By Abby Rolfe, Digital Marketing Executive at Professional Academy
We all know how distracting it can be when you’re trying to work from home and all you can think about is how you need to clean the bathroom, that the dog definitely needs attention and that daytime TV sure does look enticing. To continue great productivity whilst battling with any distraction your homelife throws at you is challenging. But it comes with many benefits and rewards, if done right!
When your home becomes your office, lines can easily be blurred between worktime and down-time. This is why it’s important to have an effective routine in place. Here are some great pointers to think about:
Get dressed! This is a good way to put your mind into ‘work mode’. Get out of bed and ready for a day in the office in the same way as normal. You’ll feel more focused and in the right frame of mind, and you won’t need to hide should you receive an impromptu video call from a colleague!
Start and finish work at the same time every day: Your working hours shouldn’t change even though you aren’t at the office. If you do a 9-5, make sure you are at your home ‘workspace’ for that duration of time. This also helps to confirm communication times with your colleagues.
Schedule breaks: Breaks are an important part of a working day. The plus side of being at home is that you can use your break to go for a walk, give the dog some much-needed attention or treat yourself to a healthy dose of Antiques Roadshow.
Maybe at first the novelty of being able to stay in your pyjamas all day is fun, but It can start to feel lonely without having your co-workers around. Not only that, the lack of communication with your team can lead to issues with clarity and quality of work.
The good news is, there are plenty of useful tools that are designed with working from home in mind. Make use of team-based apps and chat tools such as Microsoft Teams, Trello and Slack. This way, a quick DM to your colleagues is easy – and can swiftly answer a quick query without having to construct an email or make a call.
A trusty to-do list is a great way to organise your day. Set yourself some realistic tasks to help motivate yourself and ensure you are meeting expectations and goals. Lists help build structure to an otherwise unstructured day. There are quite a few apps for list-making if good old pen and paper doesn’t do it for you.
If you can, dedicate a comfortable room or a desk for working. This helps separate home from work and allows you to figuratively ‘leave work for the day’ at closing time. If you have children or pets that may be disruptive or distracting, try and leave them in another room for your working hours. It’s a good idea to signal your availability for household distractions with something like a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door.
Fresh air and sunlight are great for humans. We’re basically houseplants with more complicated emotions. If you’ve gained an extra hour or two from not commuting, this can be a perfect opportunity to go for a walk or a run in the morning or evening. Getting outside in the fresh air helps to break up the working day and prevent those stir-crazy feelings.
Working from home is what you make it. It can be a struggle to adjust for those used to the ins and outs of office life, but there are many ways to make the transition as comfortable as possible. Maybe you’ll start to enjoy the morning lie in and (very) short commute!
If you have been affected by the recent news and are being told to work from home and avoid social gatherings, we hope you and your families and friends are continuing to be safe and healthy. You may also find yourself with some unprecedented free time. Why not use that time to invest in your personal development with a professional qualification? It’s a great way to make the best of uncertain times and future-proof your career.