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Fircroft’s top tips for working from home

Posted by: Bethany Lee
27/03/2020
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Many businesses have advised employees to work from home in an attempt to limit staff exposure to the coronavirus outbreak. Not going into the office is an effective way of preventing the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, because it minimises the risk of you coming into contact with someone carrying the disease.

When working from home it is important to figure out when to work, where to work and how to create boundaries between a work life and a personal life.  

Working from home tips
These are Fircroft’s top tips for creating a balance between your work and personal life when you’re working from home.

Stick to a schedule 

Consider beginning and ending work at the same time each day – the way you would if you were at the office. This will help you separate professional time and personal time – and make it easier to detach both emotionally and physically at the end of the day.
During the day, give yourself some physical distance from your workspace by taking a lunch break – even if that means you’re sitting at your kitchen table or going for a walk. This can help you to feel more refreshed and ready to dive back in when you return to your desk. 

Take clear breaks

It can be difficult to tear yourself away from your laptop if you’re worried people might think you’re not really working, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take breaks. 
 Leave your desk for lunch or to make a coffee, the same as you would if you are at the office. Go out for a walk, spend 30 minutes listening to a podcast or read a book in the garden. What every you do take at least a 30-minute break and you’ll return feeling refreshed and more productive for the rest of the day.
This also includes making sure you make time to make proper meals and drink water regularly, rather than snacking continuously throughout the day.

Create a morning routine

When working in an office, your morning commute can help you wake up and feel ready to work by the time you get to your desk. At home, however, the transition from your pillow to your computer can be much more difficult.
Believe it or not, one way to work from home productively is to dive into your to-do list as soon as you wake up. Simply getting a project started first thing in the morning can be the key to making progress on it gradually throughout the day. Otherwise, you'll prolong breakfast and let the morning sluggishness wear away your motivation.

Don't hesitate to ask for what you need

If you're employed by a company that supports your work-from-home setup, request the equipment you need as soon as you start working from home, or within a day or two when you realise you need something new.
It's extremely important to set precedents early that you will ask for what you need to get your job done comfortably, including the right monitor, keyboard, mouse, chair, printer, software, and so forth. 

Keep a dedicated office space

Although it's tempting to stay in bed or head to your sofa, those who successfully work from home agree that you're best off setting up a station. If you don't have a desk, use your dining room table. Besides making you feel like you're at an "office," this helps you maintain good posture, avoid distractions, and leave your work behind at the end of the day.

Plan out what you'll be working on ahead of time

The time spent figuring out what you'll do today can take away from actually doing those things. It's important to let your agenda change if you need it to, but it's equally as important to commit to an agenda that outlines every assignment before you begin. Try solidifying your schedule the day before, making it feel more official when you wake up the next day to get started on it.

Top tips for working from home

Structure your day like you would in the office

When working from home, you're your own personal manager. Without things like an in-person meeting schedule to break up your day, you can be quick to lose focus or burn out.
To stay on schedule, segment what you'll do and when over the course of the day. If you have an online calendar, create personal events and reminders that tell you when to shift gears and start on new tasks. Google Calendar makes this easy.

Fight the urge to multitask

This may seem like a convenient time to catch up on tasks or cleaning the house, but it's easier than you'd expect to get distracted.  There’s nothing wrong with taking a little break, but don’t let chores distract you from being productive. 
The same goes for other at-home distractions. If you meal prep or pack snacks ahead of time for the office, do the same at home so you don't get preoccupied in the kitchen. Chances are you don't watch TV at work either, so try not to leave it on, even if it's just background noise.

Think about how you’re communicating

It is important to go beyond email and use other digital tools that can better replicate the in-person office experience and provide for clear communication.
If you’ve gone from working in a bustling office to working at home there can often be a sense of isolation. It is important to communicate with your team regularly using chat apps and videoconferencing services. Screen-sharing is another killer aspect of getting people on the same page.
Maintaining healthy amounts of communications when working remotely improves your relationships with your colleagues, managers, and direct reports. It’s also important for managers to encourage employees to share their opinions or concerns about a particular project so they don’t feel like they’re being dismissed just because they’re not in the same room.

 

What helps you to stay productive while you are working from home? Let us know in the comments below.

 
Recent Comments
Dear Bethany Lee, I trust this meets well. Please stay safe with your family in this complicated season of COVID-19. Your health matter alot to us. God almighty will pull us through safe and sound in Jesus'name. Subject matter above refers. I wish to humbly request for the status of my numerous application for different positions I applied for in your organization since last year (2019 December) till date that am yet to receive any response for. I applied to different countries. Please do use your good office to feed me back on the status of my applications. Respectfully, Davidson Arnold Aghimien - MCIPSMN +234 - 08025892141 +234 - 08088570519
Davidson Arnold Aghimien, 27 March 2020
Great article! My work station is set up in my bedroom, having a tidy desk and 10 minutes in the morning to make my bed into an extra work surface for papers and files in the morning helps me to shift my mindset from personal/ rest mode into work/ professional mode. The same in the evening, 10 minutes to put everything away helps my mind to switch off and relax properly so I feel refreshed when returning to my desk the next day.
Xanthe, 30 March 2020
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