Working from Home Tips
Working from Home tips and ideas are very useful as COVID continues more of us remain working from home rather than going back into the office. Working from home can be a double edged sword, on the one hand you won’t have your daily commute, sitting in traffic or battling with train delays and bad weather. You will save money on travel, parking, congestion charges and possibly lunches out and coffees and snacks.
On the other hand, working from home can mean feeling isolated, it can feel more intense and boundaries can drift until you are working much longer hours. You may miss your colleagues and those small interactions that punctuate the day and relive the pressure. You might find that you are not able to switch off and are replying to emails or messages at all hours. It can be hard to switch from daytime to evening without the journey home as a buffer. Alternatively, you might find that working from home means it is harder to keep a routine, its difficult to start work on time when no one is watching, its harder to motivate yourself to get things done without colleagues around you. Or perhaps with other people in the house there maybe distractions and people calling on your time when you need to be focussed on your job.
However working from home hits you it can be tricky to navigate. Below are 7 tips and ideas about how you can make it better work for you.
- Get Dressed – Having lived through the first lockdown in elasticated trousers, it is amazing how different I felt when I started to dress in more formal clothes again. Whilst you don’t need to dress in really formal suits etc, choosing more formal outdoor clothes will signal this is work time and help to establish a boundary. It will also mean its easier for you to go out for short walks and breaks as you need to.
- Set boundaries – Determine when your day begins and ends and when you will have a lunchbreak and stick to these timings. Consider checking in with a colleague at the beginning and end of the day to help keep yourself accountable.
- Take your lunchbreak – whatever amount of time you have for lunch take it. Go into another room to eat, or take a short walk, make sure that you step away from your desk.
- Have a designated space – it is not always easy to have your own room to work from but if possible, have an area that is just for working, that gets cleared away or shut down when you are finished. Ideally have a proper desk and chair so that your back and neck are not affected by slouching on a sofa for too long.
- Schedule in contact with colleagues – to ensure that you are not isolating yourself make sure that you schedule in time to connect with colleagues. If you work alone, schedule in contact with a friend or family member.
- Plan in a transition time when you have finished work – normally you would have your journey home to decompress and transition from the day to the evening. When you are working from home you might need to plan this in, consider going for a short walk around the block, sit for a short while and read or listen to something online. Allow yourself a period of time to just mark the end of the day and signal that its evening, this will help you to leave the workday behind. Things to avoid at this time are having a drink, this habit could lead to further problems.
- Separate your tech between work and personal – if possible use a different phone and computer for work and personal tasks. This means you will be able to assert work boundaries and not feel compelled to reply to emails, phone calls and messages outside of work hours. Set an auto responder for your email where you detail your working hours, and likewise add a voicemail message that clearly sets out when you are available and who people can contact in your absence.
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