There’s a lot that’s changed over the last couple of years since Covid-19 became a part of our everyday lives but there’s one change that is definitely here to stay – working from home.
While the concept of working from home isn’t new, the uptake – even beyond mandatory lockdowns has been vast! Even with people returning back to the office, they are only doing so now on a part-time basis.
While there are many benefits of working from home, there are also some drawbacks which a lot of people tend to struggle with. This largely includes the difficulty of separating ‘personal’ life from ‘work’ life when all is under the same roof.
To help out with the latest trend of working from home, and how to work more efficiently, here are some tips that you can implement today to get the most out of your day – every day!
The most important part of ‘personal’ space vs ‘work’ space is the physical separation. During lockdown, most of us simply ‘made do’ and used the couch or dining room table as our ‘work’ space due to lack of space and time.
However, if you’re working from home on a more permeant basis, you will definitely need to find a dedicated space purely just for your work. Then, when you enter this space, you can put your ‘work hat’ on and get down to business.
Furthermore, if it’s possible, try and limit the space to just you and your work, rather than children, pets and family members – just like in a ‘real’ office.
If you’re working from home on a permanent basis then you’ll want to make sure that the transition from office to home is seamless. For instance, if you have 2 screens at your desk at work then you will need to set yourself up with 2 screens at home. If you have noise-cancelling headphones for your calls in the office, then purchase a second set for home. Plus, your Employer may also be able to help fund these additions depending on your work Agreements.
It’s important that anything you have or had while working in an office is the same setup as your home office. This also goes for internet connection. You’ll definitely need to make sure that you have sufficient data for all the additional work and meetings that you will be completing at home.
With team members now at home or half/half between the office and home, it’s vital that you’re still keeping connected with everyone – and it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it might sound.
In the digital age that we live in, keeping connected couldn’t be easier. First of all, there’s the obvious face-to-face online meetings via Zoom, Microsoft Teams or other similar programs. A daily update might be all you need to touch base and see what everyone is currently working on.
Need to ask a colleague a quick question? there’s Zoom for that too, or the good old-fashioned telephone or email.
Sometimes, staying connected with your team might mean ‘sharing a screen’ to demonstrate a project that you are working on, or one of the many cloud sharing devices such as Google Drive or DropBox.
Whatever your needs are, the digital world provides a way for you to stay connected.
When working in an office, there are many un-scheduled breaks that occur, such as making a coffee in the lunchroom while having a brief chat to a colleague who is already in there. Or it could be walking over to somebody’s desk to ask a question, or even a Birthday gathering in the meeting room with a slice of cake. Unfortunately, this is one of the drawbacks of working from home (sometimes).
Instead, you can take regular breaks by doing things such as making a cup of tea, preparing lunch, or even hanging out a load of washing.
Whatever it might be, regular breaks are vital to productivity. A highly recommended tactic is to work in 90-minute blocks before taking a break and jumping back into things.
Whether you love working from home or not, you’ll want to make sure that you are implementing these tips to help you be more effective.