Whether you’ve found yourself working at home over the next few weeks because of the Coronavirus or something else, it is important to maintain focus throughout. In this case, working from home is an effective measure put in place by the government and businesses of all sizes in a global effort to prevent spread of the disease.
In recent days companies have suggested that an equal amount of productive work can be done at home, providing employees adhere to an office like environment and mind-set. Some experts have said working from home is sometimes even more productive than being in an office environment, as it allows creativity in different surroundings.
Technology in this day and age has made it easier to work from home when necessary. Video conferencing tools and software like Zoom and Slack have even seen an increase in share price due to recent events… however it’s not all rainbows and sunshine, there are an equal number of drawbacks when working from home.
Here are our top tips and advice when working from home is the only option:
We all know even at the best of times; group meetings can be chaos even in person… meaning over the phone is often a no go! However, in these times of need it’s a feat that must be dealt with. Conferencing software makes this slightly easier. But be sure you have your business’ chosen software installed and set up correctly to avoid potential technical issues. Further to this, it’s important you have one designated person on the call in-charge of the meeting’s agenda to ensure the call stays on track…
Our Advice: it is essential there is a designated member of staff ‘hosting’ the meeting.
Although it’s a nice thought to stay in your comfy pyjamas all day in light of your new temporary working lifestyle, unfortunately this is not the answer. You will need to get up and get dressed, albeit not as early, due to your commute downstairs… but you are working at the end of the day, so this is an important step. Once at your new working area you need to deem it suitable for 40 hours a week’s worth of work. There are certain given essentials which you will need to make up your workspace such as:
- A desk
- A laptop
- A work-phone
- A headset
- A stable internet connection
- Appropriate software package
Our Advice: ensure your home workspace is as close to that of your office workspace as possible.
Remember to stick to the hours of your working day. Working outside of your office hours because you ‘just want to finish this off’ will only grind you down in the long run. Leading to your home life and work life being merged together. Whichever way your manager wants you to ‘clock in and out’ ensure you stick to it.
Our Advice: make sure you’re sticking to normal office hours to increase your long-term productivity.
Taking Breaks and Eating.
When working from home we often worry about how productive we are seeming to our manager and other colleagues, often not wanting to be seen as ‘slacking’ breaks away from the desk are minimal. But thinking about this rationally, no-one is productive when they’re hungry or haven’t moved from the same spot for 3 hours…
Without access to that corner café you head to with colleagues most days or a local shop allowing you to pick up a meal deal, you are almost certainly going to have to make your own lunch. This is an important part of the day ensuring you have all the required nutrients for both your body and your brain!
Our Advice: taking a 10-minute break every hour and one full hour for lunch, allows your brain to ‘switch off’ for designated periods, in turn boosting productivity.
It is important to remember, you are still at work. Whilst not ridiculing yourself and putting yourself under too much pressure, this isn’t an opportunity to run errands or do anything you wouldn’t typically be doing at the office. Most experts suggest, like previously mentioned, working in shorter 50 minute bursts with a 10-minute break helps your stay focused throughout the day.
Our Advice: ensure you’re in the correct frame of mind before sitting down to work for the day.
Often one of the most discussed topics surrounding working from home is feeling lonely or ignored. Many business’ have communication methods in place to ensure this doesn’t happen, but sometimes it can go undetected. Forward planning in this area helps to limit these feelings.
Regular contact with your manager is important from a work POV, including goal setting and meeting daily objectives. In addition, if typically seeing your manager on a daily basis is what you’re used to it will be easier to adapt to working from home with regular contact through the day and the week.
Most importantly, from a social POV seeing your fellow colleagues every day is something which may have been taken for granted in the office. Professionals working from home often feel a sense of loneliness fairly quickly. We suggest setting up a video call with colleagues working on the same projects. Even if the call is mainly in silence, having your colleagues in the background is familiar and can help with some normality in your temporary workspace.
Our Advice: stay social. Keep in regular contact with your manager and colleagues to avoid feeling lonely.
We hope these tips and guidance help you create a productive and enjoyable environment whilst working from home. However, when you’re ready to get out there and discuss your new office space get in touch… we have flexible, temporary and co-working spaces across the UK tailored to your needs. See how Enterprise Spaces can help you and your business today.