How to successfully work from home
In effort to limit the spread of coronavirus – thousands of companies have allowed their staff to operate from the sanctuary of their own home. If you’re new to home working; you’ll discover it can be hugely rewarding – but it’s integral to maintain your productivity whilst healthily balancing your work and day-to-day life.
Here are our top tips on how to sustain efficiency – despite the obvious change in scenery.
- Create your own bespoke office space – this helps you differentiate your work from your personal life. Setting up a spare room as a makeshift office, or if your house is somewhat confined – a table, complete with your equipment and a comfortable chair is more than enough to help define your work environment. It’s also important to ensure that you maintain a good posture; if you’re working from a laptop – use a stand to position the computer at eye height. Plugging in a separate keyboard and mouse also helps ensure that you’re not hunched over your machine for the duration of the day.
- It can be incredibly tempting, but don’t slob around in your pyjamas all day – wake up early, wash and get dressed! This improves your state of mind, and psychologically prepares you to start work. Try to avoid other online distractions once you sit down in your space; if you’re completely new to working from home, it can take a couple of weeks to refine your daily rhythm.
- Create a daily plan; this entails identifying what needs to be done each day and ensuring that all tasks are completed, come the evening. With a personal to-do list, it doesn’t matter if or how you may be interrupted; as long as you can tick off all proposed tasks by the end of the day – your productivity is on track.
- Stay in contact with your colleagues – instead of pinging over an instant message or the odd email; pick up the phone and have a real conversation. When you’re feeling drained from working in isolation, any form of human interaction can be rejuvenating – even a basic call to discuss work. The coronavirus pandemic is an incredibly concerning time and we’re all in this together – sometimes all it takes is a familiar voice to help alleviate stress. Since physical meetings are temporarily out of the picture; conference calls can help consolidate ideas and can be far more productive than a chain of emails. Using software like Skype or Zoom– businesses can assemble staff and use screen share to convey information to employees. Using video conferencing features can also be an excellent way to introduce a more natural atmosphere to the meeting – just remember to dress appropriately (ditch those pyjamas!)
- Don’t forget to take regular breaks! When you’re working in the office, your day is broken up by everything from meetings, chats with coworkers, coffees, lunch and even toilet breaks. With no face-to-face interaction at home; it’s all too easy to lose yourself in a particular project for extended periods – this can be unhealthy, and thus diminish your ability to sustain a high quality of work. Research has deduced that short breaks throughout the day are more beneficial than less frequent, longer breaks. The Pomodoro Technique has been recommended by many home workers – this method of time management breaks your working day into 25 minute chunks – each chunk is followed by a five-minute break. The ticking timer instils you with a sense of urgency – rather than feeling as though you have endless time in the workday to get things done, and squandering those precious hours on distractions. It also helps you break the monotony and gives you the opportunity to get up from your desk and move around, as you would in a regular office.
The health and safety of our staff is absolutely paramount – thus the Cordis team have been operating from home for the past week. This is an easy adjustment for us, as we have all of the relevant technology in place for us to handle business as usual. With a captive audience online; social media and website content has become our businesses focal point. Tools such as Zoom are proving to be indispensable in conducting our regular production meetings, as we are able to retain our organisational structure and continue to produce great work for our clients.