivity. Avoid online distractions as well. Limit the time spent on email, social media and websites unrelated to work. Set a timer on your phone or computer if necessary.
5. Evaluate Yourself Periodically
To ensure that teleworking is working for you, be sure to conduct self-assessments periodically. Things to include in your assessment could include the following:
What is working as far as your hours?
What are you accomplishing out of the office rather than in the office?
Are you meeting all of your deadlines?
Are you feeling connected with your co-workers?
6. Remember to Take Breaks
Just like you are encouraged to take breaks while you’re in the office, remember to allow yourself time throughout the day for quick breaks. If you need a short break to gather your thoughts, try walking around the house or down the street, stretching, or making a snack or meal.
If you need to take a longer break or socialise, plan time in your schedule for this. A major advantage of working from home is having flexibility. Before you take an hour or two out of your day, however, make sure to communicate and check with your manager so that you remain compliant with ’s policies.