July 20, 2021
Tips for Working From Home
Since the Coronavirus pandemic hit in early 2020, people have been forced to get imaginative when it comes to working remotely. Whether you are a freelance worker or an office worker, things have certainly changed. We’ve said goodbye to the grueling morning commute, saved a fortune on our morning cups of coffee, and some of us have absolutely loved that extra hour in bed.
From a business sense, some companies have seen both increased productivity and increased mental wellbeing with their employees since the introduction of remote working. This means that even after the pandemic has subsided, many companies are leaning towards allowing more employees to work from home.
So we’ve gone through the research and the data for you and compiled some top tips from the experts on how you can tackle your work/home environment.
Darren Murph gives us an insight into his personal experience as a remote worker and gives us some brilliant tips.
No more running into colleagues
Working from home means that you can no longer build a rapport with your coworkers as easily. Walking around the office and chatting to people is a great way to build and maintain work relationships, but when you’re working from home you have to be proactive and dedicate time towards networking.
Create a suitable working environment
According to Darren, it’s now up to us to make sure we have everything we need to succeed in our jobs. Whether we have a dedicated room or we’re just working from our bedroom, Darren notes that every successful home office starts with a reliable internet connection. After all, there’s nothing worse than constantly dropping in and out of online meetings. There’s also the issue of setting boundaries with anybody that you’re sharing your house with. Darren recommends communicating with your housemates or loved ones and setting reasonable limits for when they are allowed to engage with you.
Stay in the loop
You should take advantage of the multitude of tools available to stay in touch with your colleagues. Working from home can make you feel excluded and you might run the risk of missing out on an impromptu meeting. Therefore it’s important to set up communication channels that are convenient for everyone involved.
Dave Crenshaw takes us through the process of balancing between your work life and your home life. Whether you’re a 9-5 office worker or a freelance software developer, finding that balance is vital.
Take control of your time
As the saying goes; there are only so many hours in a day. Therefore you need to take the time to make sure you’re splitting them up evenly. Just as you might allocate 9:00am - 5:00pm as your work time, you should assign a time to step away from your desk and let your personal time start.
Schedule your downtime
Your downtime is just as important as your work time. So you should be putting the same amount of energy into scheduling both aspects of your life. Make sure you find the time to exercise or follow a hobby - and always schedule your vacation at least three months in advance.
No matter who you are - find the balance
Whether you are a corporate worker or a freelance creative, there should always be a balance. Dave recommends creating “mini-harvests”. These are little goals that you can set for yourself and when you reach that target, or “harvest” the fruits of your labor, you can take time to celebrate.
Discover your green finger with Christopher Griffin and utilize plants to improve your working space.
Assess your space
Before you go all out and turn your home into a tropical jungle, it’s important to figure out which plant would best suit your environment. Knowing what plant would suit your space is key. After all - there’s no point in making the effort to buy the plant and move it in only for you to accidentally kill it.
Christopher notes that just like people, some plants need time to readjust to their new environment. Pick a spot and stick with it. You need to allow time for your plant to get comfortable so there’s no point constantly moving it around.
A happy plant is a happy you
Taking responsibility for something else teaches you to be responsible for yourself. Seeing a healthy plant that is thriving because of the care you’re giving it is uplifting and can fill you with joy. Make sure you find time to care for your plant, whilst finding time to care for yourself.
We visit Dave Crenshaw again as he offers us some strategies of managing your time and to help you tackle the challenges of remote working.
Create your ideal workspace
Dave recommends spending between five to seven hours a week on processing and organizing. When working from home you can combine your professional and personal processing into the same time. By making sure your workspace is clean and clear of clutter you can save time and feel more productive.
Increased productivity = more time
Just a 2% increase in productivity each year is equal to one entire work week saved. So taking the time to identify and cut out small distractions and understand what’s expected of you as an employee. This can allow you to properly concentrate and superspeed your productivity. Whilst Crenshaw agrees that interruption is unavoidable, by employing easy strategies you can minimize the impact and improve your output.
Take time to connect
Maintaining your relationships with your colleagues is a great way to keep your spirits high. By making sure that you don’t see your interactions with your coworkers as purely transactional, you can build personal relationships that will lead to a happier work environment. Being closer to your colleagues makes collaboration become more productive and interesting.
Telecommuting can be a bit of a minefield to navigate. But with the right attitude, it can be a pleasant experience. It’s important to set boundaries with anyone else in your home. When you’re on the clock, you should treat it as such, but then as soon as you’ve worked your normal hours you should put the work to rest.
In conclusion, as long as you find that balance between your home life and your work life, you can enjoy the benefits of everything that working from home brings.