For many people, working from home is part of their working life, but for others, it will be the first time they’ve needed to do it. So we’ve pulled together our top tips on how to be efficient and maintain your wellbeing, without feeling too isolated.
Having the right kit
Hopefully if you’re working from home, you’ve got the right tools for the job. For most this will include a web-enabled laptop, with access to your work’s intranet and files. But most people can do what they need to via email.
If you need to speak to people and have a mobile phone, start using video calls. This will help you to not feel like you’re on your own. And if you’re on the phone, try to use your headphones or a headset to avoid neck ache.
Flexibility versus discipline
There are plenty of articles and guides out there around working from home and being disciplined, sticking to a routine and working hours. However, in light of Coronavirus, you’ll probably need to be a little more flexible, particularly if you’ve got kids at home. Try to find a space in the house where you can minimise disruption, but be flexible to know that you may need to do some work in the evenings when the kids are in bed.
And don’t try to overcompensate with communication – many people feel they have to ‘be seen’, but over sending emails is going to take up other people’s time. Be efficient, get things done and share what you’ve been working on.
Take regular breaks
When you’re working from home, a routine is important, but make sure it doesn’t become monotonous. Make yourself a cup of tea of coffee, just like you would at work. Many freelancers that work from home recommend the Pomodoro Technique, whereby you choose a task and break it down into mini, focussed ‘sprints’ in the aim of reducing internal and external disruptions.
If you’re on a long conference call, stand up, walk around. These breaks will help to keep you focussed longer term and avoid burn-out.
If you normally have a lunch break – be sure to fit in some exercise; either a walk around the block (following the Government’s guidelines) or a ten minute burst of activity to keep your energy up in the afternoon.
Keep in contact
Set up a WhatsApp group for you and your team/colleagues. Check in each morning, make sure you’re all well and ready for the day. It’s also a good way to communicate and update each other, without using email. Keep it upbeat and positive. As we’ve already mentioned, you can use video calling on your phone, but there are other options too – here’s a few we found useful:
Google Hangouts – with options for both audio and video conferencing, users must have a Gmail account. You can host both of these for up to 25 people.
PowWowNow – offers free audio conferencing for unlimited guests. If you want video or web conferencing they do offer a subscription service.
Skype – one of the best known conference-calling solutions where you can host calls for up to 25 people that have skype enabled on their computer.
This is a marketing article from A-Plan Insurance