As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, more and more businesses are encouraging their staff to work from home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Many people view working from home as a luxury, when in fact it can be quite a challenge if you are not used to it. If you remain disciplined, prepare the same way as you would for an office role and know the boundaries between work and home life, then it can be very rewarding for both the employer and employee.
To help you on your way, here’s our best tips on how to stay productive and proactive while working from home.
1. Create a clean workspace
It’s important you dedicate a space where you can comfortably work from while at home. You will need to take into consideration whether you need an external monitor to act as a second screen, a wireless mouse to relieve the strain on your wrists and forearms, and a wireless keyboard to make it easier to type away. Don’t forget to position your monitor at eye level and ensure you are sitting on a comfortable chair that promotes good posture.
2. Start early
It can be tempting to hit the snooze button when your alarm sounds, but don’t do it. Instead, start the day the same way you would as if you were heading to the office. Wake up, shower, get dressed and prepare yourself for the day ahead before sitting down to work. This will certainly help you get a strong start to your day.
3. Set a schedule
Working from home is very different to working in an office. The easiest way to build a healthy work-life balance is to set up a clear schedule for each day and stick to it, and when the working day is done, step away from your work. Everyone needs valuable rest time.
4. Use to-do lists
A terrific way to keep yourself organized and focused is to create a to-do list. This will keep you on track, help you prioritise certain tasks and will ensure you hold yourself accountable.
5. Take breaks
As the Canadian government is urging people to remain at home, it’s very likely you are going to spend a lot of time cooped up inside. While it’s important to take on board this advice to limit the spread of COVID-19, it’s also vital you open your windows and possibly head on out for a short walk to get some fresh air and exercise. This will help you focus and avoid burning out, we all need regular breaks to remain productive.
Communication is crucial in any business, it’s even more important when working from home. If you work in a team, you will want to make sure you run daily check ins over applications like Skype, Microsoft Teams or Zoom to ensure everyone is moving in the right direction. Phone and video messaging services are your friend here, as they’re the most efficient way to get an immediate response and to eradicate the risk of emails being misconstrued.
7. Use cloud-based file sharing services
While it’s important to email files back and forth, there are much easier ways to file share. Cloud-based file sharing services such as OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox are brilliant tools to use, especially when it comes to updating files in real-time or sharing the latest version with your team. It frees up space in your inbox and allows file to be stored in the cloud rather than locally on your computer.
8. Work regular hours
We are all guilty of putting in extra hours while working from home, but it is essential for your mental health to set your hours and stick to them. If you typically worked 9-5 – stick with it. Don’t start at 7 and finish at 6 just because you can. On the flip side, this is a good way to change your working hours and increase your productivity while working from home. Some of you may be dealing with the challenges of partners and children being home and its important to get yourselves all on a schedule that can work for your whole household.
Let’s round up
Hopefully our 8 tips on how to master working from home help you increase your productivity and establish a great work-life balance during these unprecedented and difficult times.
For managers, remote working can often be a huge challenge. However, by having the right tools in place to effectively manage your staff working from home, you can easily overcome these challenges. If you want to learn more about our industry-leading Workforce Management solutions and how they can help your business with remote working, get in touch today