Working from Home: Make it Work!
Remote working has become the new normal due to the pandemic; employees and managers across organisations have had to adapt to this new work culture. The pandemic has taught everyone how to be flexible and ensure business continuity from home.
Here at G.P.S, we’ve been championing the use of remote working within our company for years, all across our diverse range of advisors and consultants throughout the UK. But for many of you who’ve had to suddenly adapt to spending most of the day indoors working alone, and can’t wait to get back to the office, we’ve put together some tips on how to make remote working more effective and enjoyable:
Get ready for work
Remember the life plan: 8 hours of work, 8 hours of rest, and 8 hours of recreation. Resist the pants and slippers syndrome and be fresh after a full night’s sleep. Keep up the exercise and please shower for the sake of anyone nearby – social distancing doesn’t mask odours. Groom and dress for work, and not just the part that people can see on Zoom. And yes, it is okay to break with that coffee that you desperately needed.
Develop your office at home
This will trigger your brain into believing that you are at work by keeping your work behind an office door. If you’re sharing your home with others also working from home, having your own workspace will help you to switch to your work brain. Whether a home office, a table in a remote part of the house, or a freshly cleaned and cleared part of the dining room table – it’s the office from 9-5.
Avoid the obvious distractions that you wouldn’t normally have at work
Resist the temptation to fit in hours of housework, even if something is urgent, plan it for during your break. Family life does not easily fit into a schedule, but you can balance work times and family time with activities during lunch break or after work games. Access to a range of our gadgets in the comfort of our home can often divert our attention, so switch off Netflix in the background and disconnect to get into the work mindset. Find yourself a pocket which is neutral, and let your headspace be a canvass for creativity and not a playground for noise and chaos.
Manage your time
Imagine that you are at work and remember how you needed to manage your time to finish that presentation or complete your social media activity… nothing changes, so diarise and obey your work self.
Prepare your to-do list
Keep an up to date list of tasks with timescales and plan them into your calendar, closing at the end of the day, and preparing tomorrows. Write it down or type it out as decluttering your head is essential to retaining your mental strength.
Use a calendar or diary
Using these tools will assist you in maintaining the working disciplines necessary for not only the completion of your work but also keep you focussed on timescales for your tasks. The boss isn’t there, looking over your shoulder; so be your own boss! When creating a schedule, make sure you schedule breaks, lunches, household tasks, school pick up and drop off; plan them as part of a work schedule because they are now all part of your day. If working remotely but within a team, keep a shared calendar; it will focus you on the fact you are not alone, you are still working with others and you can still help each other with some tasks as you would have done when sitting next to them in the office
Collaborate and communicate
Remote working can often feel isolating hence why collaboration and communication are key! Keep in touch with your bosses and workmates by scheduling regular communication; those chats about “nothing” are still needed. Receiving feedback, discussing tasks and agreeing goals are a vital part of focussing you on your time management. Use Skype or Zoom to have personal face-2-face time with people, rather than compiling that “War and Peace” email.
Take a break
Working from home can be productive but can push you to overwork yourself without your office rituals of leaving the office for lunch or your break room chat with your colleagues. Scheduled breaks should always be adhered too; a time when you will get away from the desk; have a coffee and cookie and listen to a podcast or some music before “returning to the office”. Taking a short walk with the dog or just moving and stretching will help. Remember you’re human – that is the most fundamental requirement of it all.
For additional tips on your working, why not read our blogs: “The New Normal: GPS in a Global Pandemic” at https://www.gpsuk.org/the-new-normal-g-p-s-in-a-global-pandemic and/or