Here are some of our favourite tips for staying happy and productive when you’re working from home.
Check out our special offer below for a fantastic online course to keep you honing your skills from home!
Be prepared to over-communicate
When everyone’s working from home, you need to make an extra effort to stay in touch with colleagues. So find ways to touch base throughout the day — and build in the time to do so.
Be sure to pick the right medium, too. Email is great for longer, more considered communication — for example, if you want to document a process. But daily face time using Skype or Zoom is better for building relationships, and a chat platform like Slack is perfect for day-to-day collaboration.
Talk about the small stuff
When working from home, you need to make an extra effort to maintain team
bonding. So build in some catch-up time at the start of every Zoom or Skype
call, where everyone can chat about non-work stuff. If you’re on Slack, create
a channel dedicated to non-work conversations. Encourage people to check in on this channel at the start of the day as a way of replicating the casual conversations you’d have while grabbing a coffee before sitting down to work.
Don’t go missing in action
In an office, if you step away from your desk for a while, people will assume you’re in a meeting or you’ve popped to the kitchen for a cuppa. But if you step away from your desk for a while without letting people know, they’ll wonder why you’re not responding. So if you need to head out or onto a call or focus on a task without interruption, let people know you’re going to be offline for a while and when you expect to be back.
Prepare for things to take longer than usual
Adjusting to remote working can be hard at the best of times, let alone when the whole world is facing a scary health crisis. So be kind to yourself and your team — and don’t beat yourself up if you’re less focused and productive than you’d normally be. What’s more, if you have children home from school, you can also probably expect to be interrupted more often.
As ever communication is key: be open with your team and agree realistic deadlines.
Divide your day into Pomodoros
When you really need to focus on work, try the Pomodoro technique. Set a timer for 25 minutes and focus on a single task until the alarm goes off (try the online timer at tomato-timer.com). After 25 minutes, take a five-minute break and then start another burst. After four of these 25-minute bursts, take a longer break. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done.
Always break for lunch
It can be tempting to eat ‘al desko’, especially if you don’t have colleagues around to invite you for a catch-up over lunch. Step away from your desk for an hour, and you’ll return revived, refreshed and raring to go in the afternoon.
Reshape your space at the end of the day
When you’re working from home, it’s all too easy for work life to seep into home life. So be sure to set physical boundaries between work and the rest of your life. Don’t have a dedicated office you can shut the door on at the end of the day? Then change the atmosphere by packing all your work stuff out of sight and switching to softer lighting and candles.
Want more strategies for happy remote working? Working Remotely: How to Succeed in the New Workplace is an online course covering the key things you need to know to be a happy remote worker.
Enrol in the course (hosted by Doris and Bertie) now for £9.60 (usual price £66), using the code ALDRICH7414 at checkout.
In Working Remotely: How to Succeed in the New Workplace, you’ll learn how to:
- Cope with feelings of ‘cabin fever’
- Communicate effectively with your team
- Participate in video calls with clarity and confidence
- Beat procrastination, maintain motivation and get more done
- Create an effective morning regime to kickstart your day and set you up for maximum productivity
- Establish an evening ritual to wind down effectively at the end of the day
Enrol now for £9.60, using the code ALDRICH7414 at checkout.